West Campus lighting, SB4 all up for discussion at Austin City Council meeting

Various city and county officials supporting litigation against SB4 on May 16, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)
Various city and county officials supporting litigation against SB4 on May 16, 2017. (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Here’s a quick rundown of some of the top items on Thursday’s city council agenda.

Art Space Assistance Program
This resolution directs the city manager to establish a grant program to support non-profit arts organizations facing displacement, those who were previously displaced and those facing substantially higher rents. A one-time funding of $200,000 will be used for the pilot program.

Mental health resources for Homelessness Outreach Street Team (HOST)
Council has the power to authorize an agreement with Integral Care for $242,354 to further connect homeless individuals with necessary mental health resources. City staff writes, “Austin Travis County Integral Care will work on increasing connection to case management, social services, medical care, behavioral health services, and housing, which will help individuals improve their well-being and work toward reaching their full potential.”

West Campus lighting study
City staff says West Campus experiences a higher than average rate of property crime compared to the city as a whole. The agenda item says studies have shown effective lighting may reduce crime in areas with a lot of pedestrian traffic. This resolution would call on the city manager to conduct an “extensive lighting inventory study” in the West Campus area with a specific focus on pedestrian safety. It asks the study to include recommendations for lighting on both public and private properties.

Legal response to Senate Bill 4
Council intends to direct the city manager to look into allocating the necessary resource to prepare and pursue litigation and defense for Senate Bill 4. According to the resolution, “the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, composed of the 68 largest law enforcement agencies in the U.S., have supported this position, explaining that local law enforcement professionals acting as federal immigration officials ‘would result in increased crime against immigrants and in the broader community, create a class of silent victims and eliminate the potential for assistance from immigrants in solving crimes or preventing future terroristic acts.'”

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