San Antonio’s council spars over new conduct guidelines

After a dramatic discussion Thursday, San Antonio City Council approved a new code of conduct for its own members aimed at governing how they interact with one another both in-person and over social media. 

The four-page document, approved with an 8-2 vote, includes many clear-cut provisions like avoiding profane language and making many of the behavioral and workplace standards that already exist for city staff also apply to members of the council.

Other elements are more vague, such as avoiding “discussion of personalities” and language that “explicitly or implicitly threatens physical harm toward another person” – wording that Councilwoman Teri Castillo (D5) suggested could be interpreted any number of ways to silence unpopular opinions. 

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