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Police Accountability Is Good For the Environment: Yes on A / No on B

Many people in Austin don’t even realize there is a May election every year, let alone that there is an extraordinarily important issue on the May 2023 ballot. The Sierra Club has endorsed Prop A to lay a foundation for strong police oversight and accountability in Austin. Sierra Club is also against Prop B, which would make independent police oversight even more illegal.

Why does Sierra Club support work on police accountability? The Sierra Club supports all social justice issues because there is no climate justice without racial justice. We must fight against all injustices in society, not just environmental problems.

Why is police accountability an environmental issue in Austin? Austin Energy (AE)’s profits from dirty fossil fuels provide millions of dollars to the City’s budget. The state government requires Austin to give too much funding to our Police Department— millions of dollars beyond what previous City Councils wanted to spend. This results in the City not having enough funding in the following ways:

  • Can’t fund new public safety/public health, such as burying our city’s powerlines

  • Lack of budget flexibility for AE is one factor why our electric bills went up last year

  • Can’t fund other needs identified by residents: parks improvements, additional EMS staffing and new ambulances, expanding access to electric vehicle charging stations or community solar around Austin

  • AE failed to agree on a settlement with LCRA to retire the Fayette coal power plant

So how does ✅Prop A build police accountability and why is ❌Prop B bad?

Prop A will ensure that police misconduct investigations include independent investigations from civilians (non-police) and ensure future police contracts contain strong oversight.

Court settlements for police misconduct cost city taxpayers almost $20 million last year and millions more the last few months. Prop A will reduce those costs by deterring misconduct.

Prop A will ensure that accountability and oversight are required in every police contract.

Prop B would be harmful, eliminating anonymous complaints, preventing people convicted of a past crime from serving on a police oversight panel, and blocking independent investigations.

When and how can you vote?

Early voting started Monday, April 24th and runs through Tues May, 2nd. Election Day itself is May Sat, 6th

For more info, check out

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