Camping and Sit / Lie Resolution and Ordinance

Only City Council members and authorized staff are allowed to post on this message board.
Ashley Richardson
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:34 pm

Camping and Sit / Lie Resolution and Ordinance

Post by Ashley Richardson » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:12 am

On behalf of CM Tovo and CM Kitchen -

Colleagues:

We are grateful for the conversations that have occurred over the last nearly two months – about the camping ordinance but, more generally, about how our community can work together to end homelessness. We are particularly heartened by the number of people who are stepping up to help their neighbors who are experiencing homelessness; yesterday’s Rathgeber Family Center event announcing the Rathgeber/Downtown Austin Alliance gifts and community challenges is just one example. We have also worked with neighbors who have been working together and helping individuals in their neighborhoods who are experiencing homelessness.

Over the last several weeks, we have worked closely with Mayor Adler and Council Member Casar and with community members as we prepare for the special called meeting to address the camping and sit/lie ordinance. The linked resolution and ordinance reflects those conversations with our colleagues Mayor Adler and Council Member Casar and, in some cases, even includes elements and actual language they brought forward. While the four of us agreed on many – perhaps even most – provisions, we are not in complete alignment about each one and have agreed to bring forward separate proposals for our full Council to consider at the special called meeting.

Thus, we are sponsoring the linked ordinance and resolution – and we are seeking co-sponsors via the message board in consideration of our existing subquorum.

Draft Resolution: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 95520.docx

Draft Ordinance: http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 95656.docx

Please advise in this forum if you would like to co-sponsor the resolution. We intend to post these items today.

Best,

Kathie Tovo and Ann Kitchen
Policy Aide
Office of Kathie Tovo, Council Member District 9

Greg Casar
Posts: 98
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:20 pm

Re: Camping and Sit / Lie Resolution and Ordinance

Post by Greg Casar » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:11 pm

I’d like to thank Council Members Tovo and Kitchen for their diligence and patience in working with Mayor Adler, myself, and our staff. I’ve been grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with you all as we tried finding a shared path forward, and I believe we are closer to that through our hard work. However, as mentioned by Council Members Tovo and Kitchen, we are not in complete alignment on the impact of the changes as proposed in this ordinance, and I have several reservations about the proposal they've posted as written.

At the end of August, the City Manager’s office released a memo that requested further clarification around the changes to the ordinances that previously criminalized the mere status of being homeless. Specifically, our City Departments are asking for clarity around what is or is not allowable under said ordinance changes, and how exactly these changes should be enforced. For this reason I have been working on such clarifications with my colleagues.

However, I cannot support a final ordinance unless it is non-discriminatory and won’t re-criminalize basic acts of survival by our neighbors experiencing homelessness. My primary goal -- and I believe the community’s goal-- is that we move forward on this issue, not backward. Because I believe some of the elements in this proposal move us backward, I will be posting an alternative ordinance along with Mayor Adler shortly on the message board. I believe our ordinance balances the needs of City staff, protects public health and safety, clarifies our ordinance as requested, and does not needlessly criminalize the mere status of homelessness.

I look forward to the continued conversation, both in the public and on the dais.

Best,
Greg
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4

Leslie Pool
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:22 pm

Re: Camping and Sit / Lie Resolution and Ordinance

Post by Leslie Pool » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:52 pm

My thanks to CMs Kitchen and Tovo for bringing this resolution for our consideration in an upcoming Council meeting. I recognize the differences in approach that you've identified and support the tack you're taking with your resolution. I would be glad to offer support as a co-sponsor to bring your resolution to the dais for discussion.

Thanks, as always, for all the efforts that everyone is bringing to the issue of homelessness and its many associated concerns. It's a large concern to us all, and - as we're amply demonstrating - will take the support and focus of the whole community.

Regards,

Leslie
Leslie Pool
Council Member, District 7

April Brown
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:32 pm

Re: Camping and Sit / Lie Resolution and Ordinance

Post by April Brown » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:10 pm

On behalf of Council Member Alter:

Colleagues,

Thank you for your work on clarifying these ordinances. Our city is engaged in a critical conversation about how to compassionately support those experiencing homelessness and maintain public health and safety levels in our city. As you know, I was uncomfortable with the proposed changes in June, especially with respect to camping. I believe that the posted ordinance and resolution from Council Members Kitchen and Tovo offer a good step in the right direction and reflect some of the direction laid out in Item 184, which I cosponsored during the 6/20 meeting. I would be happy to co-sponsor this item with CMs Kitchen and Tovo, and I would like to commend them and their staff on the years of hard work and advocacy they have dedicated to investing in and supporting some of our most vulnerable neighbors.

I look forward to our continued conversation and invite the community to share their voices.


Regards,
Alison Alter
Communications and Outreach Coordinator

Post Reply