Recently, financier George Soros has taken aim at law enforcement through his advocacy group, the Open Society Policy Center, namely by pouring half a million dollars into a campaign designed to defeat a proposal in Austin, Texas.
The proposal, known as Proposition A, would provide additional funding to the police departments, and this proposal is set to be present on the ballot proposal for the November 2 election.
Proposition A was originally created by Save Austin Now, a conservative group. This proposition would require a minimum of two Austin police offers for every 1,000 Austin residents. Moreover, this proposal would also provide an additional 30 hours of police training per year, focusing on topics such as active shooter scenarios and weapons proficiency.
Per various financial records, which were reviewed by Fox News, the Open Society Policy Center donated $500,000 in the past week to Equity Austin, which is a group working towards defeating Proposition A.
Austin City Council member Mackenzie Kelly blasted Soros’s open interference in the upcoming elections, noting that she is “[sickened]” by the fact that “out of town billionaires are able to swoop into Austin to fight against ballot initiatives” that had been spearheaded by citizens.
“The purpose of our city’s charter is to allow regular, everyday people to fight for what they believe in when the [Austin City Council] fails them,” Kelly continued.
However, the co-founders of Save Austin have now taken advantage of Soros’s opposition, which has been utilized to generate additional fundraising support.
National left wing interests are trying to destroy public safety in Austin.
Help us ensure adequate police staffing, increase community policing, double police training and enact sensible police reforms.
— Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) October 1, 2021
Save Austin co-founders Cleo Petricek and Matt Mackowiak issued a press release in response to Soros’s donation, noting that “massive out of state funding for [defunding police] two things/”
The first realization is that Austin-based donors will not support the anti-Proposition A campaign, while the second realization is that “the stakes in this effort to restore public safety to Austin could not be [any] higher.”
The co-founders subsequently vowed to “fight twice as hard,” adding that they hope “all [their] supporters will as well.”
After George Floyd protests broke out across the nation in the past year, the Austin City Council decided to shred $150M from its budget for police departments. This amount of funding represents approximately one-third of the total budget, and it was reinvested “into other public services.”
While the Austin Police Department received some funding back earlier in the year, not all of the police units that were terminated have been able to return.
In the meantime, Austin has also viewed a strong increase in homicides in the past twelve months. Moreover, due to massive shortages in police staffing, Austin residents have been encouraged to dial 311, rather than 911, in order to report non-emergencies.