A statue of Leslie Cochran, a homeless Austin resident who's most well-known for his crossdressing and passed away in 2012, is closer to becoming a reality in the city of Austin.
Over the years, Cochran frequented the area of Sixth Street and Congress Avenue, where he would often be seen pushing a large cart filled with not only all of his belongings, but also adorned with many different slogans and signs that were made by him.
A local filmmaker was inspired by Cochran so much that he decided to make a film detailing his life. Additionally, he is also working to raise funds to have the aforementioned statue, which will involve Cochran sitting on a bench, erected in downtown Austin. Currently, the plans are to have the statue sit at the corner of Congress Avenue and Sixth Street, where it will be in front of an area Starbucks store.
A local artist has designed the statue, with the model of it recently being relocated so that a final fitting can take place for the statue and bench prior to any kind of a mold being cast. When the time comes, the mold itself will be used to cast the statue itself in bronze.
An additional $300,000 is needed in order to finish both the statue and the film about Cochran's life. Anyone who wishes to contribute can do so by visiting a fundraising webpage that has been established. Additionally, the “Remembering Leslie Cochran” Facebook page also contains more information regarding the project.
On Thursday, June 20th the City of Austin approved an ordinance that would amend the city’s codes on camping in public areas, solicitation, sitting or lying down on public sidewalks and camping in downtown Austin.
Under the new ordinance, according to KXAN, the Austin Police Department will not be allowed to give our tickets or arrest homeless individuals who are soliciting, camping, sitting or lying in a public space in Austin unless they are causing a public health or safety hazard. An offense would only qualify for an arrest or ticket if they’re endangering the health and safety someone else or if they’re “intentionally making a public area impassable or unsable”.