On June 20th, the Austin City Council will vote on an ordinance that will effectively reduce the criminalization of the homeless community in Austin. While the vote is two weeks away, here are five things you can do to spread support:
Location: Austin City Hall
Thursday evening, the Homes Not Handcuffs coalition will make posters, workshop testimonies, and film the testimonies of those unable to attend on the 20th.
We will be using this City Council meeting as an opportunity to get more organized - our opposition will be working hard to defeat the repeal of these ordinances, so we need to use these last two weeks as a final sprint towards victory. If you are able to come and would like an update on the campaign including how you can get involved, there will be a full report given at this gathering.
Call your Austin City Council member and urge them to vote YES on our ordinance on June 20th. Homelessness is not a crime and our Austin residents should not be punished for trying to survive.
You can find who your council member is here: http://www.austintexas.gov/page/city-council-district-map
By signing the petition, you'll be able to send an email to all members of the Austin City Council, as well as Austin Mayor Steve Adler. Here is an excerpt:
People who experience homelessness are already vulnerable to crime and violence, and these ordinances make them even more vulnerable. From Fiscal Year 2014 to 2016, approximately 11,500 warrants were issued for violations of these ordinances. People with warrants are often hesitant to call for help in case of an emergency due to credible fear of arrest. Municipal arrest warrants are particularly problematic for undocumented Austin residents, who can end up as targets for deportation under the Trump administration’s guidelines and who can receive ICE holds if arrested on the warrants.
Time: 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Location: Dunkin' Donuts—12200 Research Blvd, Austin, Texas 78759
Because the vote is just two weeks away, we need folks to hit the streets and gather support to put an end to the criminalization of this community.
Please join us in a canvass asking folks to urge city council to overturn these immoral ordinances. No canvassing experience or prior knowledge necessary - we will pair new folks with experienced canvassers, and we will have a training on the ordinances and talking points at the beginning. We have the chance to right an egregious wrong in our city - let's step up in solidarity with people experiencing homelessness.
5. Share this blog and our events on social media!
For homes, and not handcuffs!