Neighborhood Network

July 28, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

In two weeks, the Austin City Council will vote on a budget that cuts 100 police officersCall and email the mayor and council members urging them not to cut cops.

new poll shows a majority of Austin voters oppose reducing the police department budget and cutting cops. There is strong support for public safety reform but not reducing police officers when violent crime is increasing and response times are slower.

In addition to opposing proposed police budget cuts, the survey found:

  • 47% of Austin voters believe the city is on the “wrong track,” compared to 34% who believe the city is going in the “right direction”
  • 84% of those surveyed were dissatisfied with the handling of homelessness, and 74% were dissatisfied with the handling of traffic issues
  • 92% of Austin residents feel safe in their neighborhoods, but only 56% feel safe downtown

Despite stay-home orders, our community experienced a crime wave during the first half of this year:

  • Murder increased by 64%
  • Auto theft increased by 30%
  • Building thefts are up 24%
  • Robberies, aggravated assaults, arson, and burglaries increased

Citywide, aggravated assaults and individual robberies were up last year. Response times were slower, and traffic fatalities increased.

This Thursday, the Austin City Council will conduct the second and final public hearing on the proposed budget. Final budget adoption is scheduled to start on August 12.

What can you do?

1. Call and email the mayor and council. Ask the Austin City Council to invest in public safety reform and reject budget cuts that put the community at risk. Ask them to stand with a majority of Austin voters who support reform but oppose cutting cops
2. Sign up to speak at the virtual budget hearing on Thursday. Item 17 is community input on the proposed budget. The speaker registration deadline is Wednesday at noon. Instructions available here.
3. Organize your neighborhood. Request a call or virtual group meeting with your council member.

The Neighborhood Network is making a difference. Thousands of people are sharing information, like the Crime in Austin report, with their families, friends, and neighbors.

Thank you for supporting first responders and public safety.

P.S. Let us know if you’d like to schedule a Neighborhood Network Zoom meeting with family and friends to discuss the city budget, Crime in Austin, and other public safety issues. Please follow the Greater Austin Crime Commission on Facebook and Twitter.