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Remembering the 19 Soldiers of the 24th Infantry Regiment

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Nineteen black soldiers were hung on Dec. 11, 1917 in San Antonio. In spite of their military service, racial tensions took over their fate. However these men won’t be forgotten by the Bexar County Buffalo Soldiers Association.

The local organization recently voted to pay homage to the 19 soldiers of the 24th infantry regiment by placing a commemorative plaque or monument in the Buffalo Soldier Peace Park at 1602 Wyoming Street – not too far where the soldiers faced death.

Famed actor, author, and former Army Reserve Ambassador James McEachin and Civil Rights leader Pastor Kyev Tatum teamed up to get approval from the Bexas County Buffalo Soldiers Association to collaborate on erecting a monument in recognition of the century old court-martial of 113 black soldiers and 19 hanged in the Alamo City – the largest in military history.

According to the Texas Historical Commission, the condemned men were not told their fate until two days before their execution, nor was time permitted to appeal for clemency. Instead, the execution was hastily carried out before dawn at a secluded edge of Camp Travis along Salado Creek. Their request to be shot had been denied. The gallows upon which they were hanged were gone by the time the news broke to the public. To read the full story of what happened, go here.

“This unique opportunity to recognize and remember the black soldiers lost because that resisted tyranny, rejected injustices and revolted against mistreatment at the hands of law enforcement in Houston, Texas over 100 years ago is a dream come true,” says Pastor K.P. Tatum, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Fort Worth and Pastor of the New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church, also in Fort Worth.

Pastor Tatum and McEachin, a Korean War Veteran and Purple Heart and Silver Star recipient, are also working together to produce an event at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington DC for next July 2019 in honor of the Buffalo Soldiers of America with special recognition given to the brave soldiers of the United States Army 24th Infantry Regiment.

“The US Senate and President George H.W. Bush declared July 28, 1992 as Buffalo Soldiers Day in America and it is only fitting that we honor them with a day at the new Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African-American History and Culture in 2019,” Pastor Tatum said.

The two events are designed to continue the journey towards justice for the black soldiers that will lead to a presidential pardon.

“We believe these soldiers were protecting the fundamental fairness of freedom for all of us very similar to the brave Americans who fought at the Alamo in San Antonio. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was right, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ You can not call the soldiers at the Alamo hereos without calling the men of the 24th Infantry Regiment heroes. They both stood up and resisted brutality, one foreign and the other domestic. Injustice is injustice. We are excited about the possibilities of honoring our faithful forefathers both in San Antonio and in Washington DC,” says Pastor Tatum.

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Councilman Shaw Resigns from City Council

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SAN ANTONIO (Dec. 13, 2018) —
Effective January 7, 2019, Councilman William “Cruz” Shaw is resigning from his position on City Council as he has accepted an offer to become associate judge of the 436th Judicial District Court.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the people of District 2 and collaborate with the staff at the City of San Antonio,” said Councilman Shaw. “I am grateful for this opportunity to work with the youth in San Antonio who have found their way into the criminal justice system. I want to make clear to the people in District 2 that there will be no interruption in services and council staff will continue to address all constituent concerns.”

The City will release the details for filling the District 2 vacancy in the coming days.

 

View resignation letter

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The Discussion w The Writer Fred Blacks in the Media: Have We Made Good Progress?

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Get Emergency Utility Bill Help Now Through Your Smartphone

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San Antonio’s Department of Human Services (DHS) announced the availability of a new, Emergency Utility Bill Assistance online application, which is at www.sanantonio.gov/DHSutility.

The online application simplifies the previous paper-based process by eliminating the need for residents to print and photocopy supporting documentation (photo ID, proof of income, CPS Energy or SAWS bill), and mail documents or visit the Willie Velasquez Center to obtain assistance. Now, residents can complete the application online and upload required documents using their smartphone or tablet’s built-in camera.

“We have found that most of our clients today have a smartphone, even if they don’t have a computer,” Human Services Director Melody Woosley said. “We wanted to make it easy for residents to use that phone to apply for the assistance they need.”

The new online application is the culmination of the inaugural CivTechSA residency program, collaboration between the City’s Office of Innovation and Geekdom. CivTechSA coordinated a 16-week residency in which city departments pitched their challenges to be solved by local technology firms. Kinetech Cloud, a Geekdom-based custom software-as-a-service provider, was one of two businesses selected for the CivTechSA residency.

The emergency utility assistance program helps the city’s most vulnerable residents during times of need to avoid power and water service shut-offs whenever possible. The average annual income of applicants for assistance is approximately $14,000. The program processes over 10,000 applications annually, administering approximately $2.4 million in CPS Energy bill assistance and $400,000 in San Antonio Water Systems (SAWS) credits. Human Services works closely with CPS Energy and SAWS to apply the assistance credits to the bills of eligible residents in need.

“The new online application system allows our staff to provide real-time updates to clients. When a family faces utility disconnection, time is of the essence. This application allows for faster communication with clients, to help complete their application and keep utilities connected,” Woosley said.

Additional benefits of the application include a self-service portal where applicants can check the status of their application, view the average processing time for the past thirty days, and receive automated notifications each time the status of their application changes.

“Virtually every industry is being impacted by technology and local government is no different,” said Michael Guido, CEO of Kinetech. “The majority of population growth over the next fifty years will occur in urban areas. Cities must invest in infrastructure and digital services to address this growth in a sustainable way.”

The DHS solution aligns with San Antonio’s Smart City Initiative – to have San Antonio be connected, inclusive, and resilient. Interested citizens can find out more at www.sanantonio.gov/humanservices/FinanceEmergency.

 

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