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Opinion: We need more time to talk before acting on homeless laws

By Dewitt Peart, Pete Winstead and Brian Cassidy for the Austin American-Statesman

On Tuesday, June 4, the Council moved to delay the vote to consider repealing the city’s panhandling and camping ordinances for two weeks to allow for community input. We remain concerned that this is not enough time for adequate consideration.

Rescinding and narrowing these ordinances would substantially weaken our community’s ability to regulate behavior that impedes public health and safety. We are hopeful that item 49 on Thursday’s council agenda, calling for a housing-focused shelter project, passes.

There are several boards and commissions of the city that still have not been heard from. Let the Council know that community input on this matter should be heard, telling them you support item 49 as a solid start. Meaningful community involvement before decisions are made is what Austin is all about.

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