2021 was a year in which America’s police scored several victories amidst the chaos that has become institutionalized by the Left. While violent crime was sadly up in many of America’s major cities who participated in the “defund” movement, 2021 also marked a retreat from many of these activist-politicians who were forced to refund their departments. There were also major victories against radical ballot measures, such as an attempt to abolish the police department in Minneapolis.
But the truth is, the fight is not over yet. In places where radical Leftist policy makers remain entrenched, crime is still spiraling out of control. This is why 2022 is so important. 2022 marks a federal election year in which hundreds of races will come together to decide the path our country takes in coming years. This year, the Left’s “reimagining” police will be on the ballot across the country. We will surely see many politicians double down on their platforms and continue to support unpopular legislation.
Winning at the local and state level is an imperative to defeating this movement. Below are some examples of potential ballot measures to look at for and noteworthy mayoral races in cities that the Left wants to reimagine police:
Austin is a leftwing stronghold within Texas’ conservative state. The local government has been eager to join the Leftist project of “reimagining policing” since the movement took off in the summer of 2020. At the beginning of January the city clerk announced a new initiative which gained over 20,000 signatures which would allow the city council to eliminate “no knock” warrants or send the proposal to the local ballots in May.
The initiative if adopted would “define a no-knock search warrant as any search warrant that does not require the officer to knock and announce their presence and wait at least 15 seconds prior to execution,” and forbid Austin city police from executing them.
California has been a hotspot of increased criminality as local politicians have fully embraced the “defund” ethos in Leftwing cities like Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Francisco.
A newly proposed ballot measure for 2022 would further this trend if brought to voters later this year. The California Changes to Police Unions, Qualified Immunity, and Excessive Force Laws Initiative would “limit when police officers may be shielded from liability for excessive force under the federal “qualified immunity” defense. Requires officers found guilty of excessive force be fired and barred from future service. Requires officers report, and intervene to stop, use of excessive force by other officers.”
This measure would enshrine in state law the politicization of police use of force, place undue civil liability on officers, and subjectively punish those who don’t “intervene” when a third party authority decides it would have been necessary.
Austin also has a highly consequential mayoral race taking place in 2022 which will help determine which direction Austin takes toward law enforcement policies into the future.
While it is still early in the game, one of the first candidates to announce their run is Texas state legislator, Democrat Celia Israel. Israel is a vocal supporter of the Left’s “police reform” movement, writing in an op-ed for the Austin American Statesman that: “On the local level, we can reimagine how we respond to matters of public safety – in a time of mental health crisis, we can send a mental health professional. For a person experiencing homelessness, rather than sending a police officer, we can send a social worker.”
These are the dog whistles of the defund movement, and while she did not call for that directly, it is likely that if Israel were to win the mayor’s office that the defund initiative would find a welcomed seat at her table.
Our nation’s capital under the leadership of Mayor Muriel Bowser has become WOKE and suffers from all the usual symptoms of this ideology, including anti-law enforcement policy making and increasing crime waves.
In 2020, DC reduced its police departments budget by $15 million, leading to lower hires, and predictably, hirer crime. By last year, Bowser was already backtracking on the decision and requested a larger budget. Still, violent crime soared. Law Enforcement Today noted that in 2021, 416 people were murdered in DC and surrounding suburbs. “The rise in violent crime in the area for 2021 has reached levels not seen in over a decade,” the outlet said.
Bowser will be seeking re-election in a race which will determine if the people of the city will continue to tolerate her failed Leftist policies.
These are just a few examples of potentially significant ballot measures and political races which will be on the line in 2022. What’s clear is that radical Leftwing politicians are simply indifferent to the lack of support for their agenda. The above noted legislation and political races are local in scope, but are emblematic of the broader national struggle to define law enforcement policy and control.
While Joe Biden, for example, did not campaign on radical Leftism, the president is seemingly captive to that branch of his party. Now, President Biden is rumored to be using presidential power to unilaterally impose Leftwing “reforms” on law enforcement through executive order. This confirms that much of the Left’s law enforcement agenda is not popular enough to pass through legislative channels, and that likewise, this agenda will be forced through whenever possible despite this fact.
What to Expect in 2022
2022 is going to be a critical year in beating back the Left’s unpopular and failing law enforcement initiatives and hopefully end their attempts to “reimagine policing” for the foreseeable future.
We believe the power is in the people, and that it is at the grassroots level that we will be able to elevate leaders who share our values, and defeat legislation which runs against the safety of our communities and supports the police who protect them. Our success is your success, and to continue to be effective this year, we need the support of our members. 2022 is our chance for big victories; we hope that you will continue to support us with your donations and that you will join us on the ground. Let’s win in 2022 together!