Reinstatement of the public camping ban for the vote in May 2021
The next step is for the Austin City Council to approve the voting language, which must be done by February 12th.
Austin, Texas – – On Tuesday, the Texas Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of Save Austin Now PAC’s lawsuit alleging that the voting language passed by Austin City Council was unfair and detrimental, and distorted actual petition language in an attempt to deliberately bias voters against the public camping ban which will appear on the ballot paper on May 1st.
Save Austin Now PAC Co-Counsel Bill Aleshire made the following statement on behalf of relators Linda Durnin, Eric Krohn and Michael Lovins:
“We won. The council has to change the wording of the Prop B ballot. The opinion and the dissenting opinion also indicate that the election results could be contested if the council does not use the heading of the proposed regulations on the ballot.” All of the Supreme Court justices felt that the city council’s voting language was illegal. The majority believed that the Council’s language that the regulation is a criminal offense for “anyone” who camps or lies down on the sidewalk would mislead voters. And 3 judges believed that the city council was required to use the neutral wording of the heading in the proposed regulation as the language of choice as the city charter requires it. Both the opinion and the dissenting opinion can be read as a strong warning to the city council: If the council does not accept the electoral language prescribed in the city charter and Prop B fails, an electoral challenge is likely to be successful. “
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Austin homeless camping ban could be back in May 2021
The first attempt to reinstate the ban was invalidated back in August and they decided to try again from December 1st.
In January, Save Austin Now filed more than 27,000 petitions with the city clerk to reinstate the public camping ban for the May 2021 vote.
The ordinance reinstates the ban on camping for homeless people across the city, restores the sit / lie ordinance in the city center and extends it to the UT campus and the surrounding area, as well as nightly panhandling throughout the city from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m.
Save Austin Now co-founders Matt Mackowiak and Cleo Petricek, SafeHorns President Joel McNew, and Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday issued a press release to express their support for the ban.
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SafeHorns and Save Austin Now PAC member responded to council’s homeless decisions
Austin City Council approved the purchase of another hotel to house the homeless and passed by as well
Save Austin Now says it will now create a PAC to conduct its election phase activities. Further information on the organization can be found here.
The first attempt to reinstate the ban was invalidated back in August, and Save Austin Now decided to try again from December 1st.
Save Austin Now is also calling for a “thorough and independent” review of Austin’s spending on homeless programs. The organization wants the audit to focus specifically on residential facilities purchased by the city since July 1, 2019, when the first changes to homeless camping regulations went into effect, including any information on commissions related to property purchases and sales .