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[00:00:01]

HELLO AND GREETINGS TO MY FELLOW AUSTINITE AND CENTRAL TEXAS NEIGHBORS.

MY NAME IS BEN EASTON AND I AM RUNNING FOR AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL AND DISTRICT 10.

AND BEFORE I FORGET, I WANT TO PAUSE AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE SPONSORS OF THIS VIRTUAL CANDIDATE FORUM.

YOU PEOPLE HAVE TEAMED UP TO HELP ME AND THE OTHER CANDIDATES, ESPECIALLY THE NON-INCUMBENTS TO GAIN RECOGNITION IN VARIOUS COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE CITY.

SO THANK YOU TO THE ETHICS REVIEW COMMISSION, THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN AND VOTERS AND THE AUSTIN AREA AND THE STAFF OF THE CITY OF AUSTIN.

THANK YOU ALSO TO THE CREW AT ATX N THE CITY OF AUSTIN ACCESS CHANNEL AND KASI 88.7 AUSTIN COMMUNITY RADIO, BY THE WAY, I'D MUCH RATHER BE SPEAKING TO YOU ALL IN PERSON, LOOKING AT IT ABOUT MAKING EYE CONTACT AND SO FORTH, BUT I CAN'T.

YEAH, SO I'M DOING MY BEST TO LIKE FIND THEM THE CAMERA ON MY COMPUTER.

AND, UH, BUT I'M ALSO READING.

SO ANYWAY, PLEASE, PLEASE CUT ME SOME SLACK.

OKAY.

SO BACK TO MY INTRODUCTORY REMARKS ONE YEAR AGO.

SO I ATTENDED THE FIRST CITY COUNCIL MEETING.

MY FIRST CITY COUNCIL MEETING FOR THERE HAD BEEN SEVERAL CALAMITOUS DECISIONS THAT SPURRED ME TO FIND OUT WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS GOING ON AT CITY HALL.

THIS WAS AN EARLY AUGUST, 2019, NOT QUITE TWO MONTHS AFTER THE COUNCIL VOTED TO REMOVE A BAN ON CAMPING, SITTING IN LYING AND ON PUBLIC STREETS.

THIS DECISION SEEMINGLY INNOCENT AND MILD PROVED TO BE INSIDIOUS AND DISASTROUS TRIGGERING A CASCADE OF DOWNSTREAM EFFECTS AND ACTIONS THAT HAVE FUNDAMENTALLY TAINTED OUR FORMERLY FAIR CITY.

AND MY THIRD COUNCIL MEETING, I MADE SURE TO SIGN UP FOR A SPOT IN THE CITIZEN COMMUNICATION INTERLUDE DURING WHICH FOLKS LIKE ME CAN HAVE THEIR SAY IN THREE MINUTES OR LESS WHEN IT WAS MY TURN, I MADE IT CRYSTAL CLEAR THAT I WAS NOT HAPPY, HAPPY WITH THE LIFTING OF THE CAMPING BAN AND THE INEVITABLE SURGE IN HOMELESS ENCAMPMENTS THAT WOULD IMMEDIATELY, OR THAT DID IMMEDIATELY START SPREADING OVER THE CITY FROM EAST TO WEST AND NORTH TO SOUTH.

THIS PHENOMENON IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE EXPONENTIAL GROWTH OF PANHANDLERS, VAGRANTS, BEGGARS, AND CON MEN SCATTERED ABOUT TOWN WHO ARE NOW UNFORTUNATELY UBIQUITOUS BLEMISHES ON THE CITY OBSTACLES PREVENTING YOU AND ME, THE VAST MAJORITY OF US TO ENJOY OUR CITY LIFE, A FRIEND, AND TAKEN IT UPON HERSELF TO CAPTURE THE ATM AND VIDEO FEED AND REPOST IT ON HER PERSONAL YOUTUBE CHANNEL.

SHE SENT IT OUT TO SOME FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS.

I WAS SURPRISED, AND FRANKLY PLEASED WHEN PEOPLE, MANY OF THEM STRANGERS LET ME KNOW THAT THEY WERE GRATEFUL THAT SOMEBODY WAS FINALLY WILLING TO STAND UP IN PUBLIC AND MAKE THE POINT THAT THEY WISH SOMEBODY WOULD MAKE.

AND THAT IS THAT THE CITY OF AUSTIN IS GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.

I AM THE CANDIDATE WHO WILL STAND UP, SHAKE MY FIST IF NECESSARY, AND INFORM THE OTHER COUNCIL MEMBERS IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS THAT WE, THE TAX PAYING AND LAW ABIDING RESIDENTS OF THIS CITY WILL NOT TOLERATE THE FURTHER DETERIORATION OF OUR VALUE, ETHICS AND AESTHETICS.

ALL OF WHICH ARE BEING TRAMPLED AND COMPROMISED IN FRONT OF OUR VERY EYES ON A DAILY BASIS.

THIS DECISION HAS BEEN AN EVIDENCE FOR SEVERAL YEARS, PERHAPS CATALYZED BY THE PASSAGE OF PROP THREE AND THE SUBSEQUENT ADOPTION OF THE TEN ONE PLAN, WHICH ENDED THE SEVEN OUT LARGE MEMBER COUNCIL AND BECAME THE BY DISTRICT COUNCIL PLUS, AND AT-LARGE MAYOR.

I AM NOT HERE TO PROPOSE THAT WE TRY TO PUT THE TOOTHPASTE BACK IN THE TUBE.

IT AIN'T GOING BACK IN.

THAT'S OBVIOUS.

WHAT I AM HERE TO DO IS CALLED A SPADE, A SPADE.

THAT MEANS I USE PLAIN ENGLISH TO DESCRIBE WHAT IS HAPPENING.

FOR EXAMPLE, THE TENT CITIES UNDER BEN WHITE AT MANCHESTER ARE UGLY AND THEY SHOULD BE REMOVED IMMEDIATELY.

NOBODY HAS THE RIGHT TO CAMP ON PUBLIC THROUGH WAYS, CITIES, ROADS, PARKS, SIDEWALKS, BRIDGES, AND BENCHES.

THEY'RE ALL DESIGNED FOR SPECIFIC NORMAL DAILY USE BY AVERAGE WELL BEHAVED CITIZENS, GUESTS, AND VISITORS, JUST BECAUSE, UM, ARE HAVING A BAD DAY, A BAD WEEK OR EVEN A BAD YEAR.

AND CAN'T AFFORD TO PAY RENT DOES NOT SUDDENLY TRANSFORM THEIR PREDICAMENT INTO SOME BIZARRE, RIGHT TO NULLIFY LONGSTANDING COMMUNITY RIGHTS AND OBVIOUS STANDARDS OF DECORUM.

I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT IT IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT TO ME TO TELL THE TRUTH THAN TO GET ELECTED.

I AM NOT HERE TODAY TO CATER TO MY CONSTITUENTS.

I SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE AND SHARE THE SAME IDEAS TO ALL AUDIENCES.

MY MESSAGE BOILS DOWN TO THIS RESPECT FOR LAW AND ORDER, RESPECT FOR PROPERTY AND NATURAL BEAUTY, RESPECT FOR PEACE AND QUIET AND RESPECT FOR BUSINESSES AND TRADE.

IT'S THAT SIMPLE.

I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE YOUR ATTENTION AND YOUR CONSIDERATION OF MY VIEWS.

I WOULD LOVE IT IF SOME OF Y'ALL WANT TO VOTE FOR ME.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.