Save Austin Now Slams City’s Proposal to Move Homeless into Encampments Across City

Placing Encampments Inside City Parks Ignores What 90,000+ Voters Demanded May 1st
 
Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – Today nonpartisan nonprofit Save Austin Now issued a statement in response to the city’s enforcement plan for the public camping ban that was reinstated by a strong majority of Austin voters on May 1st:

Save Austin Now co-founders Matt Mackowiak & Cleo Petricek released the following statement after evaluations were provided regarding the city’s proposed homeless encampments:

“We want to highlight that on May 11th the city on began enforcement of Proposition B, the strong, bipartisan vote that reversed the 2019 decision to allow unregulated homeless encampments across our city. Unfortunately, today the City Manager released to council a plan that would not only ignore the will of the 58% majority of Austinites who went to the polls but make matters worse by placing permanent encampments in every single neighborhood in Austin, and in many cases inside city parks or near locations with large collections of children and families like libraries.
 
"Placing homeless encampments permanently in every single City Council District doesn’t’ just ignore the will of 58% of Austin voters, it throws hot water in their face.
 
"We will fight every single encampment location that destroys our environment or risks the safety of families and children.

“The proposal is based on the premise that city councilors do not want to make any difficult decisions, and as such want there to be homeless encampments designated in every single city council district in our city. The proposals include some of our most beautiful parks, including:
 
  • Walter E. Long
  • Commons Ford
  • Mary Moore Searight
  • Bull Creek
  • Roy G. Guerrero
  • John Treviño Jr.
  • Circle C
  • and Dick Nichols.
  • They also want to take over Five Recreation Centers used predominantly by low income working Austinites:
    • Parque Zaragoza Rec,
    • Givens Rec,
    • Northwest Rec,
    • South Austin Rec,
    • and Austin Rec. 
“What the voters said was clear. If we need to be even more clear: First, no homeless encampment should be designated within walking distance of a pre-k, primary, middle, or high school. Second, no city park or recreation center, which are used disproportionately by low income working Austinites, should be turned into a permanent homeless encampment. 

“Austinites came out to vote for Proposition B, according to our polls, for two primary reasons:
  • First, the city council’s policy led to their beloved parks being overrun with trash, needles, and feces.
  • Second, feelings of safety in neighborhoods and around schools close to encampments had plummeted.
  • Third, personal experiences and encounters with verbal and sometimes physical harassment.
“As we await Senate floor consideration, days after Austin voters passed Proposition B, the Texas House passed HB 1925, legislation authored by State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R-Keller) which bans public camping statewide. The bipartisan vote was 88-56, with six Democratic ‘aye’ votes, and includes penalties for cities that forbid law enforcement and other agencies from enforcing laws on the books, which the city is doing now.

"Since May 1st, Austin has deliberately failed to enforce what voters voted for. The State bill also requires cities receive state approval before designating homeless encampments. It is so unfortunate that despite broad, bipartisan majorities giving City Council clear guidelines, they continue to ignore the will of the people."

To learn more about Save Austin Now, visit http://www.SaveAustinNow.com.
 
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