Texas

Coalition submits 35,000 signatures to make sweeping changes to city charter amendment.

SAN ANTONIO — On Tuesday, a coalition of more than a dozen organizations submitted more than 35,000 signatures to the city clerk’s office in hopes of making sweeping changes to San Antonio’s city charter that voters will decide in the May election.

According to a press release, the San Antonio Charter of Justice aims to amend the city’s charter by enacting a justice policy that will reduce unnecessary arrests, mitigate racial bias, and conserve scarce public resources through a comprehensive set of popular reforms, including :

  • Stopping control of marijuana possession at a low level

  • Ending the enforcement of “crimes” for abortion

  • Banning police warrants without knocking

  • Prohibition of police chokeholds

  • Precedence of fines over arrests for low-level non-violent crimes

Some of the organizations supporting these efforts include Ground Game Texas, Act 4 SA, Texas Organizing Project, Party for Socialism and Liberation, SA Stands, and MOVE Texas.

“Once again, Ground Game Texas is proud to partner with great local organizations to successfully vote on popular progressive reforms that will enhance public safety and protect fundamental rights,” said Julie Oliver, chief executive of Ground Game Texas. “The San Antonio Justice Charter is a groundbreaking initiative that will make San Antonio a model for public safety reform in Texas and the nation, and we look forward to presenting it to voters during the May vote.”

While it is likely that the amendment will be passed on the ballot, opposition from the police union is undeniable.

“The main problem is that it happens at will. It’s cutting back on the tools of the profession that officers have to be able to use them to the best of their ability to make sure they save lives,” San Antonio Police Officers Association President Danny Diaz said in a recent interview with KSAT. 12 news.

Diaz said it was “the same threat” as the 2021 fight for “Support B”, a ballot initiative that would deprive his union of the ability to collectively negotiate a contract. However, according to him, this time everything is “completely different”.

“Now we have a little more time to educate the community and citizens to understand what they want,” Diaz said.

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Copyright 2023 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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