A little less than a week ago, blue Austin made itself a laughingstock across the rest of Texas. The all-Democrat city council and its left-wing Mayor Steve Adler voted unanimously to chop $150 million out of the city’s $434 million dollar budget. That’s a cut of one-third.
Austin did this as the WSJ revealed that the fast-growing city of about a million leads the nation in the percentage increase of homicides in 2020. Yes, its rate of increase is worse even than New York and Chicago.
Austin recently billed itself as safe. It can no longer honestly say that it is.
The cuts are draconian, and the nature of the cuts is nonsensical. For instance, the council voted to do away with the mounted unit. That unit has been very effective at establishing order when rioters illegally take over city streets, without having to resort to more kinetic means of clearing thoroughfares.
Austin’s former police chief, Art Acevedo, sounded off after the vote and warned of “consequences” for taking so many police officers off the streets and so many useful assets away from those officers who remain. He called on residents to rise up and oppose the cuts.
“If you don’t speak up now,” Acevedo said during an interview with the city’s CBS affiliate after the vote last week. “If you don’t speak up and absolutely set on fire those phone lines, the emails, the letters to your mayor and council, standby to standby. The economic engine that drives that great city, that provides the quality parks, the quality libraries, the quality life that we’ve enjoyed, I say we because I still have property there, is going to go by the wayside.” Read more…