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The advocacy group founded by liberal billionaire financier George Soros has invested $500,000 in a campaign to defeat a proposal in Austin, Texas, that would increase the city’s police department.

Proposition A, Austin ballot proposal The November 2 election, supported by the Save Austin Now group, will require at least two Austin police officers for every 1,000 residents and provide an additional 40 hours of police training each year to officers on topics such as weapons proficiency and active shooter scenarios. Will do .

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Austin, Texas, police will stop responding to non-emergencies starting today

According to financial records reviewed by Granthshala News, Soros’ Open Society Policy Center last week donated $500,000 to Equity Austin, a group working to defeat Proposition A.

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“It sickens me that billionaires out of town are able to sneak into Austin to fight against citizen-led voting initiatives,” Austin City Council member Mackenzie Kelly said in a statement to Granthshala News. “The purpose of our city charter is to allow regular, ordinary people to fight for what they believe in when the city council fails them.”

The co-founders of Save Austin Now used Soros Opposition as a fundraising point with supporters.

“The massive out-of-state funding for our opponents shows two things: Austin donors didn’t fund the Anti-Prop A campaign and the stakes in this effort to restore public safety to Austin couldn’t be higher,” Matt McCovic and Cleo Petricek said in a joint statement. “Now we are going to fight twice as hard and we hope all our supporters will do the same.”

In the wake of George Floyd protests last year, the Austin City Council voted to cut up to $150 million from its police department budget—a little more than a third of its total budget—and reinvest that money into other public services. . The department was partially refunded earlier this year, but not all units that were deducted came back.

Meanwhile, Austin has seen a huge increase in homicides over the past year, and due to a shortage of police staff, residents are being encouraged to call 311 instead of 911 to report non-emergencies.