Tell Austin City Council: Defund the Police by $100 million

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!

Austin FY2020 Police Budget

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)

Find your City Council district by entering your address here or by looking at the map here.

Let’s do our part to change this broken system!

How to support Austin #BlackLivesMatter protesters

Not everyone can put their bodies on the line—especially during a pandemic. Below is a list of ways you can show your support from home. Many of these links were pulled from this list, which also covers other Texas cities. We’ll update as frequently as possible.

GoFundMe for Mike Ramos

The mother of Mike Ramos, who was shot to death by APD in April, is asking for donations. Read the letter sent to the City Manager after Ramos’s killing. 

GoFundMe for Saraneka “Nemo” Martin

Nemo was shot with projectiles by APD in her abdomen and in her back while pregnant.

GoFundMe for Brad Levi Ayala

APD shot Brad Levi Ayala in the head at an Austin protest on May 30,2020. Read: Levi Ayala Went to an Austin Protest to Watch History and Instead Became a Tragic Part of It (Texas Monthly)

GoFundMe for Justin Howell

Justin Howell was critically injured by Austin Police during protests Sunday, May 31st. Read: Opinion: His name is Justin Howell (The Batt)

GoFundMe for Anthony Evans

Supports medical costs for Anthony Evans was shot in the face with a “bean bag” bullet by APD while protesting

GoFundMe for Supplies, Gear and Support for Street Medics 

Austin Emergency Legal Fund

Support Black-owned businesses (List on KVUE website)

Austin City Council Contact Information

More TX protest resources, donations, & actions

Black Austin Rally & March For Black Lives #JusticeForThemAll

Black Austin Rally and March

This Sunday, June 7 2020 we are joining as allies in the support of Black Austin, Black Lives Matter, and JUSTICE!

All are invited to a peaceful protest that will center this moment around Black voices, Black stories, and most importantly Black solutions.

Event Details

WHAT: Black Austin Rally & March For Black Lives #JusticeForThemAll

WHEN: Sunday, June 7 from 1 to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Huston Tillotson University, 900 Chicon St, Austin, Texas 78702

Stay up-to-date by following this Facebook event.

 


Tips for protesting safely during COVID-19

Protesting Safely

Source: AOC

Read more on CNET: “How to protect yourself while protesting during the coronavirus pandemic


NOTE: Please stay on the lookout for new Indivisible Austin a resource guide on how we can organize effectively to sustain the momentum of this historic moment—while centering black leadership and showing up for oppressed people in Central Texas.