Austinites: Were you aware that 40% of the City of Austin budget for fiscal year 2020 was devoted to the Austin Police Department, while less than 8% was devoted to public health? Do you agree with these budget priorities? If not, here’s your chance to give your two cents on budget priorities for 2021.
Please use this tool BEFORE JULY 1 to provide the city with information about what you think is important. And don’t be afraid to dream big about how much of the money saved by defunding APD can then be added to community priorities like housing, public health, libraries, and parks!
Source of chart: Austin Chronicle
While you’re at it, contact Mayor Adler and your City Council Representative TODAY to ask that they support Items 95 and 96 at tonight’s Council meeting!
- Item 95 is a resolution on police use of force that would prohibit the use of tear gas and impact munitions against protestors, restrict use of deadly force, prohibit chokeholds, reduce military-grade equipment, and restrict no-knock warrants (like the one the police who killed Breonna Taylor had).
- Item 96 is a resolution that would restrict additional APD funding and reallocate funds for community needs.
Consider also voicing your support for calls from the Austin Justice Coalition and some council members to defund APD to the tune of $100 million (from a total of $400 million). City Council members Greg Casar and Jimmy Flannigan and Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza have already expressed their support for cuts to APD funding, as well as a package of reforms that includes immediate steps to prevent the kind of police brutality that happened at recent protests.
“No more chokeholds. No more shooting at people fleeing. No more using tear gas at First Amendment demonstrations. I would hope and expect that it should be policy today and that if we vote on it Thursday, that it should be practiced Thursday,” said Casar.”
The reform package also includes measures to attack systemic discrimination by APD: “Zero racial disparities in traffic stops. Zero racial disparities in arrests and tickets from traffic stops. Zero use of force incidents and zero officer involved deaths,” said Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza.
Finally, join many Austinites in calling for the resignation or firing of Chief Manley over his department’s gross overreaction to largely peaceful protests, an overreaction that left at least two young men hospitalized, one with a cracked skull and permanent brain damage.
Contacts from the following districts are especially needed:
- District 3: Pio Renteria (512-978-2103)
- District 8: Paige Ellis (512-978-2108)
- District 7: Leslie Pool (512-978-2107)
- District 5: Ann Kitchen (512-978-2105)
- District 9: Kathie Tovo (512-978-2109)
- District 10: Alison Alter (512-978-2110)
Let’s do our part to change this broken system!