Sundown HOME town

Roxanne Evans
Roxanne Evans

Austin Free Press Editor,

I have watched in horror as the Austin City Council fast-tracked the ill-conceived and racist deregulation of land development standards.

After hearing speakers at the May 16 public hearing on the second phase of HOME (Home Options for Mobility and Equity), I had a vivid picture of Austin’s future under HOME II.

Austin will become a sundown town. Sundown towns were cities and counties so hostile to blacks (and sometimes other races) that they posted signs warning them not to be caught in the town after sundown. 

Austin is near there now. African Americans come into Austin for work or other endeavors and then leave afterwards for their homes outside the city. Their departure isn’t fueled by fear of violence; it is fueled by lack of affordability and a sense of community.

HOME II could exacerbate the rate of displacement at a speed matched only by the 1928 city plan. Austin may not post signs such as: “Whites only after Dark” or the more direct: “N****r, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On You.” But many of us feel that the housing code changes send the same unwelcoming, hostile message. 

Roxanne Evans

Editor’s Note:

The civil opinions that we publish from a range of community voices do not necessarily reflect the views of the Austin Free Press

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