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[Re: "Dueling Camping Bans on Tap at City Council
," News, Sept. 13:] Homeless people have a right to use public spaces in Austin, including Downtown, to survive, particularly given that our society has criminalized, disenfranchised, and demeaned them.
The Travis County Republican Party (TCRP) is willfully misrepresenting and inciting fear about the homelessness policies recently enacted by the Austin City Council.
FACT: Austin’s new homelessness policies apply to public property and do not allow camping on private property.
TCRP is following President Trump’s strategy to divide our communities by spreading lies and stoking fear. TCRP should be held accountable for inflaming anti-homeless rhetoric that triggered hate-motivated attacks against homeless people in Austin.
Council should unanimously reject attempts to recriminalize homelessness in Downtown, West Austin, and other public spaces in Austin where the sight of homeless people might offend affluent residents and tourists.
Homeless people in Austin urgently need housing, health care, food, compassion, love, and respect!
Surprisingly, your tribute to Daniel Johnston was mercifully shorter than I expected ["The Story of an Artist
," Music, Sept. 13]. And like many of his "songs," that's a good thing.
I was at Liberty Lunch the night he broke through to a national audience on MTV all those years ago, and it was fun for few minutes to laugh at his naivete and awkward charm. But it took a great local band like Glass Eye (and others) to interpret and present a more palatable musical aspect that had to go beyond Mr. Johnston's lyrics get folks to listen.
Some primitive cultures worshiped schizophrenics as visionaries in art, science, and religion. I guess that's what we're sort of doing as well.
But the superficiality and greed that inherently surround this business of music will always attempt to cash in on the likes of Syd Barrett, Skip Spence, Roky Erickson et al., just move a few units on the unsuspecting.