Fix SAPD sees shades of victory even in Prop B’s defeat
The ballot measure to strip San Antonio police officers of their collective bargaining power fell short by 3,475 votes - a 2.3 percent margin. To Fix SAPD, the group that circulated the petition to get the issue onto the ballot, that slim defeat shows “the community is ready for change.”
‘Wide open:’ Bexar Facts poll shows many San Antonio voters still undecided on Proposition B
The results of a newly released poll show that the fate of Prop B, a high-profile initiative that would strip San Antonio police of their collective bargaining power, looks to be a toss up with less than a month to go before the May 1 election.
Police union won’t rule out pre-election contract; few straight answers from council members if they’d vote on it
And it appears possible that, depending on the terms, there could be enough council members willing to vote on such a deal ahead of the election. That’s when the city council is scheduled to canvas the election results and make them official. The union has expressed doubt that council members would be willing to vote on a deal while the election is happening. AdIt’s true that considering a pre-election police contract would put council members in a tight spot. KSAT contacted each council member’s office to ask about their willingness to vote on a contract before voters make their decision on Proposition B.
San Antonio police union rejects call for FBI investigation of alleged intimidation of Fix SAPD petitioners
click to enlarge Courtesy Photo / Fix SAPDOpponents of Fix SAPD's petition drive hold up signs at a polling site where volunteers collected signatures last fall. The measure will appear on the May 1 ballot.Earlier this month, longtime East Side activist and former city councilman Mario Salas asked the FBI to look into allegations Fix SAPD volunteers faced harassment from union supporters while they approached voters. represent Fix SAPD and the way that we work or speak to our community." But Tomas said that both petitioners and voters felt intimidated by SAPOA volunteers and recruits. He added that supporters of Fix SAPD — the group backing the ballot measure — "enoughabilityHowever, Diaz said Fix SAPD, not the union, engaged in intimidation.sacurrent.com
San Antonio police reform group asks FBI to investigate alleged harassment by SAPD officers
click to enlarge James DobbinsProtesters march by a San Antonio police officer at a demonstration last year. thethat volunteers on the petition drive, which began last fall, faced harassment fromCourtesy Photo / San Antonio Coalition for Police AccountabilityThis photo shared by police accountability activists purports to show a man harassing a petition volunteer. Volunteers affiliated with Fix SAPD recently shared accounts with the Current of being harassed and intimidated while collecting signatures. Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. "San Antonio Police Chief William McManus was provided the photo image and he confirmed to me that the vehicle was registered to a San Antonio police officer," writes Salas, acting chair of the San Antonio Coalition for Police Accountability.Salas also shared a photo with thethat he said shows a man harassing a petition volunteer as she does her job.sacurrent.com
Fix SAPD members says police union set stage for harassment as they campaign for Prop B
click to enlarge Courtesy of Fix SAPDOpponents of Fix SAPD's petition drive hold up signs at a polling site where volunteers collected signatures last fall. click to enlarge Courtesy of Fix SAPDThis door hanger claims a change to the way San Antonio police bargain for benefits would create "slower response times and more crime." Then law enforcement officers showed up.“All of the sudden, you hear these people who were saying ‘Lies! Some were wearing badges and T-shirts with the San Antonio police union branding. “And I just hope that the city of San Antonio remains courageous at the ballot box and votes yes to repeal chapter 174.”sacurrent.com
What you need to know about voting in the San Antonio city, school election in May 2021
SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio municipal election is slated for May 1, the first Saturday in May. We’ve collected everything you need to know about voting in the 2021 city election below. AdEarly voting for the 2021 San Antonio municipal election begins on Monday, April 19 and ends on Tuesday, April 27. San Antonio MayorIn the race for San Antonio mayor, incumbent Ron Nirenberg and former city councilman Greg Brockhouse headline a 14-candidate field. Brockhouse was elected to City Council in 2017 and has served in several senior roles for other City Council members.
‘It is a threat:’ Police union blasts proposition that would repeal SAPD’s collective bargaining rights
SAPOA President Danny Diaz accused Fix SAPD — the organization that spearheaded the movement behind Prop B — of lying to the voters about the true intentions of the proposal. “These organizations work on a wealth of issues from fixing police contracts to supporting candidates for some of them, district attorney reform, mobilizing black voters, aiding refugee and immigrant families. But Diaz said the repeal amounts to defunding by taking away their seat at the bargaining table. Diaz also invited Alonzio Hardin, the president of the San Antonio Black Police Officers Coalition, to speak. AdREAD MORE: Protections for police officers accused of misconduct in San Antonio
San Antonio City Council approves police reform and housing bond amendments for May 1 ballot
click to enlarge James DobbinsBlack Lives Matter supporters listen to a speaker during one of many protests against police violence held in San Antonio last year. That was the required threshold to let voters decide the fate of collective bargaining for the powerful union.Fix SAPD and other activists groups argue that the union has wielded its clout to win protections that shield bad officers. Roughly two-thirds of SAPD officers fired during the past decade were reinstated, largely through an arbitration process guaranteed under the union's current contract.Arguing that the loss of collective bargaining would thwart SAPD's ability to recruit and hire officers, the union has pledged to aggressively fight the proposed amendment. Other labor organizations have also announced their opposition.The other referendum approved Thursday would allow the city to make land purchases, construction of new housing and refurbishment of aging homes part of bond packages — something it's previously been unable to do.City staff altered the language of that amendment to make it more specific to affordable housing after some council members worried that the original language was too broad. They expressed concern that the proposal, as originally worded, would create a virtual blank check for special projects.sacurrent.com
Video, police reports, social media reveals tension between San Antonio police union and Fix SAPD reform group
The May killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police sparked international protests, including weeks of demonstrations in San Antonio. Just yelling, yelling in their faces,” said Fix SAPD Deputy Director Ananda Tomas, who added that it was far from an isolated incident. It impacts us in a great way when we have a bully that just will not let San Antonio be, will not let San Antonio speak.”Ad“(SAPOA is) a club. Back SA Blue social media accounts have used pictures of Fix SAPD petitioners in many of their posts. Martin said any repeal measures pushed by Fix SAPD would only apply to SAPD, and not to other first responders in San Antonio.
San Antonio Police Association responds to city certifying petition from Fix SAPD
Kin Man Hui /Staff photographerThe San Antonio Police Association recently responded to the certified Fix SAPD petition that resulted in San Antonio residents being allowed to vote on the May ballot on whether to repeal Chapter 174, which deals with collective bargaining rights for police officers, or not. The city's clerk office announced the certification on Thursday in a news release after Fix SAPD submitted a sufficient number of valid signatures, as required by state law, on Jan. 8. Joshua Fechter, of the San Antonio Express-News, first reported the volunteer organization turned in more than 20,000 signatures.mysanantonio.com
With petition certified, voters will decide on repeal of SAPD’s collective bargaining rights
SAN ANTONIO – A petition filed by Fix SAPD was validated Thursday, allowing the potential repeal of San Antonio police officers’ collective bargaining rights, City Clerk Tina Flores announced in news release Thursday. With the petition certified, voters will now choose whether to opt out of a state law that provides collective bargaining rights for San Antonio police officers in the May 1 election. Effectively, if voters approve measure, the police union’s leverage over negotiations with city officials would be kneecapped. AdThe current collective bargaining agreement contains several protections for officers accused of misconduct, making it difficult for disciplinary action to withstand the appeal process. If voters do not repeal the collective bargaining rights of police officers, city officials hope to address many of those protections in the upcoming contract negotiations.
City of San Antonio will hold first collective bargaining meeting with police union on Feb. 12
SAN ANTONIO – Changes to police officer discipline will be the City of San Antonio’s focus when it meets with the San Antonio Police Officers Association next month to begin negotiations over the next police union contract. City staff laid out the city’s priorities for the upcoming collective bargaining process during Wednesday’s city council meeting. The city now seeks that all past misconduct is considered in the discipline process. Most of the department’s budget -- about $387 million -- is determined by the current union contract. The evergreen clause in effect would allow the current contract to remain in place for up to eight years if negotiations are unsuccessful.
Group claims police union threatened petitioners looking to change SAPD
SAN ANTONIO – Members of group whose say their goal is to hold bad San Antonio police officers accountable want to refute what they say are “false claims” about them. The San Antonio Coalition for Police Accountability says it plans to call out the San Antonio Police Officers Association at a press event set for Saturday. Fix SAPD is currently campaigning to gather enough signatures from citizens to revoke two laws that they say weaken officer accountability. And I personally know these people that are all from San Antonio,” Salas said. Salas said SAPOA has falsely claimed Fix SAPD was being funded by dark money, and that their petitioners were threatening people.
Reform group turns in 20,000 signatures to let San Antonio vote to curb police union power
click to enlarge Jaime MonzonActivists demand police accountability during a protest earlier this year. Police accountability group Fix SAPD on Friday submitted more than 20,000 signed petitions to city officials in a bid to let voters decide whether San Antonio cops should be able to engage in collective bargaining.If the city clerk verifies the signatures, voters would decide in May whether to repeal Chapter 174 of the Texas Local Government Code, which gives cops and firefighters the ability to collectively bargain for new labor contracts.Fix SAPD collected the signatures with the aid of Texas Organizing Project and other groups as San Antonio's police union gears up to negotiate for a new employment pact.“Fix SAPD is about getting rid of the barriers that shield bad police officers and protect them from the consequences of their misconduct,” Fix SAPD founder Ojiyoma Martin said in a statement supplied to KSAT . “This is about accountability for the police, not getting rid of them.”In a statement released Friday, the San Antonio Police Officers Association alleged that it received "credible reports" some of the signatures were collected fraudulently.The city clerk's office will spend the next 20 days certifying the signatures. If they pass a required threshold just shy of 20,000, the proposal can be added to the May ballot.The San Antonio Police Department has faced increased public scrutiny after a series of high-profile cases in which officers accused of gross misconduct were returned to the force by an arbitration process guaranteed under its labor contract. Around two-thirds of San Antonio Police Department officers fired during the past decade were reinstated after arbitration hearings.sacurrent.com
Fix SAPD group turns in petition to change department’s collective bargaining process with 20,000 signatures
Fix SAPD announced that their petition to repeal Chapter 174 — which allows for police officers to participate in collective bargaining for a contract — on the next ballot in May. The petition received the 20,000 signatures necessary to give voters the chance to opt out of the law that makes collective bargaining possible for first responders in San Antonio. But in a recent appearance with the new president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association, McManus appeared to oppose Fix SAPD’s efforts. “Let me answer it this way, I’m not opposed to collective bargaining. Prior history can be used as evidence if the allegations include “violence, substance abuse and incompetence,” according to the collective bargaining agreement.
DreamWeek’s virtual discussions aim to build civic engagement
click to enlarge Sarah Brooke LyonsDreamWeek, San Antonio’s annual celebration of the multicultural legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., is in its ninth year, and its calendar is as full as ever. The only 2021 caveat is that many of its events have moved into the virtual sphere.Local organizations will use virtual discussions to build civic engagement around issues of tolerance, equality and diversity, all fitting into DreamWeek’s 2021 theme of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”Here’s a selection of events happening during the ten-day summit. For details on other DreamWeek-affiliated events, visit dreamweek.org Hosted by the Center for Health Care Services, this panel discussion will center around ways for organizations to incorporate mental health initiatives and better support employee wellbeing.Board members of police accountability group Fix SAPD will discuss police oversight in San Antonio and ways citizens can take action. Topics include a petition drive by the group, SAPD collective bargaining and Texas’ proposed George Floyd Act.The Migrant Center for Human Rights is hosting a five-part podcast series discussing the incoming Biden Administration’s likely approach to immigration policy and how citizens can advocate for positive change.San Antonio’s chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace will facilitate a panel discussion on the pursuit of happiness during the fight for civil rights. Community leaders from diverse backgrounds will discuss how marginalized groups are disproportionally affected by gun violence.sacurrent.com
‘We are focused around police accountability, plain and simple,” says Fix SAPD leader
SAN ANTONIO – A leader of Fix SAPD, a group focused on police accountability, joined KSAT Q&A Tuesday to share the group’s goal of getting the San Antonio police union to revisit two of the most controversial chapters in the union contract. “We’re not looking to overthrow the system, but we are for is a commonsense solution,” said Amanda Tomas, one of the group’s organizers. Fix SAPD need 20,000 signatures to get chapter 174, which allows for police officers and firefighters to participate in collective bargaining for a contract, on the ballot. “These laws protects bad officers, good officers don’t need them,” Tomas said. Though the current collective bargaining agreement expires Sep. 30, 2021, it also has an eight-year evergreen clause that Helle says would keep it in effect until Sep. 30, 2029.
San Antonio police union faces calls for reform as 2 petitions circulate
The special found that between 2010 and 2019, two-thirds of SAPD officers who were fired ended up getting their jobs back. Allowing bad police officers to still wear that badge and still wear that uniform is actually a disservice to good police officers, Martin said. Its actually sad because a lot of these issues we can resolve at the negotiating table, said Mike Helle, president of the San Antonio Police Officers Association. She said she feels the only SAPD officers who would quit are the ones with bad intentions. The petitions will have to have tens of thousands of signatures, and only then will the possible repeals be put before San Antonio voters in the May 2021 election.