Why Central Texas Interfaith Opposes Proposition A
- Proposition A would cost City of Austin taxpayers an estimated $271.5 million–$598 million over five years. There is no mention of funding sources in the Proposition.
- It could likely cause cuts to other City services such as EMS, firefighters, workforce development, mental and public health, school enrichment programs, low-income housing and homelessness, libraries, parks and upkeep, Summer Youth Employment, and more.
- The Austin Police Budget accounts for a record $442 million, and is the highest portion of the City’s Budget (see chart at right for the 2020-2021 budget). If Prop A passes, the increased APD budget cannot be decreased.
- The City of Austin has completely restored full funding of the Police Department as required by a new bill passed by the Texas Legislature (HB 1900) this Spring (see chart at right).
- Proposition A would increase APD’s budget allocation by over $54 million annually (and up to $120M).
- The Austin Firefighter’s Association and the Emergency Medical Services union have both opposed Prop A.
- Prop A immediately increases the number of police officers without evidence that APD has made significant changes to address racial inequities.
- CTI’s model is one where community and officers work together to make neighborhoods safe. Prop A’s approach to Community Policing is unclear. The measure requires patrol officers to set aside at least 35% of their day for “community engagement” without a clear definition or description of how that time would be spent.
- Hiring two police officers per 1000 residents (as a result of Prop A) does not address root causes of crime such as economic pressures as a result of the pandemic and longstanding racial disparities in policing.
- Prop A will increase the amount of police training time spent on “defensive tactics” and “intermediate weapons proficiency.” These training are unlikely to advance the building of trust within the community.
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CTI Community Policing Team