For anyone who wasn’t able to attend the latest actionar, the resources in this email will get you caught up and ready to move into action today, next week, and the rest of this month!
A Watershed Moment
This past summer, thanks to the work of Black and POC-led organizations and thousands of activists, Austin entered a moment of radical possibility. The City of Austin voted to reallocate some funding away from policing into public health, housing, and direct cash assistance to people most in need, and began the Reimagining Public Safety process, now guided by the volunteer efforts of the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force.
But now, the City is threatening to undermine the Reimagining Public Safety process by voting on restarting the Austin Police Department training academy one month before the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force even brings their recommendations to City Council.
They need to hear from us that we won’t be satisfied with small changes that don’t address the systemic racism that makes APD such a threat to Black people and people of color. City Council members have said the public appetite for transformative change in Austin seems less than it was this summer. We need to show them we are still hungry for justice, and we won’t settle for anything less than real safety for all in our community!
- Sign the petition from CCU and Grassroots Leadership to demand that no new APD cadet classes be funded and that City Council honor the work of the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force!
- Testify at City Council on Thursday, March 25 against the resolution to restart the Police Academy. Registration to speak opens on Monday 3/22 at 10:00 a.m. & closes at noon Wednesday 3/24. Find the link here on Monday to sign up against Item #37. Tell City Council you want real structural change and you want the Reimagining Public Safety process to go forward before any decision to bring in another cadet class!
- Attend a virtual Q & A Session w Kroll & Associates – Tuesday, March 23 from 6-7:30 p.m. to hear an update on their independent evaluation of the APD Training Academy. To RSVP and request interpretation, please email email@example.com
- Join a meeting with your City Council member to tell them you support the Reimagining Public Safety process and REAL solutions! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected with other people in your district!
- Send an email to City Council to tell them NOT to restart the cadet class and to support the Reimagining Public Safety process and REAL solutions!
- Ask your friends and family to sign the petition, speak at City Council, or join you in a meeting with your Council member to support Reimagine Public Safety.
- Stay tuned for more social media messaging to share and demonstration info to come!
Additional Action Items to Confront White Backlash and Support Communities of Care:
- Join Homes Not Handcuffs to textbank tonight, Friday March 19, 6-8 p.m. and beyond to reach out to local voters and help make sure Austin doesn’t criminalize houselessness!
- Donate to CCU’s Racial & Economic Solidarity Network to support continued distribution of direct cash assistance to those who need it most! This week alone CCU is supporting 29 families with direct cash assistance. If you have any discretionary funds, please consider supporting your Austin neighbors in need.
Resources to Learn More:
- Slides from UWSA’s 3/18/2021 webinar
- CCU webinar on History of Policing as context for Reimagining Public Safety
- APD Training Videos Community Review Panel report
- Video of Community Police Academy Training Video Review Presentation to the RPS Task Force (Timestamps: Minutes 17 – 43 minutes for the report; Q & A and Task Force discussion through 2:11:00)
- Kroll & Associates Preliminary Assessment of Austin Police Training Academy