Austin’s progressive experiment with the ubiquitous tent cities of homeless drug addicts that are found in Blue states is nearly over. It is worth noting why this happened.
“As the city starts enforcing its reinstated public camping ban this week, the 48-year-old said he planned to move his gear to a more secluded place. …
Clusters of tents and shelters are still evident next to busy roads and beneath overpasses around the city. And three months after voters approved a renewed ban on camping in public spaces through a ballot initiative called Proposition B, the city says it will begin to fully enforce the ordinance this week.
After weeks of working to educate people experiencing homelessness about the ordinance and handing out warnings, city officials say police will begin ticketing anyone camping on public land — and arresting those who still refuse to leave their camps. Violating the ban is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500. …
The city’s enforcement push comes less than a month before a statewide ban on public encampments goes into effect on Sept. 1 — a law that followed Gov. Greg Abbott’s repeated criticism of Austin’s decision to repeal the city’s camping ban in 2019. The new state law criminalizes public camping and bans cities from adopting policies that prohibit or discourage enforcing any public camping ban. Cities that adopt such ordinances could risk legal action from the state attorney general and potentially lose state grant money. …”
“Sunday brings the fourth and final phase in Austin’s enforcement of the citywide homeless camping ban. From this point forward, arrests are to be made if an individual refuses to leave an area.
The heightened enforcement comes as city officials are working to try to avoid that scenario by continuing to move people out of encampments and into shelter at hotels owned by the city. …”
“AUSTIN, Texas — Austin voters made their voices heard in the May election on the controversial Proposition B, which aims to reinstate the public camping ban that was reversed in July 2019.
Voters approved the proposition 57% to 43%. …”
“Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed legislation on June 15 enforcing a statewide camping ban. HB1925 will ban encampments in all public areas. Local governments can choose to designate space on government-owned properties for people experiencing homelessness, but these must first be proposed to and approved by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA). The bill will go into effect on September 1, 2021. …”
In July 2019, Austin repealed its homeless camping ban.
This led to the proliferation of these homeless camps. After decriminalization created these eyesores and it began to hurt the city’s public image, Austin voted for Proposition B in May and reinstated the camping ban. Texas also banned these homeless camps statewide in June.
Moral of the story: Austin is a blue island in a Red state. Portland and Seattle are blue islands in Blue states. You would think this would be obvious, but when you choose to tolerate and subsidize homelessness, drug addiction, shoplifting and mental illness it only makes the problem worse.
Once again, I am just now learning about the situation. I’ve never seen anything like this in my area. There is more social capital and less tolerance for this in rural America.
Note: Rural America has been devastated by opioid addiction, but these tent cities are clearly a feature of progressive cities and Blue states.