SAN ANTONIO – In San Antonio’s city election on May 1, no race mobilized voters like Proposition B.
The high-profile ballot measure, which proposed stripping San Antonio police officers of their right to collectively bargain, garnered more than 152,000 votes, roughly 2,000 more votes than the mayoral election.
After months of contentious campaigning, voters narrowly defeated the proposition by a margin of less than 3 percentage points.
New data obtained by KSAT 12 from the Bexar County Elections Department showed how each precinct voted on Proposition B. Voters were counted in the precinct where they live regardless of where they voted, according to election officials.
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Voters who live in precincts downtown and generally inside Loop 410 were more likely to vote for Proposition B, the data shows.
On the other hand, voters in the suburbs and outside of Loop 410 generally opposed the measure.
Some precincts outside of Loop 410 along I-10 on the Northwest Side voted at higher rates for the measure.
The precincts with the largest share of opposition to the measure reside on the far South Side and far North Side, near Stone Oak.
Voters were evenly split in nine precincts, the data showed. In 94 precincts, one side beat the other by five percentage points or less, showing just how close this race turned out to be.
Fix SAPD, the group that organized the ballot effort, argued that the San Antonio Police Officers Association’s collective bargaining rights hinders transparency and accountability. They pointed to the San Antonio Police Department’s high rehire rate among officers fired for misconduct.
The union argued that without collective bargaining rights, police officer benefits would suffer, making it harder for the police department to recruit and retain quality officers.
In the end, voters decided against Proposition B by a margin of 51.15% to 48.85%, a margin of roughly 3,000 votes.
Though the effort fell short, Fix SAPD organizers were energized by the results.
“Those 3,000 votes really comes down to a matter of resources and being able to reach folks,” Deputy Director Ananda Tomas said shortly after the election. “We are a brand-new, grassroots organization - we haven’t even hit our one-year anniversary yet - going against an established political machine, which is the San Antonio Police Officers Association.”
Fix SAPD has pledged to continue organizing to reform the police department, meaning they will likely pursue future proposition efforts if they can garner enough signatures again.
Despite the victory, SAPOA President John “Danny” Diaz acknowledged that the results showed that the union has work to do if they want to keep the trust of the public.
“We have to get out in the community and show 49% of the citizens here in San Antonio that it’s not what it’s been portrayed out to be,” Diaz said.
Read more on KSAT’s data journalism page:
KSAT Explains: Proposition B in San Antonio
Fix SAPD sees shades of victory even in Prop B’s defeat
With a rise in homicides comes a rise in unsolved cases in San Antonio