Austin mayor turning city hall into a homeless camp spot

 Bryan Preston:

Mayor Steve Adler’s Austin is still getting worse. He led the explosion of homeless camping citywide and the defunding of police.

Police are leaving in droves, crime is spiking hard, and homeless camping has spread serious blight all over the city. Now that blight is concentrating downtown, thanks to another of Adler’s addle-brained decisions.

If you walk or drive around city hall in Austin, Texas, now, you’ll see a new tent city. It sprung up after voters in the city overwhelmingly agreed to reinstate the ban on camping on public land on May 1.

Even when camping was legal everywhere else, it was still banned at city hall. Adler and the then-unanimous Democrat city council took care of itself that way, while allowing the rest of the city to become a trash heap and a disease and fire hazard.

Now, because the voters have spoken, the ban is being phased back in citywide.

But city hall is occupied. A tent city with its own machete-wielding “security” squats on space on which it has always been illegal to camp.

Mayor Steve Adler is doing nothing about it.

Last week, PJM reported on an incident that happened outside city hall when Councilmember Mackenzie Kelly was trying to speak to media. Kelly was harassed by an activist who repeatedly shouted profanities at her.

Since then, Kelly has been harassed repeatedly. In one case, the harassers carried weapons.


Local TV station KXAN reports:

Camping isn’t allowed at City Hall or in city parks. It was illegal even before the citywide ban.

“I’ve been told by the City Manager’s office and APD that this is a protest and a free speech zone, and so, as such, they’re not moving these individuals right now,” Kelly said.

On Monday, KXAN spoke with a woman experiencing homelessness at City Hall who explained that those camping outside of the building have formed their own “security detail.”


Councilmember Kelly is one of the few sane members of the city governing body.  That is why she was harassed by the illegal campers, i.e. "protesters."  I am not sure what Adler's vision for the city is at this point but it looks like he wants to replicate the same mistakes LA and San Francisco made with the homeless.


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