Austin’s homeless problem exploded when Mayor Steve Adler and the city council unanimously voted to allow camping nearly everywhere in the city. Parks, sidewalks, and highway underpasses soon were filled with tent cities. Neighborhoods soon had these tent cities on their edges, bringing trash and the threat of violence and fires with them.
The city council changed the ordinance in the summer of 2019. Austin has dealt with the issue ever since.
The bipartisan group Save Austin Now formed to put restoring the ban on camping up to the voters, and it won a strong victory on May 1. Lone Republican Austin Councilmember Mackenzie Kelly, elected in December 2020, was among the proponents of reinstating the ban, but to be crystal clear, support was bipartisan. The referendum to reinstate the ban won 58-42.
Austin is a very left-wing city. The fact that its voters spoke so clearly on this issue says quite a lot.
Kelly was giving a media interview Thursday at city hall, where radicals have set up more tent cities to protest the lopsided defeat they experienced on May 1.
As if increasing blight helps their case.
An activist with a group called Homes Not Handcuffs, a group that works hand in glove with leftist Councilmember Greg Casar, decided to interrupt the interview. Save Austin Now founder Matt Mackowiak captured the following video of the moment.
Watch. Warning: strong, repetitive profanity. It seems to be all the radical activist has in her bag of policy debate tricks.
Radicals at city hall with Homes Not Handcuffs interrupt, harass and hurl vulgarities at @mkelly007 while she’s doing an interview as part of her official duties.
— Matt Mackowiak (@MattMackowiak) May 20, 2021
Kelly told PJ Media: “I understand that emotions are running high after Austin voted to reinstate the camping ban. I respect the right to protect peacefully, but when I am verbally attacked while trying to conduct my day-to-day business, that’s where I draw the line. No one needs to feel threatened at their workplace. Let’s be considerate of one another, we are in this together, and we all want to work and live in a safe community.”