Despite a skyrocketing homicide rate, Austin, Texas, voters heard the call of George Soros’s big bucks and rejected a ballot proposition Tuesday that would have increased police staffing.
Soros invested $500,000 in defeating the measure, according to the Austin American-Statesmen.
The proposal to hire police at a rate of 2 officers for every 1,000 residents was defeated 68 percent to 31 percent, based on figures quoted by the Austin American-Statesman.
Mayor Steve Adler rejoiced in the defeat of police funding.
“Austin’s culture and values were on the ballot tonight,” Adler said, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
“This election reaffirms our community’s belief that public safety for all requires a comprehensive system that includes properly staffing our police, but also our fire, EMS and mental health responses as well. At our core, we are an innovative, caring and creative community. We see that yet again in this election and that makes me proud to live in this magical place,” he said.
There is nothing magic in the city’s murders, however; Austin has set a city record with 77 murders this year, Fox reported. The spike came after the city cut the police budget last year.
Staffing shortages, made worse by the city’s decision to partially defund the police last year, has contributed to the rise in crime.
“We are now at 1,540 available police officers, down from 1,959 authorized strength and 1,800 available just two years ago,” said Matt Mackowiak, co-founder of Save Austin Now, the group that supported the proposal, according to The Center Square. “We will be at 1998 police staffing levels by the end of the year, when our city was 25 percent as large as we are today.”
National left wing interests are trying to destroy public safety in Austin.
Help us ensure adequate police staffing, increase community policing, double police training and enact sensible police reforms.
— Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) October 1, 2021
Fraternal Order of Police National VP, Joe Gamaldi told Fox News Wednesday that “morale is in the tank” among police.
“When you do a postmortem on what happened in Austin, I think it’s important to recognize that the mayor and city council there have basically been giving the finger to the hardworking men and women of law enforcement in the Austin Police Department for quite some time,” Gamaldi said.
“And what they did is they scared the public. They told them we’re going to cut services across the board to try to fund public safety, but what the public should really be scared of is the fact that the murder rate is up 88% in Austin. Austin was once a mecca for the arts and music, and now it’s a dangerous community, and nobody even wants to walk through with their families,” he continued.
Soros was not alone in fighting the proposal to boost police staffing. Several other prominent liberal groups opposed the proposal, as did unions representing Austin’s municipal employees, teachers, EMS workers and firefighters. Fox reported that the City of Austin Employees Association contributed $25,000, the Texas American Federation of Teachers contributed $10,000, Education Austin PAC contributed $5,000 and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union contributed $25,000 to defeat the proposition.
Oh we are Mayor!For YEARS we’ve come to CH share concerns w/o bribes of gift cards, pizza to speak about crime.U & Council have sd it’s fear mongering,lies & do NOTHING!
This mailer IS fear mongering & lies in hopes of dismantling @Austin_Police!SHAMEFUL!
Friends VOTE! #YESPropA pic.twitter.com/Y8shKz4N5r
— JSM (@JSM_ATX) October 21, 2021
Some of the opposition was reflective of the city’s position that if the proposition passed, massive cuts to every other section of the city budget would be implemented. Supporters of the proposal called those claims misinformation.
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