Austin Local News
Austin City Councilmember reacts to Gov. Abbott's suggestion to reinstate camping ban
Austin City Council is set to clarify its homeless ordinances in regular session Thursday, Oct. 17th, but will the proposed action be enough to appease Governor Greg Abbott?
For Councilmember Ann Kitchen, the question doen't really matter, she says, she will act to address homelessness in the City of Austin and whether the Governor is satisfied with what the council does, is not part of that equation, she said, "My goal, is not to satisfy Governor Abbott. My Goal is to address homelessness in the City of Austin." However, restrictions are part of Kitchen's and others on council's work. Kitchen points to ideas and proposals from council that would restrict where people can and cannot camp as prime examples, but she did note that the fundamental need is to connect people to housing. Kitchen added, "we've been on that path before Governor Abbott said anything and we're continuing on that path."
In another letter to Austin's Mayor, Governor Abbott said he agrees with an APD recommendation to reinstate the old camping code, while council comes up with a plan. You can read his letter below.
Governor Greg Abbott supports reinstating Austin's previous public camping ban.
Governor Abbott has put out another letter to Austin's Mayor Steve Adler about the homelessness crisis. In it, the Governor writes, he agrees with APD Chief Brian Manley's suggestion to reinstate the camping ban.
At a press conference last week (October 3rd), Chief Brian Manley said, "and although I know it doesn't necessarily meet the political will of our mayor and council right now, as the police chief...charged with maintaining public safety, I have suggested that we put the old ordinances back in place, while we work through a final solution."
Abbott said while the ban is not a total solution, it is an essential part of demonstrating consequential improvement. And, "Absent steps like reinstating the camping ban ," Gov. Abbott wrote the state will hove no choice but step in to, "achieve a similar result."
(Governor Abbott's letter to Mayor Adler Oct 10th)