False statements caught on video by Austin residents
Petition would force Austin to spend tens of millions more on police, hire hundreds more officers, instead of park rangers, pools, EMS and more
Austin needs a comprehensive approach to public safety
AUSTIN, TX – In a newly released video, Republican-front group Save Austin Now’s paid canvassers are shown misleading petition signers by falsely representing what is included in their petition.
“This is another pathetic example of this Republican group misleading Austin residents to undermine the will of this 10-1 city council,” said Katie Naranjo, Chair of the Travis County Democratic Party. “This dangerous measure, if passed, would force the hiring of potentially 500 police officers, devastating essential city services and departments in the process. We need to reject this misleading campaign.”
The videos include false statements on:
- Appointment of a police oversight coordinator. (SAN Canvasser Video B)
- On July 18, 2021, a canvasser told a voter that the ordinance would require the appointment of a police oversight coordinator.
- The proposed ordinance does not provide for appointment of a police coordinator.
- Teaching police officers new languages. (SAN Canvasser Video A)
- On July 18, 2021, a canvasser told a voter, “part of their training is going to learn [new] languages.”
- The proposed ordinance does not require the City to conduct any language training. It does require the department to pay officers more if they speak a second language.
- “De-escalation” training for officers. (SAN Canvasser Video A)
- On July 18, 2021, SAN told a voter that the ordinance will require de-escalation training to help officers “talk them down instead of shoot them down.”
- The proposed ordinance does not require the City to provide any de-escalation training.
- Requiring a diverse, representative police force. (SAN Canvasser Video B)
- SAN told voters that the ordinance would require the City “to hire and maintain police officers that match the racial makeup of our communities … to lessen racial tension and promote more understanding and to appoint a coordinator to oversee their activities for accountability purposes.”
- The proposed ordinance does not require the hiring of a racially representative police force.
- Requiring anti-discrimination training. (SAN Canvasser Video C)
- SAN told voters that the ordinance would require the police to provide “anti-discrimination training” to Austin police.
- The ordinance does not require any anti-discrimination training.
- Requiring mental health training. (SAN Canvasser Video C; SAN Canvasser Video A)
- SAN told voters that the ordinance would require the police to provide “mental health” training to Austin police.
- The ordinance does not require mental health training.
The petition threatens to force Austin to arbitrarily hire hundreds more police officers, and more every year, without regard to the damage done to other critical programs in the budget. This misguided ballot effort could devastate the budgets for EMS, fire, mental health care, victim services, homelessness solutions, park improvements, and more.
- Compiled & Edited Video
- SAN Canvasser Video A
- SAN Canvasser Video B
- SAN Canvasser Video C
- SAN Canvasser Video D
- Save Austin Now Proposed Ordinance