We are less than a month away from a special election, where Austinites will be voting on a measure that could possibly push ridesharing services Uber and Lyft out of town. A local organization pushed to get voters educated on the measure this weekend.
The ballot measure is Proposition One, and will let voters decide if ridesharing drivers should be fingerprinted The League of Women Voters held a forum at a local church to educate people on the ballot that has been called confusing and misleading. City Councilmember Elle Troxclair was one of the four panel members. “There is a lot of misinformation out there, and so I think it's important to clear up that fingerprinting does not make you safer and it's only one tiny piece of a much larger public safety conversation,” said. Laura Morrison was a former city councilmember also on the panel, she is against Prop 1. “It's not about whether or not you like Uber and Lyft, it's about whether you want corporations writing their regulations in their own self-interest, or you want our city government and our council writing regulations for the people’s interest,” she said.
Those for the measure said at the forum this never should have been an issue in the first place. “The city staff never recommended that fingerprinting be involved in city regulations, but it's the taxi companies that came and lobbied for this, and now we are put in this position where you have to defend something that is working well for Austin like ridesharing is,” Councilmember Troxclair said.
Morrison said Uber and Lyft have put its money in the wrong effort. “They spent 2.2 million dollars more than any election as far as I know in the city of Austin. The fact of the matter is they probably could have fingerprinted all of their drivers in the city of Austin for 2.2 million dollars, it could have saved everybody a whole lot of effort,” she said.
Neil Omalley is one of dozens who attended the forum. He said everyone should have a better understanding and get educated about the measure before deciding in May. “Looking into it initially, I thought I had the whole perspective. But going to something like this, reading up more on the reports that have been done or about the meetings in the city, you start to learn the entire nuances behind it all, so don't think you have all the information until you're involved as possible,” he said.
For more information on the League of Women Voters in Austin and the measure you can visit here.