Pharaoh Adler, Let My People Go!

In a 9-2 vote in February, Austin City Council banned outside assemblies of seven or more people between the hours of 7 a.m and 10 p.m., effectively outlawing backyard BBQs, birthday parties, bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, bar mitzvahs, Quinceaneras and family reunions at Short Term Rental properties. People that have paid high dollars to rent these private properties will be forced to comply with the ordinance or receive a fine, or worse, have their private events & vacations interrupted by City of Austin code compliance and a visit from Austin Police department.

Austin City Council has official run amok with Short Term Rentals. Council Member Don Zimmerman will be there to discuss all of this at our Our July 25th meeting. Details below.

The ordinance also bans inside gatherings of more than 10 people at any one time, regardless of a rental’s square footage or how many people the property can accommodate. This not only makes large family gatherings an awful affair, but also punishes owners of large properties who can no longer legally rent to capacity.

What is even more outrageous, in order to make sure that citizens are doing what they are told, the City of Austin has given its code officials the ability to conduct warrantless searches, at all reasonable times, of “all buildings, dwelling units, guest rooms and premises” in search of possible code violations. Since some of the restrictions do not go into effect until after 10 p.m. it is possible that officials could show up in the dead of night to search every nook and cranny for a Short Term Rental property looking for any sign of bad behavior, all without a search warrant.

Pharaoh Adler, Let My People Go!

Speakers include Council Member Don Zimmerman and Michael Cargill. Others will be announced shortly.

This is TAG’s July 25th meeting, which is held from 7pm to 9pm. All ages are welcome and get there early if you’re interested in ordering dinner.

Event will be hosted by Michael Cargill of Texans for Accountable Government.

Event is Free

7PM TO 9PM: Scholz Garten 1607 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, Texas 78701

Scholz Beer Garten (Austin)

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June 27th: 2nd Annual Civil Forfeiture Panel with Institute for Justice, TPPF, and TAG

Civil Forfeiture has also been called ‘Policing For Profit’ because it is the ability for law enforcement agencies to take a person’s property and keep it without a criminal conviction. Civil Forfeiture underwrites the budgets of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies as well as prosecutors, and though this practice ostensibly expedites crime fighting, it is now apparent that there’s more harm being done to innocent people than we could’ve ever anticipated.

The Texas State Supreme Court has ruled on the merit of Civil Forfeiture and has stated that even if one’s 4th and 5th Amendment rights are violated, their property may still be seized. Is there still room for reform, or must Texas abolish Civil Forfeiture entirely, as New Mexico has, in order to ensure that people are secure in their person and property.

Should local and state agencies be allowed to continue the practice ‘equitable sharing’ with federal agencies, or should Texas assert its independence and prevent the subversion of state law?

Who will champion these reforms during the next legislative session?

Our panelists include members from Institute for Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation, and Texans for Accountable Government.

This is TAG’s June meeting, which is held from 7pm to 9pm. All ages are welcome and get there early if you’re interested in ordering dinner.

Moderated by Justin Arman, Executive Director of Texans for Accountable Government.

Event is Free

When: June 27th, 2016 7PM TO 9PM: Scholz Garten 1607 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, Texas 78701

>> Facebook Event

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An update on the APD Body Camera Policy

Austin City Council will consider Austin Police Department’s $17 million proposal to hire Taser as its body camera contractor this Thursday, May 19. The City Council meeting starts at 9:55 a.m. on Thursday May 19. The items are 30 and 31 on the agenda.

You can review the APD Body Camera Policy here. The city council is not voting on the policy this week, but we do need to start the conversation.

Some concerns:
Footage cannot be shown to “embarrass” an employee of APD, a restriction that might be used to withhold footage that shows an officer doing something wrong.
Officers are not required to notify people when they’re being recorded.
Officers are given a lot of discretion in deciding when to turn the cameras on.
There should be a process for deleting footage, unless it’s required for an on-going investigation.
We also need a clearer process for releasing footage under public information requests.
Please contact Austin City Council and the Public Safety Commission and ask them require a more thorough policy that takes into account community input.

For more information on body camera policy recommendations by groups like Center for Constitutional Right, ACLU, Cato and the Urban Institute, visit

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TAG Hosting Panel Against Drug War: Cops, Docs and Clergy Event on Feb 13th

Cops, Docs and Clergy: Speaking with One Voice Against the War on Drugs. Decades ago, the War on Drugs was championed as an effort to prevent drug abuse. Since then, this war has cost the United States over a trillion dollars and millions of lives. Today, 1 in 35 American adults is under control of the criminal justice system, with arrests, convictions, and lengthy sentences impacting Blacks and Latinos disproportionately. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, claiming the lives of more than 44,000 people each year, and tens of thousands of people in Mexico and Central America have been killed, disappeared, or displaced because of drug war violence.

Now, with a united front, we band together to bring forward a sensible approach to drug policy, with a focus on public health and compassionate rehabilitation, rather than incarceration.

Join us on Saturday, February 13th for a community event focused on the negative impact of prohibition. Hosted by Texans for Accountable Government at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin and co-sponsored by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Clergy for a New Drug Policy, the event will feature a panel of expert speakers including a Rev. Al Sharp, Dr. Bryon Adinoff and retired Narcotics Detective, Russ Jones.

In addition to a moderated discussion, panelists will take questions from the audience, offering an opportunity for community participation. A primary objective of this event is to empower attendees to make a difference in Texas, and offer them the resources and confidence to do so.

**Free and open to the public.**

Where: Agard – Lovinggood Auditorium, Huston Tillotson (150 seats)
Parking: Map Attached
When:February 13th from 2pm – 4pm
Reception at Easy Tiger to follow 4pm – snacks provided

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November 30th TAG Meeting – Scholtz Garten

Location: 1607 San Jacinto Blvd. Austin, Texas 78701

Time: 6:30pm to 9pm

All ages welcome.

There is a lot to cover at this meeting.

The theme of this meeting is police accountability and how we can create change on a local level.

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