Thank you for all for showing up in many different ways over the past few weeks to demand that CM Kitchen organize with other Council Members to fund real solutions that address long standing inequities in Austin. Together, we have called, emailed, testified, signed petitions, and put out yard signs all across District 5. THANK YOU!
Last Week’s Budget Vote
Last week, the City Council approved a new budget that reflects a new moral and political commitment to eliminate structural discrimination and institutionalized racism at APD. The Council voted to:
- Cut $21.5 Million from APD’s budget
- Almost half of that amount comes from canceling three upcoming cadet classes. On D5’s call with Ann Kitchen before the budget vote, she promised to not approve another cadet class until training was overhauled and approved by Black- and Brown-led social justice organizations, including the Austin Justice Coalition.
- That money can now be invested in public health and services that improve the lives and safety for all Austin residents
- Move 911 center, forensics department, internal affairs out from control This removed $80 Million from the APD budget, but more importantly, this is a reorganization that, if the independence of these programs is maintained, could be a great first step towards much needed larger structural reform.
- Flagged $49 Million in programs and positions for further scrutiny in a “reimagine fund” to re-allocate moneys from APD towards non-policing solutions–with your help, real solutions.
Governor Abbott has attempted to characterize this as a step towards lawlessness. This is an expected reactionary trope, but tell your neighbors, this budget reformation did not remove a single officer currently on the street. Instead, the budget is a step towards greater equity in our city, but it does not go far enough. We have more work ahead of us to confront racism and redressing systemic inequities in Austin.
We are anxious to get to know all of you and grow our coalition of District 5 constituents who stand with the movement for Black Lives.
- Please take our survey HERE so we can learn more about you, your talents, and ways you’d like to get involved in District 5 for Black Lives.
- Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @d5forblacklives
- Be on the lookout for an announcement about our upcoming (virtual) House Party to connect and learn about the organization!
the District 5 for Black Lives Organizing Team