Austin Area Residents Progressive Until They Aren’t

What makes a city ‘progressive?’ Because for all intents and purposes, you would think that the city of Austin would meet the mark for a progressive city. It’s even often called a ‘Blue oasis in a Red state.’ And yet, this last week, enough people voted to criminalize homelessness under Proposition B that now thousands of our neighbors will be subject to fines and arrest simply for existing in public spaces. Not only is this not a progressive solution, but there is no solution to be found. Instead, Austinites would rather subject those experiencing homelessness to harassment from police, worse conditions, and even the possibility of dying from floods, exposure, violence, or all of the above than just be reminded they exist. So, we’ll ask again, what makes a city progressive?

Trying to get the word straight from the horse’s mouth, we asked self-identifying ‘progressives’ in Austin what they think it means. Here are just some of the responses.

“I thought being progressive just meant buying a sign for my yard, I didn’t realize it meant engaging in the civic process,” one Austinite told us, wearing an Austin FC jersey and drinking from a Yeti mug. “Personally, I voted for Prop B because I am just tired of acknowledging the homeless people on my commute. It really bums me out and I need all of the energy I can spare to stare at a spreadsheet for 8 hours. Oh, and since you asked earlier, my annual salary is $120,000.”

“As someone who moved here from California, specifically the Bay Area, you could say I have some progressive clout, OK? I voted for Prop B because camping isn’t the solution. Sure, no other plan is in place and it cost us millions of dollars to hold this fraudulent vote, but I don’t see anyone else offering solutions.” She took a pause to sip her iced coffee. “It’s not like I’ve actually looked for other solutions, but the tweet I read before voting told me there weren’t any.”

“This is all because the woke liberals of this city voted to defund the police, that’s why we have this problem in the first place. Without the police, anarchy and chaos are just around the corner. Before you know it, we’ll have to start hosting a Purge twice a year instead of just once.” We asked him what he was talking about, to which he replied, “Wait, did you say progressive? Oh, I’m firmly in the regressive party, so I’m probably not the best person to ask.”

“Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘Progressive’ as…” – Trust us, you don’t need to read this one.

“Ugh – I understand that it’s not the most progressive stance, but why am I getting cancelled for this?” One interviewee asked us, clearly upset. “I did what you people said, OK? I voted. Wasn’t that what everyone kept harping on about last year? I did my part. And now, I can’t talk to my friends because they have shunned me for voting for B. If I had another chance and could please my friends and vote against it, I would. This is even cutting into my dating life. It’s just not fair!”

If the answer to our question ‘What makes a city progressive?’ is ‘The People,’ these interviews show us that Austin has a long way to go.

Shout-out to ATX Barrio Archive for the picture used in this story. Follow them here for more.


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