San Antonio once again has showed its commitment to being Military City, USA, as Maj. Gen. Juan G. Ayala (USMC Retired), director of the city’s Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, stepped into his role as the president of Texas Mayors of Military Communities.
Ayala was designated by Mayor Ron Nirenberg to serve on the advocacy group on behalf of San Antonio, and later elected president by members of Texas Mayors of Military Communities (TMMC).
“This appointment is evidence of the great partnership and support the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs provides under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Ayala to not only San Antonio, but to Texas as well,” Mayor Nirenberg said. “As Military City, USA, we are proud to join forces with other Texas cities to protect our military bases.”
TMMC is a nonprofit consisting of 13 cities, including Abilene, Austin, Corpus Christi, Del Rio, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Killeen, Kingsville, San Angelo, San Antonio, Texarkana and Wichita Falls. The group was formed to advocate at the State Capitol for policies and funding that benefit Texas bases. The 15 bases in Texas represent approximately $101 billion per year in annual economic impact for Texas, while employing several hundred thousand men and women in both military and civilian roles.
“As the largest employer in the region, the military is a priority for the city of San Antonio,” City Manager Sheryl Sculley said. “In addition to investing more than $90 million in infrastructure since 2009 to support our bases and developing regulations that ensure compatible land use, we see it as our responsibility to advocate for the military when they cannot do so themselves.”
One priority for TMMC has been grant money for the Defense Economic Assistance and Adjustment Grants (DEAAG) program. In each of the past three years, the San Antonio area has successfully applied for DEAAG grants totaling nearly $15 million. Funds are used to connect San Antonio’s installations to the San Antonio Water System, acquire private property in the Accident Protect Zones adjacent to Randolph Air Force Base and construct a high-tech building at Port San Antonio to house cybersecurity operations.
“Military missions are not only a part of the culture and history of Texas communities, but are also integral to state and local economies,” Ayala said. “We are committed to uniting military communities to preserve and promote the military installations in Texas. I’m honored to serve in this position and further our efforts to protect Texas military bases.”
The group has been successful in securing more than $50 million in state grant funding that has been leveraged by local governments throughout Texas to enhance the military value and missions of its bases.
Are You San Antonio’s Next Queen of Soul?
ARE YOU THE NEXT QUEEN OF SOUL?
Are you a Young lady between the ages of 18 and 24 years old?
Are you a Young lady who is a student in good academic standing?
Are you interested in scholarship money?
Are you a Young Lady who will represent the San Antonio Queen of Soul, Inc. and our community with dignity, composure and grace?
Are you a resident or student of the greater San Antonio, Texas and surrounding area (within 30 miles)?
Are you a Young Lady in good physical health and of good moral character?
Are you a Young Lady who can complete the Queen of Soul 2020-2021 soon?
Are you a Young Lady who will be available for the following?
- 4 to 6 weeks of Queen of Soul Contestant Rehearsals starting in early Feburary?
- March 10, 2020 Queen of Soul Pageant Reception?
- March 14, 2020 Queen of Soul Pageant?
- Fiesta 2020 events?
If so then YOU could be the 2020 – 2021 Queen of Soul!
Please go to the following website for the application and other details:
San Antonio Queen of Soul, Inc. https://www.saqueenofsoul.org/
CONTACT: QOS Contestant Coordinators
Dori Brown and Zekalia Washington
Black Teen Banned From Graduation Because of His Hair
Mont Belvieu, TX — Deandre Arnold, a high school student from Texas, is reportedly being discriminated against because of his hair style of choice. His school, Barbers Hill High School in the city of Mont Belvieu, has suspended him and banned him from participating in his own graduation unless he cuts his locks to a shorter length.
School officials claim their decision is based on their long-standing policy wherein “no dress code policy that prohibits any cornrow or any other method of wearing of the hair, our policy limits the length. It’s been that way for 30 years,” Superintendent Greg Poole told KHOU 11.
However, activists believe that it is yet again another case of racial discrimination.
“The dress code is designed by white people for white people and is damaging to Black bodies,” Black Lives Matter activist Ashton Woods said.
“This is a Black and white issue, Deandre (and) his family should not have to go through this. But I expect it from a board that has zero diversity,” stated Gary Monroe, with the United Urban Alumni Association.
A number of activists supported Deandre and his family in their discussion with the Barbers Hill school board, hoping to come to a favorable resolution. They thought that the issue was an insignificant obstruction to the teen’s education that might also be experienced by others.
“We’re here for Deandre, but it’s about more than that, this is about all the other Deandres that could come through Barbers Hill,” Sandy Arnold, Deandre’s mother said.
Moreover, Deandre’s family, together with their supporters, are planning to take the case to federal court if the school wouldn’t come up with a resolution 48 hours after their meeting.
Continuing The Legacy
CONTINUING KING’S LEGACY OF JUSTICE, PEACE AND EQUALITY!
The City of San Antonio’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission will continue its commemoration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1st March for Justice organized by the late Rev. Dr. Raymond “R.A.” Callies, Sr., a San Antonio teacher and pastor. Rev. Callies began the March in 1968 to call attention to the need for basic infrastructure on the east side. His efforts have resulted in what has become one of the largest commemorative marches for Dr. King in the United States and possibly the world. After the death of Dr. King, he worked tirelessly to have a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. erected in what is now MLK Plaza located at the heart of the eastside on New Braunfels Street. Since then, community members along with thousands of others who travel across the country to participate, have gathered each year in increasing numbers to reflect on their own Dream of Justice, Peace and Equality to all in America.
Improving the quality of life for all people was the dream of Dr. King and Rev. Callies. The MLK Commission seeks to continue their work and legacy by offering educational and empowering events throughout the month of January each year. If you would like to support the mission of the City of San Antonio, MLK Commission, please participate by attending the various events provided by the Commission. Your financial support is also needed to help in presenting Scholarships to deserving area students. Please contact the City of San Antonio’s MLK, Jr. Commission for more informtation.
The signature event, the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March, is scheduled for Monday, January 20, 2020. The march will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the MLK Academy located at 3501 MLK Drive and end at Pittman-Sullivan Park, 1101 Iowa.