Austin’s fall did not begin with the pandemic, the lockdowns, or the riots.
It began with Mayor Steve Adler and the city council, all Democrats, voting to allow homeless people to camp out all over town (except city hall). That happened in June 2019. Within mere days, as police were no longer allowed to curb or control homeless camping, tent cities appeared all over town. They appeared under overpasses and on sidewalks, and in this case, on a watershed slope between a nice neighborhood and a creek.
An Austin resident noticed a couple of campers next to his neighborhood, Windsor Park, and began capturing this shocking video of them.
In the video, trash piles up, the homeless are seen using drugs, and they become aggressive with anyone who tries to capture images of them or their camp.
Around December, Ludlow began documenting the growth, filming the camp’s transformation. He says he made the decision to record because “we started having more and more people walk behind our houses.”
Joseph Whittle lives in an apartment complex bordering the camp. “There’s been more tents going up, and tarps placed over trees, and just, in general, the occupancy,” he said.
Whittle says he put out a camera to watch his car after his friend’s motorcycle was stolen. He says he would not buy a home that borders the creek. “There’s a lot of theft and breaking and entering that happens here,” he said.
The media reached out to the city’s Watershed Department, which says the last clean-up of the area was on March 6, and that it stopped cleaning when a contractor withdrew due to the pandemic. That’s at least half a lie; the video chronicling the issue goes back to late 2019. The pandemic did not shut things down in Austin until mid-March 2020. The city council passed the camping ordinance in June 2019. City residents noticed problems right away, all over town. The fact that this resident chose to create a short documentary of the issue speaks to how widespread and terrible the problem is, and for how long.
A year. That’s how long Austin has been deteriorating. We’ve published several posts about it on this site, long before the pandemic.
The city’s overwhelmingly liberal residents cried out for help from Republican Gov. Greg Abbott — in July 2019.
Mayor Adler and the city council, all Democrats, ignored them.
And here we are. Watch the video above. That’s one Austin neighborhood, but unfortunately, it’s representative of many neighborhoods all over the city.
The mayor and city council appear to be fine with it.