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Houston City Council Unanimously Approves Civility Ordinance For The Near Northside

Council member Karla Cisneros brings up the option of these measures applying citywide.

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The Houston City Council unanimously approved a civility ordinance, which will ban sitting, laying or sleeping on public sidewalks from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., for the Near Northside neighborhood.
Florian Martin
The Houston City Council unanimously approved a civility ordinance, which will ban sitting, laying or sleeping on public sidewalks from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., for the Near Northside neighborhood.

The Houston City Council unanimously approved a civility ordinance for the Near Northside neighborhood, but some city council members are wondering whether measures of this kind should apply to the whole city.

The civility ordinance will ban sitting, laying or sleeping on public sidewalks from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Residents of the Near Northside hope it will help to combat vagrancy, trespassing and drug dealing.

Leonardo Matamores lives in the neighborhood and said he thinks the main problem is the vagrant and transient populations that go to the Near Northside using the light rail.

Homeless sleeping on the sidewalk

"As soon as the rail opened up, people were coming in the neighborhood that didn't live there," Matamores said.

Council Member Karla Cisneros represents District H, which includes the Near Northside.

As she spoke to Mayor Sylvester Turner during the city council meeting, she brought up the possibility of creating a civility ordinance for the entire city.

"What I would like to request of you is to look at the ordinance and to see how we can make it better," Cisneros commented.

Turner says he is trying to find comprehensive solutions to the problem.

But he warned that if a measure of that kind were applied in all of Houston, the city could risk losing funds from the federal government if it thinks the city is criminalizing homelessness.

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