AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin voters will have the option to vote “yes” or “no” on two separate propositions this Election Day. Both will impact police oversight.

KXAN has extensively covered the groups behind these competing propositions — one a political action committee focused on public safety and the other backed by the Austin Police Association — but who’s funding those groups? Let’s get into it.

Prop A: Equity Action

The group behind Prop A, Equity Action, wants the Office of Police Oversight to have more access to police files, among other changes. You can read more about each proposition here.

Of the more than $790,000 Equity Action has raised since April 1, 2022, more than $770,000 of it is coming from outside of Austin, City of Austin campaign finance data shows. The majority of that money comes from only two groups, the Heising-Simons Foundation ($450,000) and Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies ($325,000).

The Heising-Simons Foundation lists its address as Los Altos, California and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman organization from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“We were able to raise a significant amount of money from national foundations for a digital campaign and, you know, people have seen our ad in The Chronicle, what have you. Those things are extremely expensive. And I think that we’ve been able to bring in that money because national groups see Austin as this proxy war for police accountability nationwide,” Rebecca Webber, who is on the board for Equity Action, said.

Equity Action notes the Heising-Simons Foundation contributes annually and changed its grant timeline this year, which means there are two large contributions in the data for this time period though there wouldn’t normally be.

Equity Action also points out, state law requires the nonprofit and political action committee (PAC) to report all dollars contributed, regardless of whether they are for Prop A or not. The nonprofit estimated non-campaign expenses during the same time period were around $250,000.

“We report everything,” Webber said. “But I think what people need to remember is we aren’t just doing this.”

That leaves roughly $540,000 fundraised for Prop A. Of that, only around $20,000 came from organizations or people with an address in Austin, the data shows. There were more than 160 individual donations in that group. The average donation was $125.

“I think Austin, whether it wants to or not, is often a proxy for these larger battles that are going on around the country, in this case, around accountability for police officers and what level of access that citizens should have to review decisions and policies followed by police officers,” Webber said.

Prop B: The Voters for Oversight and Police Accountability (VOPA)

The police union-backed Prop B has far fewer contributions, according to the city data. Since April 1, 2022, it has reported roughly $100,000 in total contributions.

The Corpus Christi Police Officer’s Association accounted for $1,500 of that funding. The Committee for Public Safety Fort Worth Police Officer’s Association accounted for another $5,000.

Most of the money raised, nearly $90,000, is from the Austin Police Association, the same data shows. KXAN was the first to report that the petition was police association-backed before it officially made the ballot.

“The APA is aware of the troubling trend in local politics wherein outside sources are funneling large amounts of money into elections that have serious implications for the citizens that live in Austin.  This trend is most certainly at play with Equity Action and Prop A receiving over 90% of their funds from sources outside of Austin. It is our hope that future election cycles focus on truly grassroots local campaign strategies,” the Austin Police Association said in a statement to KXAN.

You can read more about each proposition here.