Voters in Austin, Texas overwhelmingly voted against Prop A. Prop A would’ve boosted the funding to the Austin Police Department.
With 100% of the vote in, 68% voted against Prop A, while 32% favored the measure. During early voting, two-thirds of voters voted against the proposition. Travis county records 849,000 registered voters.
During early voting, only 101,000, or 11.2% of registered voters, voted. The low turnout continued, with only 21.56% collective voter turnout throughout the county. Only 82,000 people voted on election day.
Austin’s Democrat Mayor, Steve Adler, told KXAN:
“The city’s culture and values were on the November ballot. Our numbers are going up like cities across the country. We have to do better, but public safety is more than just policing.”
He agrees the city needs more public safety measures but said there needs to be a “more comprehensive solution.”
Proposition A aimed to increase police staffing to a minimum of 2 officers per 1,000 residents. It would also have double the amount of officer required training, increase minority hires, and require 35% of an officer’s shift to be spent on community policing. The cost estimates were between $271.5 million and $598.8 million over the next five years.
Since Austin cut its police budget, homicides have increased 71% this past year. Austin cadet classes were canceled, and the staffing shortages led to a 30% increase in 911 response times.
Save Austin Now, a political PAC that was formed in 2020, brought forth the proposition. The PAC garnered 25,600 signatures in July to put Prop A on the ballot.
Save Austin Now co-founders Mackowiak and Cleo Petricek said, “Austin has never been less safe than it is today, and the police staffing crisis continues to worsen.
Even though Prop A did not pass, Macjowiak has big plans to forge ahead with his PAC.
“You ain’t seen nothing yet… This has been about preparing us for next year. In fact, this result tonight raises the stakes for next year.”
He is thinking about a congressional run to unseat city council member Greg Casar. Casar was at the forefront of pushing Austin to cut police funding.
The residents of Austin will see the results of their decision in their community. Residents will see firsthand if their decision helps or harms their families and neighbors.