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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Save Austin Now files anti-camping petitions
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 by Jo Clifton
Save Austin Now, the group collecting signatures to put a camping ban on the May ballot, announced Tuesday that it had collected more than 30,000 signed petitions and submitted more than 24,000 valid signatures to City Clerk Jannette Goodall. Petitioners need at least 20,000 valid signatures in order to place the item on the May ballot. According to a news release from the group, City Council has a Feb. 12 deadline to approve the ballot language. The group is seeking to reinstate city ordinances that make it a misdemeanor to sit, lie down or camp in downtown Austin or the UT area. It also would ban panhandling citywide from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. In July, the group, led by Travis County Republican Party Chair Matt Mackowiak and Cleo Petricek, turned in what it thought was a sufficient number of signatures to get the item on the November ballot. However, Goodall said there were not enough valid signatures. The group has since filed suit over the matter. In addition to the Save Austin Now petition, the clerk’s office is counting signatures on petitions from Austinites for Progressive Reform. That group is seeking a May ballot item to replace Austin’s current Council-city manager form of government with a strong-mayor form of government, among other things.
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