TEXAS: On Wednesday, December 1, 2021, the voter engagement and mobilization organization Ground Game Texas will hold a media event at Austin City Hall to announce the success of their campaign to secure a citywide ballot initiative. The initiative, known as the “Austin Freedom Act of 2021,” would amend the Austin City Code to decriminalize low-level marijuana offenses and ban ‘no knock’ warrants by police officers in Austin.
“Thanks to the tireless efforts of on-the-ground organizers from Ground Game Texas and partner organizations, Austin residents will soon have the ability to make lasting change to our antiquated and racist criminal justice laws,” said Mike Siegel, Political Director of Ground Game Texas. “With successful campaigns like these, Ground Game Texas will continue to empower and excite communities around progressive change — and deliver for the marginalized communities that too often get left behind.”
Representatives from Ground Game Texas will deliver more than 30,000 signatures to city officials, surpassing the 20,000 signature threshold needed to place the initiative on the upcoming November citywide ballot. According to recent polling, at least 87% of Texas voters support legalizing marijuana for medical and/or recreational use, and at least 75% of Texans support banning “no knock” warrants that allow police officers to break into someone’s home without identifying themselves beforehand. The media availability will be held outside the Austin City Clerk’s office on Wednesday at 11:00am CT (details below).
Through their campaign, Ground Game Texas also identified more than 10,000 Austin residents in need of updating or changing their voter registration information. In addition to the Austin ballot initiative campaign, Ground Game Texas is using the ballot initiative process to raise the wages of city employees and contractors in Mission, Texas, and will launch several more campaigns throughout Texas in 2022.
The following organizations and individuals supported the Austin Freedom Act of 2021:
Austin Justice Coalition
Ground Game Texas
Austin City Council Member Greg Casar
Austin City Council Member Vanessa Fuentes
Texas Criminal Justice Coalition
Texas Fair Defense Project
Planning Our Communities
Details for Wednesday Media Event
WHAT: Media event announcing Austin ballot initiative
WHO: Representatives from: Ground Game Texas, Austin City Councilwoman Vanessa Fuentes, Mayor Pro-Tem Natasha Madison-Harper (District 1 Council Member)
WHERE: Austin City Clerk’s Office – 301 W. Second St., Suite 1120, Austin, TX 78701
WHEN: Wednesday, December 1 at 8:45 am CT (Organizers will turn in forms at 8:45am and be available to media at 9:00am)
RSVP: Email email@example.com to RSVP for the media event or request interviews. Representatives from Ground Game will be available for interviews after delivering the signatures to the city clerk’s office.