On Sunday, tech billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned that Austin, Texas must be cautious to remain its own city and not turn into a “copycat” of San Francisco, from which many Americans fled the furthest-left policies in the country.
Musk was responding to an article from Fox News that looked at how Austin had reportedly made “the largest cut” to police budgets “of any major city” in the country.
Journalist Zaid Jilani wrote about how after the city “implemented one of the biggest police budget cuts” that the “homicide rate soared,” which infuriated voters who now wish to boost the police ranks.
The Fox News article added that since the massive budget cut to the police force, Austin saw a 71% jump in homicides. It notes that while homicides were up overall across the country, Austin was still amongst the worst spikes of any city.
Decreased funding for Austin PD meant that cadet classes got chopped, making it increasingly difficult to add police officers to the force. Additionally, specialized forces were cut as well, and attrition soared. By May of this year, there was a 30% increased wait time for 911 call responses.
Musk’s comments on Austin’s political environment follow mere weeks after he announced that he would be relocating his tech company’s headquarters, Tesla, from California to Austin.
A local paper in Austin reported that the manufacturing facility was being constructed at a cost of $1.1 billion and hailed Austin’s rise as a “technology hub” to which Tesla has added itself. The report also notes how Musk made good on his threat to California lawmakers that he would relocated to either Nevada or Texas if they wouldn’t ease up on their burdensome regulations.
Musk says that he’s very excited for the move and plans “to create an ecological paradise… around the Colorado River.”
Musk explained how in their previous location that it was difficult for people to afford housing and drive to the headquarters, but now in Austin the factory lies “five minutes from the airport.” “It’s gonna be great,” Musk added.
Author: Kathryn Rogers