By: Amy Jo Underwood
Austin, Texas, has increasingly had an explosion in a dangerous and expanding homeless population. The woke liberal city council, in the likes of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle, lifted a ban on public camping, resulting in rising crime and mentally-ill individuals left to sleep on the streets. Austin residents decided to take matters into their own hands and led an initiative to pass better city policies.
The city of Austin has had a far-left Democrat city council for the past several years. A chief policy of the “woke” liberal ideology resulted in an increase in homelessness, due to the city council lifting a 20-year ban on public camping in the summer of 2019. Crime drastically rose, and homelessness on the streets has reached a ten-year high, due to homeless individuals leaving shelters and opting to camp in public areas.
An Austin woman told VICE News, “Once you’re in the middle of it, you change your mind on how you approach this situation. As your safety declines, so does your compassion. Every time I have to pick up human [feces], my liberal-ness just got lowered one more notch.”
Mayor Steve Adler admitted that lifting the camping ban failed, and added that "Going back to where we were we know doesn't work – and what we're doing now we also know doesn't work.”
Save Austin Now, a bipartisan group, stated, “Crime has skyrocketed 43%. We’re on track for more murders this year than in the last 3 years combined. Lawlessness is not helping the homeless and it’s not helping Austin. … 1/5 of Austin’s homeless left shelters for the streets while the overall number of homeless simultaneously shot up.”
Austin residents decided to fix the problem themselves, and gathered over 27,000 signatures on a petition to reinstate the camping ban and find a workable solution.
On Saturday, Austin residents voted to reinstate the ban. Matt Mackowiak, Travis County Republican Party chair, stated, “One thing seems pretty clear, people on both sides of this issue want to see public camping end.”
Mackowiak added, “This election underscores that we need to accelerate and scale a solution to end camping. Our next step is to get people out of tents and into better, safer places with the critical services needed to keep them out of tents.”
While the Austin City Council attempted to push a leftist agenda, the people of the city stood up and pushed back against policies that threatened safety for both the homeless and the others in the city.
“Tonight is a clear message the City of Austin sent to City Hall that we’re not going to put up with insane policies that make life worse.” - Matt Mackowiak, Travis County Republican Party chair