As Austin voters head to the polls this Saturday, the opportunity for confusion on the two propositions on the ballot is highly possible. (There are even some who say confusion is the exact motive of the backers of Prop B.) We’ve read the details about both propositions so you don’t have to.
vote yes on prop a and no prop b
Proposition A offers an opportunity for Austin to enter a new era of civilian oversight of the Austin Police Department. The proposition is seen as a way to prevent long-standing scandals within the APD from going unnoticed due to a lack of proper oversight. The incidents of police brutality witnessed during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, along with other instances of state violence, have underscored the need for more robust police accountability. While Prop A may not create the system on its own, its passage would be a significant stride towards strengthening police oversight in Austin, and perhaps any American city, in decades.
Proposition B on the surface, lacks the merits of Prop A and does not offer a better system of oversight. However, what makes Prop B unacceptable is the underhanded tactics deployed by the Austin Police Association (APA) to get it on the ballot. The deceptive campaign strategy deployed by APA to promote Prop B raises questions about the true intentions of the police union. If the APA genuinely believed that Prop B provided a better system of oversight, they would have campaigned for it openly and honestly. But they did not, suggesting that the police union is more concerned about installing a system of oversight that aligns with their interests rather than the interests of the Austin community.
So not only do Austin voters need to Yes on Prop A, it is also important for voters to also reject Prop B.