Since Austin’s liberal policy on homeless camping went into effect on July 1, the big question is how much of an impact would it really have? Was the issue overblown? Would Austin residents see homeless camps pop up all over town or not? And would Austin, woke and weird capital that it is, object to it all?
The results are in and growing. And if Los Angeles is any guide, they are urgent. Mayor Steve Adler recently traveled to L.A. to “learn” how to handle homelessness from the Democrat-run city. Austin and L.A. both have permissive camping policies.
Well, L.A. now has a major rat problem.
An ever-growing number of rodents in California — particularly in Los Angeles — is being fueled by a spiking homeless population and restrictions on rodenticides that are risking a public health crisis, according to a study released Tuesday.
Rodent’s can carry dangerous diseases such as typhus, plague and salmonella, in addition to their roles contributing to asthma.
Is this Austin’s future now?
The camps and lawlessness are becoming a visible part of the Austin landscape all over the city. Austinites are posting photos on Twitter to alert Mayor Steve Adler — and the media, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and each other — as they see new camps or campers.
Homeless encampment at 290 & Westgate. @MayorAdler this is very concerning. Public health/safety must be a priority. Thank U @Austin_Police for responding quickly. #OneAustin #SaferTogether #PublicSafetyFirst SUPPORT FUNDING 4 First Responders. @GovAbbott please take action. pic.twitter.com/a6HW9wmiuA
— Joell McNew (@JSM_ATX) July 15, 2019
Yes, that’s a fire burning right under the roadway.
You’ll notice several tweets from the AnnsKitchen_ATX feed. That’s a play on the name of Austin city council member Ann Kitchen, who voted along with Mayor Adler to enable homeless camping all over town, except city hall and the public parks. Like Adler and other city council members, Kitchen has largely gone silent on homelessness since approving the permissive camping policy.
Free for all in Austin, Texas, unless of course you’re the tax payer. (SoCo) 7/8/19 Thanks @MayorAdler @D5Kitchen @CM_Renteria #austinhomeless #ATXcouncil @fox7austin @spencercronk @KXAN_News pic.twitter.com/uM8eF1B2XX
— AnnsKitchen_ATX (@AnnskitchenA) July 9, 2019
Who would want to start a business in Austin TX? Homeless drug users camping on the street. Guess that’s what the mayor and council wants pic.twitter.com/5sdWrcScQp
— Nick (@Ed_Nichols1) July 9, 2019
@GregAbbott_TX when is the homeless prolem in austin gonna be addressed &cleaned up? This is an example of how bad the situation is in S Austin esp Dist. 5 which Ann Kitchen does not address. (Location: south congress & west Ben white blvd). disgusting pic.twitter.com/S0xd7VDWWL
— TechAddictz (@TechAddictz) July 9, 2019
Good news everyone free rooms outside the @JWMarriottATX! Just pitch a tent outside and bring all your stuff. This is 100% legal according to new Austin city ordinance. Lived on this block for 6 years, never a tent till today. #austinhomeless @MayorAdler @ATXPOA @KXAN_News pic.twitter.com/KRtrLzfa5X
— Neville Medhora (@nevmed) July 9, 2019
Townlake is a great trail in Austin for hiking, biking and running….
And apparently also for other things. (Photo taken today 7/8/19.) @MayorAdler @GovAbbott#austinhomeless #Atxcouncil @fox7austin @KXAN_News pic.twitter.com/kc6UNrnn8D
— AnnsKitchen_ATX (@AnnskitchenA) July 8, 2019
You’re definitely right….but hopefully less than here. Went downstairs to @RoyalBlueATX and in one block there’s THREE #austinhomeless. Most notably this guy right across the street taking a relaxing nap. Thanks to @MayorAdler ordinance there’s no repercussions. pic.twitter.com/ZkPvDpExuq
— Neville Medhora (@nevmed) July 10, 2019
Townlake property courtesy of @MayorAdler and Austin City Council! Thanks Mayor! ⛺ @GovAbbott #Notaxes #AustinHomeless #rentfree @fox7austin @KXAN_News @SpecNewsATX pic.twitter.com/9pNs8VVRz1
— AnnsKitchen_ATX (@AnnskitchenA) July 14, 2019
Day #3. No clean up yet. Also, trash has appeared to line the side of the highway. Mcneil & 183, folks. #atx District 6 continues to fall. #austinhomeless #homeless pic.twitter.com/FeKVGH0nLs
— ⭐️Mackenzie⭐️ (@mkelly007) July 7, 2019
Day #10. No cleanup in sight for #D6 at mcneil & 183. It looks like it’s growing in size and trash accumulation. #atxcouncil #Austin pic.twitter.com/J2wQC7VHPm
— ⭐️Mackenzie⭐️ (@mkelly007) July 15, 2019
@MayorAdler Blue skies and…..well, trash everywhere here in #Austin. @D5Kitchen @GovAbbott #CleanUpSouthAustin #Austinhomeless #BenWhite @TxDOT @TxDOTAustin @fox7austin pic.twitter.com/CUI4YqYZ0s
— AnnsKitchen_ATX (@AnnskitchenA) July 7, 2019
@GovAbbott you are the only hope in overturning this ridiculous law by @MayorAdler. Only 182 unsheltered #AustinHomeless are ruining the entire city. Within 8 days of the new ordinance passing, this is how Austin’s 6th entertainment district looks: pic.twitter.com/LuHqLNdVFM
— Neville Medhora (@nevmed) July 12, 2019
Do watch the video in journalist Phil Prazan’s tweet above. I mentioned it in the last missive on this misguided misadventure. It offers a glimmer of hope that Austin may wake up in time to save itself.