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Austin City Council to honor Jennifer Gale today

Members of the Austin City Council will pause during today’s meeting to remember frequent Council candidate Jennifer Gale, who was found dead Wednesday morning outside a church in central Austin. Gale was scheduled to speak at today’s Council meeting, but instead the Council will play a tape of her remarks at a committee meeting on Tuesday.


Council Member Randi Shade was at that meeting and was stunned to learn of Gale’s death. “I never, every would have expected that would have been the last time I would have seen her,” Shade said. “I did really think about her specifically because of the cold weather and knowing that she lived on the streets.”

An official ruling on the cause of Gale’s death has not been made. The National Weather Service recorded an overnight low temperature Tuesday of 37 degrees at Camp Mabry just west of downtown. Officials with the City of Austin’s Health and Human Services Department say the city’s shelters were not full Tuesday night.

Although there was space available, Richard Troxell with House the Homeless said Gale usually preferred to stay on her own. “There is a policy at the ARCH for transsexual folks that allows them to use the facilities without too much disruption to people, but there are always people who have concerns,” he said. “Jennifer Gale, she basically went her own way and kept to herself.”

Gale frequently spoke at Council meetings about the need for additional services for the homeless along with other topics such as health care and the war in Iraq.
 
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