The Save Austin Now PAC has launched a radio ad calling the 3rd Court of Appeals to issue a ruling on homeless encampments. The verdict has been delayed for more than 340 days.

In May 2021, voters passed Prop B, effectively banning homeless encampments and ending a camping ordinance from former Mayor Steve Adler.

The radio ad, which will run on KLBJ 590am, states that Save Austin Now sued the city in January 2023 for not enforcing the voter-approved ban and accuses the city of “using procedural hurdles” to stall the lawsuit.

The PAC states that the 3rd Court of Appeals is not doing its job, even after receiving “a Motion to Expedite decision on March 27, 2024 (106 days ago!) and STILL REFUSES TO ISSUE A RULING.”

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the rights of cities to enforce the ban on homeless camping. Writing the decision, Justice Neil Gorsuch referred to homelessness as a “crisis.” He stated that “the causes are varied and complex, the appropriate public policy responses perhaps no less so.”

Calling the homeless camping “a disaster” for cities, Save Austin Now co-founder Matt Mackowiak told Spectrum News, “They need to be receiving help. You’re not receiving help when you live under a bridge or when you’re in a dirty, filthy, drug-infested encampment in a wooded area somewhere.”

Recently, Austin City Councilmember Mackenzie Kelly, who led clean-up efforts on an abandoned encampment in northwest Austin, said in a statement on X, “Having personally visited numerous homeless encampments since day one of my tenure, I’ve pledged unwavering commitment to cleaning up our city and ensuring compassionate and safe resources for those experiencing homelessness, because living outside in abhorrent conditions lacking basic sanitary needs is anything but humane.”

Previously, the councilwoman representing District 6 called for an audit of the city’s homeless services due to the more than $80 million in funding allocated to address the homeless crisis in the 2023-2024 budget.

The Save Austin Now PAC’s ad is scheduled to run for less than two weeks with the potential to continue.

Debra McClure

Debra McClure is a contract writer for Texas Scorecard. She is also a former teacher.