A homeless encampment in Austin's Windsor Park neighborhood is accumulating trash after a cleanup effort earlier this month.
Kevin Ludlow, a resident and former Libertarian candidate for the Texas House, first posted a video of the encampment, which abuts his backyard in Windsor Park, on Aug. 2. The footage showed a large amount of trash as well as homeless residents engaged in substance use. It has since been viewed more than 72,000 times and shared widely on social media sites.
After the video was posted, the city's watershed protection department contracted a local nonprofit, The Other Ones Foundations, to clean up the site, which is along Little Tannehill Branch Creek between Broadmoor Drive and 52nd Street. Work crews removed tons of trash.
"The area was spotless on Aug. 9," Ludlow said in an updated video posted on Tuesday, showing what has happened at the site since the clean-up effort.
New campers began arriving Aug. 12, Ludlow said in voiceover. Last week, clothes and garbage began piling up, and he recorded what appears to be substance use and nudity.
"I don't believe the campers should be arrested nor do I believe that we should criminalize homelessness in any way," Ludlow said in the video, adding that given the increase in property taxes in recent years the city should have adequate funding to address the issue. "There is simply no way that a solution to this problem cannot be found with that bump in revenue to the City of Austin."
Windsor Park Neighborhood Association President Dan Strub previously told Austonia that the encampment has been around for years and many residents are reluctant to call the police "about much of anything that isn't directly crime-related these days."
A fight over public camping
Austin residents facing issues related to homeless encampments are encouraged to call the emergency 311 line. But there is little that city officials or police can do to force campers elsewhere. Last year, Austin City Council abolished the city's ban on public camping.
A local nonprofit, Save Austin Now, tried to overturn this ban via a citizen-led petition. However, Austin City Clerk Jannette Goodall recently ruled that the petition is not valid due to duplicate signatures and other issues.
The group, led by Travis County GOP Chairperson Matt Mackowiak, is considering legal action but is up against a deadline; the Nov. 3 election is just over nine weeks away.
"We do not believe there is ANY CHANCE WHATSOEVER that 5,000+ signed petitions of the 24,000+ that we submitted were invalid," Mackowiak wrote in an Aug. 20 Facebook post. "We are not going to accept what has happened here."
The group is waiting for the city to respond to a public information request before deciding on its next steps.
If the court orders the city to place an item on the November ballot, it will, a spokesperson wrote to Austonia in an email last week.
Goodall, however, is confident in her decision. "The probability that checking all 24,201 submitted signatures would find a total of at least 20,000 valid signatures in less than 3 in one billion," she wrote in the ruling.
- Austin city clerk invalidates homelessness petition - austonia ›
- No homeless public camping vote on November ballot for Austin ... ›
- Austin Mayor Adler gives speech on COVID, homelessness policing ... ›
- Crews clean up trash, needles and human waste at Austin homeless ... ›
- Video shows 'massive problems' with homeless camp in Austin ... ›
South by Southwest announced Tuesday it will include online programming as part of its 2021 festival, but has not eliminated the possibility of an in-person portion of the event.
- Nearly 100 Austin festivals canceled, postponed or at risk as ... ›
- Reeling from canceled festivals, Austin's small businesses find new ... ›
- SXSW sued over no-refund policy after 2020 cancellation - austonia ›
After 21 years in downtown, Buffalo Billiards will join the growing list of memorable Austin businesses to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After a recent uptick in new confirmed COVID-19 cases, it appears the trend line is plateauing again and the local positivity rate is holding steady, at around 6%, Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott told county commissioners on Tuesday.
"We've had this increase since the beginning of September that's leveling off a bit," he said.
- Flu season: Austin health officials are focused on vaccines - austonia ›
- Austin sees uptick in new COVID cases among 10-19 age group ... ›
- Sewage testing can help detect Austin COVID outbreaks early ... ›
- Austin company seeks volunteers for COVID vaccine trial - austonia ›
Kendra Scott, the Austin entrepreneur who owns a billion-dollar jewelry empire, will be the next guest judge on ABC's "Shark Tank" in its newest Las Vegas season.
Tropical Storm Beta is continuing to line the Texas coast after making landfall late Monday and will bring rain to Central Texas for the next two days.
Like Tupac at Coachella, one professor at the McCombs School of Business is beamed as a hologram before his audience.
- UT Austin reports 72 student COVID cases after first week - austonia ›
- Austin COVID-19 projections show surge scenarios - austonia ›
- FBI looks into Chinese spying on COVID research at UT-Austin ... ›
- Scientists enlist UT-Austin's supercomputers in global war on COVID ... ›
- This is what would lead to a shutdown at UT-Austin this fall - austonia ›
Austinites will decide the fate of $7.1 billion transit overhaul Project Connect—and two PACs are competing for your vote
Austin voters will decide Nov. 3 whether to increase their tax rate to pay for a $7.1 billion, 15-year overhaul of the city's transit system.
Project Connect massive underground rail tunnel<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1b92a6069738020cade05c1c163212cb"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/OLZM_FXO8Bw?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>The downtown transit tunnel would separate the light rail lines proposed under Project Connect—Capital Metro's 20-year, $7.1 billion overhaul of the city's t...
- CapMetro targets Austin FC fans about Project Connect stop - austonia ›
- Austin City Council will put $7.1 billion Project Connect transit plan ... ›
- CapMetro cuts $3 billion from Project Connect due to COVID ... ›
- This was the year for Project Connect in Austin. Then came ... ›