Not on the Ballot: Police Oversight

But Council could adopt ordinance anyway

APD officers make an arrest on Sixth Street on June 11, 2022 (Photo by John Anderson)

Austin's criminal justice reform groups, organized as part of the larger left-leaning political action committee Equity Action, had hoped to place their citizen initiative to beef up Austin police oversight on the high-turnout Nov. 8 ballot, alongside a mayor's race, for maximum exposure. But they brought in their more-than-enough signatures (about 32,000, says Equity Action) with not much time to spare, and the City Clerk's Office has notified Council that it would not have enough time to validate the petition in time for Council to authorize the election this week. Instead, the groups backing the Austin Police Oversight Act are pressuring Council to adopt the ordinance as is, without sending it to voters, which is always an option when initiatives are submitted. This seems unlikely. Down in San Marcos, some of the same groups and their Hays County allies helped craft a marijuana decriminalization proposal that will be on the ballot there.

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