Individual and Group Endorsements, Volunteer!
Endorse the Community Investment Budget! Help us shift city spending to address our most urgent needs and make all of Austin safer: increased pay for medics and other emergency health personnel (low wages have created the highest vacancy rates among our city departments,) rental assistance and other services to prevent families from falling into homelessness as rents continue to skyrocket, harm reduction programs to address overdose deaths, cooling and warming centers to help people during our increasingly frequent weather emergencies, gun violence prevention programs, child and youth programming at our parks and community centers, better park maintenance and park rangers for security and enjoyment of all our parks, workforce development and much more. These are some of the ways the City can help Austin families be safe and secure.
A state law passed in 2021 prevents the City from cutting the police budget, even though attrition and issues with APD’s police academy and recruitment have reduced the police force over time. While state law requires the City to continue to fund APD at the same levels, there is no reason to increase its funding in this current fiscal year. Raises given to officers earlier this year can be funded from the department’s existing budget as can other “nice to haves” requested by APD in its budget proposal.
The more than 40 organizations who have already endorsed the Community Investment Budget understand that most of the budget is “already spent” in that it pays the people who already are doing the jobs we want done. So the Community Investment Budget asks the city to spend new revenue (from increased property valuations and other tax sources) and move a little money around. The entire CIB request amounts to 7.7% of last year’s general revenue. This is reasonable. We would like to see at least half of this new spending worked into the “baseline” budget that the City Manager will release in July, and the rest added when Council gets the revenue projections for new revenue available next year.
That is why your endorsement and your group’s endorsement is so important RIGHT NOW! City Manager Garza needs to understand the breath and depth of support for this shift in spending priorities for the city BEFORE he releases his “baseline budget.” After you endorse here, you can send a letter to Garza! We’ve made it easy!