While the outcome of the Justice Charter will be determined by the will of the people of San Antonio and not the members of the City Council, nonetheless, several residents have asked me about my position on the proposed City Charter revisions.
I will be voting NO to Proposition A.
I agree in principle with some portions of the Justice Charter, but cannot vote for it in it’s entirety.
My oposition to the Justice Charter is a result of meeting with all of the stakeholders. I met with members of the Justice Charter coalition, sat down with members of local law enforcement, read the petition, reviewed the ballot language, spoke to residents in the neighorhoods of District 7, and read numerous news articles that provide information about what Prop A will and will not do.
The San Antonio City Attorney Andy Segovia has said that aside from the creation of a Justice Director (who is not to have law enforcement experience) the changes proposed are unenforceable under state law. In other words, it will not decriminalize marijuana. Furthermore, Segovia, has said all but the ‘justice director’ measure would be unenforceable under state laws. This sets up the entire proposition on unsteady footing. If it passes, there would be a slew of legal battles. Instead, I propose we use the time, energy, money and resources focusing on the root cause of why people are committing low-level crimes. Lets use that time, money, energy and resource into investing in education, breaking poverty cycles, housing stability etc.
While Cite and Release has been around since 2019, and has been proven effective in saving taxpayer dollars in booking costs, the part of Prop A that I do not agree with is that it would remove the Police Officers discretion to make arrests. This equates to us telling police officers how to do their job. We pay police officers to serve and protect our community. I do not feel we need to get into a micro-managing position on how to do this.
Finally, the Justice Charter calls for ALL Class C Misdemeanors to fall under the Cite and Release policy, with the only exception being Class C Public Intoxication. That means voyerism (a peeping Tom) or people to who break into vehicles or the windows of a small business would only get a ticket or a verbal warning from SAPD.
I encourage you to do your own research. Here’s some helpful links:
Express News Articles: What is ‘Prop A’ Justice Charter on San Antonio’s May Ballot Explained
Marina Alderete Gavito for District 7 Campaign
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