Austin City Council to discuss Confederate monuments, Indigenous Peoples’ Day

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Here’s a quick rundown of some of Thursday’s top agenda items. Overall, it’s expected to be a pretty light agenda.

Homeless Outreach Street Team (approved)

This item authorizes an amendment to the agreement the city has with Integral Care for the Homeless Outreach Street Team. This amendment would add four 12-month renewal options, costing $242,354 each.  HOST connects individuals experiencing homelessness with necessary services to begin the process of finding stability and recovering. The team is a partnership between the Austin Police Department, Emergency Medical Services, Integral Care, Downtown Austin Community Court and the Downtown Austin Alliance. The goal of HOST is to reduce EMS transports, ER visits and jail bookings to save the community money.

Fire safety inspections of mobile food vendors (approved)

This would authorize an agreement with Travis County to provide fire safety inspections of mobile food vendors operating in the unincorporated area of Travis County. Right now, the Public Health Services Interlocal doesn’t address fire safety inspections of mobile food vendors in this area. The item includes a $125 fee for those fire safety inspections.

Conditional Chauffeur Permit (approved)

This ordinance would amend the city code relating to chauffeur’s permits and create a Conditional Chauffeur Permit. The Austin Transportation Department says the current taxi franchise and other mobility programs are suffering from a lack of qualified drivers because of the competition in the ground transportation industry. ATD says the permit will allow mobility providers in the city to access a larger pool of drivers, which will in turn give Austinites more mobility options. A conditional chauffeur permit applicant must have one of two characterizations: (1) an applicant who is enrolled and attending a local college or university with a valid out of state driver’s license; or (2) an applicant who has relocated to the City with a valid out of state driver’s license. Those applicants have three months to obtain a Texas driver’s license, by state law, before their conditional chauffeur permit expires.

Monuments and memorials of the Confederacy (approved)

This resolution would condemn the display of monuments and memorials of the Confederacy. Beyond that, council would direct the city manager to put together a report identifying City-owned monuments and memorials of the Confederacy located on city property. Council would then discuss options to address those monuments and memorials. The resolution states, “it is deeply unjust to require Americans of African descent in our community to continuously support the City’s upkeep of these hateful symbols with their tax dollars.”

Indigenous Peoples’ Day (approved as amended)

Council is considering declaring the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples’ Day, the same day as Columbus Day. The resolution mentions how numerous U.S. cities and governments now recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day in an effort to create a path of healing and reconciliation. The resolution goes on to say, “honoring the role of Columbus as a historical figure promotes values of intolerance and violence that are still common in today’s world and opposed to the values of the citizens of Austin.”

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