Mayor Turner responds to ACLU lawsuit and firefighter impasse

HOUSTON - Mayor Sylvester Turner responded to the lawsuit to stop homeless ordinances and the impasse on contract negotiations by firefighters in a press conference on Monday evening.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing over the mayor’s new ordinance that aims to reduce homelessness.

The 6-point plan also bans panhandling and camping. It requires that all of a person's belongings fit into a 3-foot cube.

Related: Mayor Turner unveils plan for Houston's homeless

The ACLU says it shows little sympathy for those with few options.

“Make no mistake this is a public safety issue, we can't bury our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist because it does," said Turner. “My read of what the lawsuit says is that it says we can't do anything."

Later, Turner adressed the impasse by the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association.

HPFFA said they'd hit an impasse on contract negotiations. They are accusing the city of saying one thing then doing another, “behind their backs.”

The mayor responded by saying firefighters are fighting pension reform and asking for pay raises, something that he says is just not feasible.


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