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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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Resolution raises awareness about human trafficking
Friday, September 16, 2022 by Elizabeth Pagano
In a unanimous vote, City Council has approved a resolution asking the city to reach out to city vendors to raise awareness about human trafficking and provide resources to victims. The resolution, which was sponsored by Council Member Mackenzie Kelly, homes in on nonprofits and vendors working with those experiencing homelessness, as they are a particularly vulnerable population. “I authored this resolution after an experience on a ride-out with a sergeant where we went into an encampment, and I met a woman who was in distress. I spoke with the sergeant about her situation, and he let me know that she was being sex trafficked in the camp. At that point, it broke my heart because it occurred to me that she couldn’t be the only person experiencing homelessness in this type of situation. Our city needs to do more to help these people get lifted out of their situation,” Kelly explained in a statement to the press. That press release notes that research at UT Austin has found that there are an estimated 313,000 victims of human trafficking in Texas.