Resolution for Solidarity in the Fight Against Racism and Police Violence in our Community

WHEREAS,​ the Austin AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, since its founding in 1957, has been committed to the principle of multiracial solidarity, advocating for social and economic justice to vanquish oppression and make our communities better for all people,

WHEREAS,​ the Austin AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, since its founding in 1957, has been dedicating to the belief that human rights are sacred, and

WHEREAS,​ the Austin AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, since its founding in 1957, has been committed to the principle that an injury to one is an injury to all, and

WHEREAS,​ the Austin AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, since its founding in 1957, served along with its members, and civil rights leaders throughout history, at the forefront of the civil rights movement, in the fight for justice and equality for all, and

WHEREAS,​ the Austin AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, and its members, have watched with growing dismay as the city of Austin continues to see occurrences of unlawful excessive force and police shootings in communities of color, and

WHEREAS,​ the Austin AFL-CIO Central Labor Council, and its members have watched with growing dismay, the Austin Police Department ignore community-based efforts to institute sustainable police reform in communities of color, as well as police accountability procedures and oversite related to public service and civilian oversight;

WHEREAS,​ The Austin Police Association (an organization not affiliated with the Austin AFL-CIO Central Labor Council) have shielded their members from discipline when they violate the civil rights of members of the community by using excessive force, have been a barrier to police accountability and reform efforts, and have conducted themselves in a way that runs counter to the values of the equality and justice that are core principles of the broader labor movement;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT HEREBY​ R​ESOLVED​, that the Austin AFL-CIO Central Labor Council:

  1. Reaffirms its commitment to the fight for equality and justice by standing in solidarity with community civil rights and social justice organizations;
  2. Urges the Austin City Manager, Mayor, and City Council Members to demand the resignations of the failed public safety leadership: Chief Brian Manley, his Chief of Staff Troy Gay and the civilian management lead Assistant City Manager Rey Arellano for failing to institute police reform in communities of color, and/or establish police accountability procedures for excessive force and police shootings in our communities;
  3. Support the efforts of community organizers in demands for an independent investigation into the shooting of Mike Ramos in April 26, 2020 and Javier Ambler in March 28, 2019;
  4. Urges the Austin Police Department to delay the start of future Police Academy Training Programs and instead implement a training and police reform program to ensure current officers and new cadets receive scenario-based training in realistic situations where law enforcement officers can develop and refine skills to better serve in our communities;
  5. Urges the Austin Police Department to implement de-escalation training to prevent unnecessary deaths and police officer shootings by teaching officers to use communication techniques and strategies to defuse potentially dangerous situations; and
  6. Urges the Austin Police Department to stop the use of rubber bullets, pepper spray, batons, tasers, and tear gas on members of our community, and decline military surplus equipment.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED​,that the Austin AFL-CIO Central Labor Council encourages its members and affiliates to join in protest against police brutality in all forms along-side other civil rights and social justice organizations in our community, and support community efforts to reallocate taxpayer resources away from policing, placing more focus on community medical, mental health, and social services at the city and county level during the budget process.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,​ that the Austin AFL-CIO Central Labor Council calls on the Austin Police Association to embrace labor principles of equality and justice by willingly incorporating community demands for further accountability and reform into their collective bargaining agreement.

Co-authored by Cheryl Lee CWA #6132 and Amanda Cavazos Weems CWA #6186

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