Look where the money is going instead. Including $50M to a "Reimagine Safety Fund." Food access. Not food, per se, which is generally inexpensive and easy to get to those who don't have enough, wherever they are. Access, though, that's different. That's jobs for people who want to talk about food deserts, and trying to encourage poor people to eat other foods. And condemning, er, things that need condemning, whatever that is this month.
Underlying all of these budget changes is taking jobs away from conservatives in order to give them to liberals. Rising rates of violence and actual public safety are irrelevant. It's about distribution of largess.
"Austin City Council votes to cut police department budget by one-third, reinvest money in social services": That will turn out...poorly.
I went to a breakout session at a Diversity Summit at the U a few years back. One recent hire was supposed to work with Amerindian outreach. She was deeply cheesed off that a student group had, without consulting her, done some outreach on their own for one of their programs.
I had a couple of fairly specific suggestions based on my observations in our department. These were received with some suspicion, though the group facilitator seemed relieved that there was something semi-practical for a change. However, the thing N-1 of us firmly agreed on was "we need more funding for this."
I attended a meeting this week of the Economic Development Committee of the local Council of Governments. They spent the whole time discussing some organizational guidelines and mission statements, first congratulating themselves on how well they were put together, then turning to the possibility of adding color and graphics, then finally moving on the important question of whether funding was available to have them revamped professionally. This was my second meeting since joining the committee to represent my county; we have yet to discuss anything economic.
You sound surprised.
The first thing I noticed in the explainers about how Defund The Police doesn't mean Spend Less Money was the shift from spending on 'new collar' cops to jobs filled by people who probably graduated with a grievance studies major and six figures in student loans.
Now that I think of it a little more, "food access" is actually a little problematic. Not too many supermarkets are staffed with masochists who enjoy being robbed, or funded by people who like customers loading up carts with expensive stuff and dashing it out the emergency exit to a waiting car.
So "food access" could mean finding ways to strong-arm chains to keep stores open in terrible neighborhoods. Given the up-front costs, I don't think they'd have a lot of luck getting anything bigger than a mom-and-pop to open, and even those would be grifted out the wazoo--i.e. the lion's share of the money going to the connected. "The shortages will be divided among the peasants."
In general, the use of part pseudo-social-science and part-squishy-superannuated-hippie terminology like "reimagine" is an indicator that somebody doesn't know what they're doing.
Food deserts in Austin- not quite what they seem. The USDA's Food Deserts? More Like A Mirage. This article is 9 years old, so it is somewhat dated, but much is probably current.
Is enough being done to combat food deserts in the city of Austin? has a list of grocery stores in Austin. Target and Wal-Mart are not included in the list; both sell a fair amount of groceries.
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