Georgetown City Council member Rachael Jonrowe, who represents District 6, is planning to resign for several reasons, including her health from stress as well as issues in Georgetown ISD.
Jonrowe announced her intention to resign in a Facebook video she posted June 7. In the video she explained she sent a notice to the city secretary to be distributed to all Georgetown City Council members prior to her public announcement. However, a city spokesperson said council members have not received an official resignation date yet. Jonrowe's term was originally scheduled to end in May 2023.
“I’ve spoken with the city attorney and I will give [my resignation] either when my Georgetown house is sold or sometime in early July—whichever comes first,” Jonrowe told Community Impact Newspaper.
In the video, Jonrowe read the notice she wrote and sent to the city secretary to be distributed to all council members.
“I am providing [the City Council] this advance notice to allow council extra time to make arrangements for a special election ... and to minimize the amount of time District 6 residents are without representation,” Jonrowe said. “I shall continue to represent my constituents to the best of my abilities in the meantime, but I will no longer be attending workshops or legislative meetings.”
Jonrowe said she will not attend the June 22 City Council meeting. She will continue to respond to constituents' messages and emails, connect them with appropriate city staff, meet with the city manager and any other city staff, and is open to meeting constituents in person, if requested, she told Community Impact Newspaper.
In the Facebook video, Jonrowe cited a few of her reasons for resigning and said they are personal in nature; moving her family outside of her council district, so her kids can pursue public education apart from GISD, being one of them.
“I have had serious concerns about GISD for years,” Jonrowe said. “I have some hope that things may be trending in a more positive direction with the outcome of recent school board races, but I fear that change might not happen fast enough for my older children.”
According to Jonrowe, her children have stated that teachers and students in the district have made comments they consider to be racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, Islamophobic, ableist and antisemitic.
“Almost every week we have family discussions about what they can safely say or do in those situations,” Jonrowe said. “We reach for teachable moments all the while wondering about the toll it’s taking, especially when your children belong to some of those same groups.”
Her children have found allies among some teachers and students, but Jonrowe said she realized the issue is systemic and cultural. Additionally, discussions with her physician led her to prioritize her health and time with family through this decision to resign. Council meetings have been one of the greatest stressors of her life, particularly within the last three years, Jonrowe said.
Lastly, she said the outcome of the District 1 race led her to consider the reasons cited above, when incumbent Mary Calixtro lost to Amanda Parr in the last City Council election.
“Mary’s loss feels like two steps back,” Jonrowe said. “While I am confident that she will continue to serve Georgetown faithfully, I mourn what we’ve lost when diverse voices are not represented in public entities.”