Way back in 2000, Red Wassenich coined the phrase, “Keep Austin Weird.”
Austin had been a strange place, dating back to the ‘70s, and oddball residents wanted to keep the town charming and cannabis–scented. The idea took off and the best gauge of its success is the number of other towns that have subsequently stolen the idea.
The Dictionary.com definition of weird is: “involving or suggesting the supernatural; unearthly or uncanny:”
In the wake of last Tuesday’s election, we’re going to propose a revision to that definition — at least as it applies to Austin. The new definition will be, "weird, eerie, unearthly, uncanny refer to that which is mysterious and apparently outside natural law and criminal law."
That’s because, in their wisdom, the voters of Austin defeated ‘Prop A’.
We wrote about Prop A and the stakes here.
The question was designed to reverse the city council’s 34% cut to the police department’s budget in 2020 and require the council to hire two officers per thousand population so as to replace the 300 police officers the department is currently missing.
And make no mistake, Prop A wasn’t a punitive Rudy Giuliani–type, death–penalty–for–littering response.
The measure contained plenty of kinder, gentler, granola provisions, according to Fox 7:
- Officers must spend at least 35% of their time in community engagement
- Officers will be required to take 40 more hours of training than required by the state focusing on how “to handle evolving, fluid, dangerous situations and enhance their own safety and that of the public”
- Increased pay and time off for officers who learn to “speak one of the five most common non- English languages spoken in the city or who participate in a mentoring program for new police cadets”
But, all that and a citywide murder rate of 75 — which is the most since the city started keeping a count in 1960 — wasn’t enough. Prop A wasn’t just defeated. It was annihilated.
The final vote was 69% against and a paltry 31% in favor.
As the George Soros financed Austin Justice Coalition gloated, “The voters of Austin overwhelmingly rejected the politics of fear yesterday, and renewed their commitment to a more just public safety system, a more just city budget, and a more just city overall. It cannot be overstated: Prop A was not just voted down. It went down in flames.”
Which is a surprisingly accurate statement, coming from a leftist.
KUT interviewed city council member Greg Casar, who also opposed Prop A, and he affirmed, “Tonight’s results show that Austinites have rejected right-wing division and are marching forward to progressive change.”
Evidently marching with San Francisco as their destination, which is ironic since more than a few new Austinites have fled San Francisco for Texas.
It could be that Austin voters have somehow confused wanting to be safe from crime as some sort of right–wing hater’s philosophy. After all the voters weren’t dead, so how does a high murder rate affect them?
Austin just may not have traveled far enough on the Increased Crime Continuum. Compare Austin’s support of pro–crime policies with that of Minneapolis which has seen a formerly ‘nice’ city transformed into an anarchic free crime zone in the wake of St. George Floyd’s death.
Last Tuesday, the Minneapolis ballot also had a public safety referendum question.
This one would have abolished the Minneapolis Police Department and replaced it with a nebulously named and defined “public safety” department, no doubt stocked to the brim with social workers.
The proposal to abolish the Minneapolis PD was defeated 56-44%.
The moral to this story may be that the situation in Austin will have to get much worse before voters decide to support cops instead of criminals.
Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker's bureau. Read Michael Reagan's Reports — More Here.
Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)" Read Michael Shannon's Reports — More Here.
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