AUSTIN, TX – Today, more than 80 organizations, 37 elected officials, and 200+ individuals from across Austin launched “No Way on Prop A,” a diverse opposition campaign focused on exposing the truth about Prop A and the extreme harm it would cause to Austin if passed.
At a press conference, a diverse lineup of speakers discussed Prop A’s impact on issues ranging from labor and the environment to criminal justice and the arts.
“Environmentalists from across the City are joining together to oppose this reckless and irresponsible proposition, because we know it would lead to budget cuts for our parks and pools, hurting the Austin we know and love,” local environmentalist Bobby Levinski said. “We shouldn’t sacrifice Barton Springs for an arbitrary policing metric pushed by the far-right.”
“Prop A is a wolf in sheep’s clothing — it is NOT police reform, as it claims,” said Chas Moore, executive director & founder of the Austin Justice Coalition. “This measure is a total reversal of the ideological shift that Austin went through during and after the protests of summer 2020. We need every Austinite who posted a black square and marched with us down Congress Avenue to vote NO WAY on Prop A.”
“The Austin labor movement stands united against this dangerous proposition, which would directly impact so many City employees,” said Carol Guthrie, business manager for AFSCME Local 1624. “If Prop A passes, it would lead to budget cuts to city services and positions like firefighters, paramedics, mental health care responders, parks employees, transportation workers, people who keep our lights on, library staff, and so many others. Prop A will make us less safe by lifting up police over all other workers.”
“If Austin wants to continue to be the live music capital of the world, it needs to protect its working class,” Austin musician Scott Strickland said. “The increase in crime during the pandemic is a statewide issue, yet recent bills passed by the legislature make it even more difficult for police to do their jobs. Now, taking money from community-centered programs already decimated by COVID-19 would irreparably harm Austin for decades to come.”
“Prop A is not smart policing,” said Quincy Dunlap, president & CEO of the Austin Area Urban League. “Austinites want comprehensive public safety solutions that address crime at its root causes, not more police without accountability. Instead of hundreds of millions more to our police department, let’s invest in neighborhood resources that will actually keep people safe.”
“Austin’s homicide increase is a serious problem, but it’s a nationwide problem. Homicides went up in 90% of U.S. cities during the pandemic, and we know that more officers didn’t prevent it, and more officers won’t solve it,” said criminal justice expert Dr. Bill Spelman, a former council member & University of Texas professor. “Instead, we need to rely on the experience of cities that have been successful in preventing murder: Understand the problem, identify the root causes, and work with other government agencies, social services, businesses, and neighborhoods to develop a community-wide approach.”
“This Republican ballot measure is against Austin voters’ Democratic values. The No Way on Prop A campaign has the full support of our county party, precinct chairs, and Democratic clubs,” said Katie Naranjo, chair of the Travis County Democratic Party. “It’s time to stop listening to politicians who benefit from making us afraid of each other, and instead come together – whether we’re white, Black, or brown – to defeat Prop A at the ballot box.”
No Way on Prop A is a diverse opposition campaign focused on exposing the truth about Prop A and the extreme harm it would cause to Austin if passed. Learn more at NoWayPropA.com.