The Basic Needs Coalition of Central Texas
entered the Proposition 1
charter-amendment fracas this week, saying they fear passage of the online amendment may cripple social-services spending by the city. An umbrella organization of 32 local groups that work on providing social services to the most needy (including Meals on Wheels, AIDS Services of Austin, Caritas, United Way Capital Area, and others), the coalition's concern lies with the proposition's potential cost. "Any charter amendment which requires immediate and significant spending to implement will likely put at risk the city's ability to adequately address health and human service needs," reads the coalition resolution, released at a Monday morning City Hall press conference, where organizers said it had been unanimously adopted by the coalition membership. "Specifically, the $36 million estimated cost to implement Proposition 1 poses a direct threat to the city's continuing support of social services and basic needs assistance."
For its part, proposition pushers Clean Austin released a television ad last week hoping to assuage voter's fears. While not speaking directly to cost, the ad addresses what they see as opponents' misinformation. Over a banging gavel, the ad intones, "An Austin judge actually ruled that opponents' wild charges were misleading and unfair." Those opponents would be City Council, their "wild charges" the biased ballot language they were ordered to redraft. In Fact Daily reports Clean Austin is buying a whopping $100,000 worth of airtime for the spot.