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Austin City Council to discuss reinstatement of Austin's homeless camping ban Tuesday

Austin City Council will discuss a reinstatement of Austin’s homeless camping ban on Tuesday (Photo: CBS Austin)
Austin City Council will discuss a reinstatement of Austin’s homeless camping ban on Tuesday (Photo: CBS Austin)
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Will voters get a say this may on reinstating Austin’s camping ban? That’s the decision Austin City Council will make at Tuesday’s Special Called Meeting.

This comes just days after city council voted to move forward with the purchase of a fourth hotel to house people experiencing homelessness.

Save Austin Now submitted over the number of signatures needed in their push to reinstate Austin’s camping ban, and now it’s city council’s decision to either adopt the ordinance changes as written in the petition or call a citywide election in May.

“I don’t anticipate the city council going backwards. We’ve already tried that, and our homeless challenge was growing exponentially. We know that that does not work,” Adler said. “I think ultimately, this is a matter that needs to go before the voters. The item that we got that concerns homelessness, I think has to go on the ballot in May,” said Mayor Steve Adler.

Adler said although he hopes voters don’t pass the ordinance, he admits there needs to be change.

“At the same time, I hear what people are saying and I drive around the city and I think we have to do a better job at managing spaces that are supposed to be shared publicly. So, I don’t support going backwards in time, but I think we need to do differently than what we’re doing now,” Adler said.

Save Austin Now, a nonprofit turned PAC said the fight doesn’t stop here.

“It’s not too much to ask that we should have a safe and clean city that’s safe for residents and safe for the homeless,” said Matt Mackowiak, Save Austin Now Co-founder. “It’s a reflection of the intensity that Austinites feel to take their city back to save our city from the chaos.”

Mackowiak said the goal wasn’t just to get on the ballot, but to save Austin.

“We’re not saying reinstating the camping ban will fix the problem of homelessness. All we’re saying is that where we are today is far worse than where we were a year in a half ago when the camping ordinance was put into effect,” Mackowiak said.

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