NAACP challenges Austin mayor on budget, institutional racism

NAACP challenges Austin mayor on budget, institutional racism (KXAN Photo)
NAACP challenges Austin mayor on budget, institutional racism (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Members of the Austin NAACP challenged Austin Mayor Steve Adler and other city leaders on their proposed budget Thursday morning.

The civil rights group said the city’s financial blueprint does not allocate enough money to fund initiatives designed to revitalize Austin’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods, like east Austin.

“The resources required to revitalize the ‘Spirit of East Austin’ and [Adler’s] subsequent ‘Task Force on Institutional Racism’ are virtually non-existent and ring a familiar tone of promissory notes that are insufficient to address the disparities,” group members wrote in a press release.

NAACP members are also challenging interim City Manager Elaine Hart to find money for “all commissions that are facing disparate impact challenges.”

In April, the city unveiled a special task force designed to study and create a plan to address racism throughout Austin. The Institutional Racism and Systemic Inequalities Task Force looked at a slew of issues ranging from education, health care and housing. Mayor Adler put the group together in November, after a report on systemic institutional racism in Austin. 

Adler’s decision to complete the study was fueled by two controversial use-of-force cases among city police officers, namely the Breaion King arrest and the deadly shooting of David Joseph.

The civil right’s group said it wants the city to look at ways to eliminate the city’s status as one of the most economically segregated cities in the country.

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