Despite Assurances, Impact Is Negative

RECEIVED Mon., May 16, 2005

Dear Editor,
    The city of Austin leadership assured us that when they moved the day-labor camp from downtown to its present location on 4916 N. I-35 that the impact on surrounding neighborhoods would be minimal. However, the result has been the proliferation of intoxicated day laborers wandering our neighborhood, urinating in public, and panhandling on street corners. Locating anyone at the city to take action is more difficult than finding an affordable residence in Austin (no wait, there are now a few choice places in our neighborhood). Staff at the city of Austin's First Workers' Day Labor Center tell me there is nothing they can do. A brazen group of street imbibers has even set up a regular drinking spot on the northeast corner of I-35 and 51st Street. Here they pass the hours drinking, sleeping, and “giving the finger” to passing motorists. Austin Police Department officers simply speed pass them, no doubt late for encouraging some disco fire. Maybe in September I'll get a response when my new street neighbors “light up” within 15 feet of a nearby business.
Larry Cuellar
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