Decriminalize Homelessness in Austin, TX
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On June 21, 2019, the Austin City Council voted overwhelmingly to decriminalize homelessness, including lying down, sleeping and camping in public areas in Austin and focus instead on aggressive behavior, public safety, and constitutionally protected speech.
Public spaces in Austin belong to homeless people too! Homeless people have a constitutional right to use public spaces in Austin, including Downtown, to survive, particularly given that our public and private sectors have criminalized, demeaned, and disenfranchised them.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that: "Austin's new homelessness policy makes public camping — except on parkland — legal, as long as a person does not endanger “the health or safety of another person or of themselves” or make “usage of such area unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous.”
Politifact Texas rated False Travis County Republican Party's statement that Austin's homelessness policies allow “homeless camps on private property, business frontage, and even public sidewalks”. Politifact Texas found the statement to be an "inaccurate characterization of Austin’s new policies, which only regulate public property."
Fact: Austin's new homelessness policies do not allow homeless people to camp on private property!
Facts and Myths about homelessness: https://www.frontsteps.org/homeless-myths/
Take Action Now: Please urge the Austin City Council to:
- Stand firm on its decision to decriminalize and end homelessness.
- Provide housing and homeless services for homeless people.
- Address health and safety issues with trash pickup, access to toilets, and storage lockers.
Please use the following link to send one email to all eleven members of the Austin City Council: https://www.austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members
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