Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Big D city-council majority endorses defunding police agenda; other Texas cities may follow suit

The Dallas City Council is considering its own defunding police agenda. Reported the Dallas Morning News:
as the council tries to address ongoing demonstrations against police violence, more members say they’re open to “defunding” — or reallocating resources from public safety into other city services.

Several council members plan to release a memo calling for City Manager T.C. Broadnax to propose budget options that would take public safety dollars and funnel them into other resources to “restore trust.” The council will also ask for discussions on the topic to happen at their meetings. Ten out of 14 council members have supported the memo and plan to send duplicate letters to the city manager, said Adam Bazaldua.

Notably, reported the Morning News, "Calls to reduce the police budget come as the city faces anywhere from a $73 million to $134 million shortfall next fiscal year because of the coronavirus pandemic." That's the backdrop for this debate in every city, fwiw: We're telling them to cut police budgets at a time when they can't afford to keep expanding them, anyway.

In Houston, city council member Leticia Plummer proposed a budget amendment to eliminate 200 vacant positions at the Houston PD and cut that money from the budget. Mayor Sylvester Turner opposes it. (Houston is a strong-mayor city, unlike Dallas or Austin, so he has unilateral power to veto such measures.)

The city council in San Antonio has heard calls for the city to reduce the police department budget, but hasn't seen any formal proposals yet.

Meanwhile, in Austin, all 11 city council members today endorsed the reform resolutions being voted on Thursday, including a resolution telling the city manager to present a smaller police budget when the council comes back from their break in July. The council members endorsed these provisions after the police union asked them to delay the process, which sends a powerful statement in and of itself. In 25 years of working on these topics in Austin, Grits has never seen the union snubbed so firmly.


LC in Texas said...

I think the "Big D city-council majority" needs defunding. The Texas Constitution has been ignored throughout Texas. Texas is special and our Texas administration is incompetent.

Anonymous said...

How about the U.S. Constitution ......


Mark Hogberg