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Monday, June 21, 2021

Austin City Officials Spent $23K on Gift Cards for Anti-Police Organization

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Forget using tax dollars on roads and public infrastructure. Instead, Democrat-run Austin City Hall is funneling your hard-earned money to their preferred political activists.

Back in March, city hall’s Chief Equity Officer Brion Oaks sent an email to local anti-police organization Grassroots Leadership, discussing a plan to purchase Visa gift cards with public funds and offer them to citizens specifically selected by the organization.

The cards would be a cash incentive to get their preferred people to testify at an upcoming virtual public meeting on police “reimagining.”

“Grassroots Leadership proposes to provide stipends in the form of gift cards for participation of community members in the [city-appointed Reimagining Public Safety] Task Force Community Listening Session to be held Saturday, April 10,” read a memo to the city.

In order to do this, Grassroots will collect a list of people providing input, as well as work in collaboration with the RPS Task Force membership to develop eligibility criteria and follow-up questions to ensure the feedback gathered is centered in and supporting those most impacted by police violence.

Grassroots Leadership has stated immediate goals of defunding the Austin Police Department by 50 percent this year, a “robust 5-year plan for defunding, divestment, and disbandment of the APD,” and a “10-year plan to defund policing across Austin and Travis County.”

City officials obliged the gift card plan, ordering 400 $50 Visa gift cards—using taxpayer money—and giving a special provision to Grassroots Leadership as a preferred vendor with the city.

Officials also paid the organization a $2,000 “administrative cost” to distribute the gift cards to people who met that “eligibility criteria.”

Citizens took to social media in response.

“It seems that not a single day goes by without something new coming out about the corruption going on in Austin under the banner of ‘reimagining

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