DALLAS — Even though voters overwhelmingly rejected Prop A in Austin, the co-founder of the group behind it says he’s still encouraged.
Matt Mackowiak says he believes the city will hire hundreds more officers over the next year as a result of the public pressure.
And even though it may not be at the level Prop A supporters were seeking, two officers for every 1,000 residents, Mackowiak says it will be better than nothing.
“If they follow through with that, that’s going to be an improvement. That’s not going to be enough. And it’s not going to be what we wanted. But it’s going to be better than where we are now,” Mackowiak said on Inside Texas Politics.
Mackowiak’s group Save Austin Now gathered the signatures to add Prop A to the ballot on Nov. 2. While it suffered a stinging defeat, the group had a big victory back in May when Austin voters approved another of the group’s ballot measures that reinstated a homeless camping ban in the city.
At this point, they’re still dissecting the loss, so they’re not sure if they’ll push for Prop A – or any other measure – to be on the ballot next May.
“We’ll see. We haven’t decided yet. We have to understand exactly what happened here. We had a very significant victory in May. We had a significant defeat in November. And so, we want to be thoughtful and see what the voters were telling us, look through the data and see why this happened,” said Mackowiak.
One thing is for sure, Save Austin Now will try to be a major player in municipal elections next year in Austin.
Mackowiak says they are actively recruiting candidates to run for Mayor and the five City Council seats that are on the 2022 ballot (Districts 1, 3, 5, 8, 9).
“We need mainstream people who are focused on solving problems,” he said. “It’s not about Republican versus Democrat. You don’t even run as a partisan figure at the city level. You don’t run in primaries. You just run as individuals.”
City of Austin Elections: Elections | AustinTexas.gov
Save Austin Now: Save Austin Now (asafeaustinnow.com)