Final month, town’s newly shaped joint city-community Reimagining Public Security activity power released its 2021 mid-year suggestions report. At over 70 pages lengthy, the report’s proposals vary from well-liked police reform coverage modifications to concepts that may essentially reshape the way in which town operates.
Early within the report, the duty power makes its ambitions and worldview clear, stating, “The U.S. turned the wealthiest nation on this planet through intentional insurance policies and practices of exploitation and genocide.”
It continues, “The system of racial capitalism has cemented a racial hierarchy in all markers of life, together with well being, earnings and wealth, with white communities on the prime, Black communities on the backside, and different communities of coloration in between.”
Among the many extra well-liked reforms beneficial is the decoupling of town’s police power from visitors cease enforcement. The proposal advocates for hiring and coaching unarmed civil servants to direct visitors and make stops for transferring violations. Related reforms geared toward eliminating racial profiling in visitors stops are making headway in Virginia, Oregon, and even Houston.
The duty power makes related proposals with different “non-crime associated issues,” like psychological well being calls, interactions with town’s homeless inhabitants and noise complaints.
The report doesn’t draw back from making quite a few extra sweeping proposals. For instance, if a tenant has lived in the identical abode since 1980, their lease wouldn’t exceed a “most base lease,” successfully establishing lease management for some longtime Austin residents.
One other proposal that would change life in Austin is testing out a assured earnings program. In accordance with the report, this system would distribute $1,000 a month to 200 households for one 12 months, focusing on those that want the funds probably the most. The logistics of this system would largely be dealt with by town’s Fairness Workplace.
The duty power additionally requires extra citizen entry to metropolis sources like metropolis buildings, tools and police automobiles, and even goes so far as to “demand public and group possession of metropolis fairness and property.”
One advice proposes setting apart $500,000 a 12 months to “create a subsidy program to incentivize landlords to lease at decreased and stabilized charges to low-income trans individuals of coloration” and a further $600,000 to fund “black trans-led initiatives across the metropolis, together with a group housing belief.”
The point of interest for a lot of of those proposed modifications are neighborhood “hubs” that may be managed by “native grassroots organizations and administered by town’s Fairness Workplace in collaboration with Austin Public Well being.”
The hubs, which might be situated all through town, would deal with a lot of the boots-on-the floor work of useful resource distribution. The report urges that a minimum of 5 of those hubs be established beginning in Fiscal Yr 2021-22.
Ought to this hub mannequin be adopted, the duty power envisions the hubs being staffed and managed by local people members who might “attain residents at their doorstep in an effort to meet wants and bridge the hole left by poor accessibility and navigation.”
Which, if any, of those grand proposals might be adopted stays to be seen, however to date a minimum of one of many report’s long-term objectives – eliminating police cadet courses – appears to have fallen flat.
Final week, Metropolis Council voted to authorize a cadet class, on a trial foundation, that’s set to start in June. Below this up to date pilot coaching mannequin, cadets might be required to take a category on the historical past of policing in America.
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