Tell elected officials that 1719 E. 2nd Street [1.1 mile from Parque Zaragoza Neighborhood Park] is OFF LIMITS! The Downtown Community Court MUST stay Downtown!
The City is proposing to build a new Community Court in an East Austin residential neighborhood. The City Council will vote on this issue on December 3rd.
The Downtown Austin Community Court (DACC) addresses quality of life issues by hearing 'fine only' criminal cases that originate downtown through swift creative dispositions that include case management. The majority of the clientele are experiencing homeless, chronic mental and physical illness, or substance abuse.
Best practices for Community Courts dictate that these Courts should be co-located or very close to a City’s Sobering Center where police take people who are experiencing public intoxication due to drug or alcohol use instead of police having to spend time booking a person into jail or having a long wait at an ER.
Austin and Travis County have a Sobering Center behind the old Brackenridge Hospital downtown, an area the City and County want to designate as an Innovative Health District. The Municipal Court Building attached to the Police Department is now vacant.
Therefore, it would make more financial sense to most taxpayers for DACC to relocate either to the vacant Health South Building next to the Sobering Center or the now vacant Municipal Court Building instead of paying for a new 3-story building with underground parking, and then owe monthly rent to a private developer and owner. The lease alone will cost $22 million. The City and County own several downtown buildings and vacant lots that could also be used in addition to Health South or the old Municipal Court.
Our East Austin Parque Zaragoza and Govalle Neighborhoods already are starting to look like Skid Row. For our neighboring East Cesar Chavez Neighborhood residents who have already set agreements in place for protecting their community with the City, here are a few reasons this proposed development is not appropriate:
Email the Mayor and ALL City Council members at https://austintexas.gov/email/all-council-members and call City Council members, the Travis County Commissioners Court and print the PDF flyer to inform your neighbors here!
Chief Scoop Blogger
I'm Jackson Papillon, an East Austin Parque Zaragoza Neighborhood [#PZNA] Canine. I have a good nose for news and will cover two regular beats: