Even in Austin, the city government is way to the Left of the people.
In a hotly contested debate involving the city’s homelessness crisis, 57% of voters said they were in favor of reinstating criminal penalties for camping in public spaces and 42% said they were not.
More than 150,000 voters cast a ballot: 85,830 in favor, 64,409 against.
Proposition B took center stage among eight ballot propositions, giving residents the voice they did not have two years ago when Mayor Steve Adler and the Austin City Council made it lawful to camp in most public spaces by canceling a 23-year-old ordinance that had prohibited it.
The council’s decision to end the ban sparked a backlash from many Austin residents and business owners, particularly as the city’s unsheltered population seemed to multiply during the COVID-19 pandemic. Save Austin Now — the political action committee behind the push to reinstate the ban — raised $1.25 million in financial donations through April 21 and leased 29 billboards. The PAC’s co-founder, Matt Mackowiak, the Travis County Republican Party chair, said the fundraising total as of Saturday was around $1.75 million.