July 2, 2019

BRYAN PRESTON: Austin Goes from Harmlessly Weird to Dangerously Stupid by Legalizing Camping on City Streets.

Austin has long been the weird, liberal capital of Texas. The rest of Texas just sort of shrugs and puts up with it. Austin is quirky. Austin is odd. Austin lives in its own little world. Austin is also home to some of the best live music joints anywhere and you have to work pretty hard to find a bad restaurant in the city, so it’s not without its charms. The joke about Austin is that it’s nice because it’s so close to Texas (its the capital, a deep blue dot surrounded by a vast red sea). Austin is like that oddball cousin we all have. He’s there. He picks his nose and argues with light posts. But he’s nice and basically no threat to anyone, so whaddyagonnado?

Well, Texas’ weird cousin just became a threat to itself and others.

On June 20, the Austin city council passed what has to be one of the dumbest, most nonsensical ordinances since the city’s last idiotic, nonsensical ordinance (they pass a lot of ‘em, bless their hearts).

The city council made it perfectly legal to camp out on the city’s public spaces and sidewalks, under bridges and overpasses and, well, everywhere all over town – except, notably, parks and Austin City Hall.

That’s right. The city council exempted themselves from seeing homeless campouts — let’s call them Adlervilles, after the esteemed Mayor Steve Adler — on their own front porch. Mayor Adler and his cohort deemed city hall camping out of bounds. But you, owner of the local cookie store or overtaxed home, will get to see and step over and around all manner of things right out in your yard 24-7 now.

Read the whole thing, which is great piece of writing about a dangerously irresponsible decision by Austin’s city council.

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