In this podcast, Senior Editor Drew White and Reporter Brad Johnson discuss the homelessness crisis in Austin with Matt Mackowiak, the President of Potomac Strategy Group, Chairman of the Travis County Republican Party, and, most recently, the founder of Save Austin Now.
Referring to the controversial July 1 ordinance change undertaken by the Austin City Council permitting the homeless to camp in almost any public area, Mackowiak said, “It’s been just an unmitigated disaster for our city.”
“We had an Austin Police Officer at our press conference… who said that… women are being raped in tents almost every day, particularly in these new encampments.”
Mackowiak is part of an effort to collect at least 20,000 signatures from qualified voters to put an initiative on the November ballot that would effectively reverse the July 1 ordinance.
“We’re not putting something forward that’s going to solve the challenge of homelessness,” Mackowiak clarified. “What we’re saying is that where we were in June is far better than where we are today.”
Watch the full conversation with Matt Mackowiak below.
Ben Billups is the Marketing Manager for The Texan. After earning his degree in Economics from Thomas Edison State University, he served as a policy analyst for Texas’ 85th Legislature and later operated an outlet for veteran investigative journalists. Ben is a native Texan, an award-winning filmmaker, and actively competes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.