AUSTIN — As a pivotal election fight unfolds in Texas’ capital city, Tesla CEO and California refugee Elon Musk is urging Texans to prevent their state from decaying into the place he just fled.

“Austin should be its [own] city, not a San Francisco copycat,” Musk tweeted Sunday.

Musk’s comment was in response to a Fox News article about the current community debate in Austin over the “defund the police” movement.

At issue is the contentious November ballot question Proposition A, a citizen-organized public safety proposal that, if approved by voters, would reform and restore adequate police officers to the severely understaffed Austin Police Department.

Among several reforms, the proposition would enact the nationally recognized “Safe City Standard” in Austin to require two police officers per 1,000 citizens.

The citizen campaign came after a public safety disaster in Austin over the past year, tracing back to when the Democrat-run Austin City Council unanimously voted in August 2020 to defund the APD by up to $150 million (one-third of their budget) and cancel three police cadet training academies. That decision sparked a catastrophic series of events: APD lost hundreds of officers, disbanded numerous units, has “dramatically slower” 911 response times, and most recently, is no longer dispatching officers to numerous 911 calls—all while a record killing spree unfolds on the streets.

“Austin implemented one of the biggest police budget cuts. Their homicide rate soared over the next year, and today the surge is larger than most of the country,” wrote Zaid Jilani, the author of the Fox News article. “Now, voters will decide whether to boost the ranks of the police.”

“[S]ince the budget cut, Austin has gotten much less safe,” the article reads. “According to statistics compiled by the data analysis firm AH Datalytics, the city has seen a nearly 71% increase in homicides over the past year. While homicides have increased nationwide since 2020, Austin’s increase is one of the largest the firm has tracked.”

“Recently, the Austin Police Department asked the public here to start calling 311 instead of 911 for a host of emergencies and certain crimes, citing, in part, the staffing shortage that they have. They just simply don’t have the manpower,” Lars Trautman, national director of Right on Crime, told Fox News.

As the election fight has unfolded in Austin, leftists and out-of-state mega-donors such as far-left New York billionaire George Soros have recently poured hundreds of thousands of dollars to stop the Proposition A effort, including posting grossly misleading signs throughout the city.

Furthermore, Austin’s Democrat local officials have already enacted numerous San Francisco-esque policies on citizens in the city—including suffocating taxes, restrictions on affordable housing, and a recent homeless public camping disaster. However, Austinites—not Soros or local officials—will ultimately decide on the current public safety proposal.

Musk’s warning about California also comes after the billionaire CEO is moving many of his operations — including most recently the Tesla Headquarters — to Texas. Musk, during California’s crippling shutdown restrictions over the past two years, publicly called out the state’s officials as “fascist,” and doesn’t want the same destructive policies in the Lone Star State.

“Californian migrants, please remember that you are coming to TX as refugees and not as missionaries. Act accordingly,” one individual replied in Musk’s recent tweet thread.

“Thank you @elonmusk for saying that!” wrote Cleo Petricek, co-founder of Save Austin Now, the citizen group leading the Proposition A effort. “We rejected [San Francisco’s] inhumane camping and we don’t want SF lawlessness from defunding police on our streets either!”

“Keep Austin, Austin- don’t come here only to vote for the same policies that made you leave California,” another replied. “Think Before you vote this November. Look at the cold hard facts of why people are leaving democratic run cities.”

Election Day is Tuesday, November 2.

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.