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Historic win for District 2

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Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan: “Budget is a historic win for District 2”

SAN ANTONIO (September 12, 2019) — District 2 Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan released the following statement following the adoption of the FY 2020 Operating and Capital Budget approved by City Council:

“We are thrilled to see the results of over a month of planning, negotiation, and collaboration come to fruition in ways that our community has been requesting for a long time. The approved budget is a historic win for District 2 and has definitely set a precedent for the future that District 2 is not the black sheep of the city.

We are being allocated more money for infrastructure, more money than we’ve ever been allocated for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March, and we’re allocating money for programs that will benefit our community’s most vulnerable populations.

Our Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March is the largest in the nation and is expected to continue to grow as it attracts international attention and becomes a destination for people around the world. This year, we are allocating $200,000 to cover the cost of marketing, facility rental, production, and facility use. This is about $50,000 more than we typically see for the march’s funding. 

Ella Austin Community Center, a staple of our community, is being allocated $500,000 for maintenance and renovation in addition to $90,000 to fund its summer youth program. 

The city is also matching $150,000 in funds to Brackenridge Park Conservancy for a market analysis of the Sunken Gardens Theater. 

In addition, of the $110 Million allocated to city-wide infrastructure improvements, half will be allotted based on volume of roads and half will be based on condition. We are receiving about 13% of the Street Maintenance Program budget, more funding than District 2 has ever received before.

One of our biggest wins was a $25,000 allocation to fund a second chance initiative which will assist in developing and securing employment for individuals who are formerly incarcerated. When people have served their time and reintegrate into society, it is so hard for them to find steady footing. This program will help ease that transition which will lead to reduced recidivism, reduced homelessness, and reduced hopelessness that leads to a number of other things.

We’ll also see $250,000 allocated to a Neighborhood and Housing Program that will provide ten $25,000 home grants for homeowners in District 2. These home grants will allow our most vulnerable populations to make necessary structural improvements to their homes. 

I am also personally excited to see the Collaborative Commission on Domestic Violence will be allocated $500,000 in funds, and I want to thank Councilmembers Shirley Gonzalez and Manny Palaez for drafting the original CCR (Council Consideration Request) that made this possible.

Today, our city came out victorious and our district has much to celebrate. Moving forward, we will continue to take the steps towards an equitable future.”

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DNA Test Proved Otherwise

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Black Man Convicted of Murder Still in Prison After 7 Years Despite DNA Test Proving His Innocence

Houston, TX — 42-year old Lydell Grant, a Black man from Texas, has been behind bars for the past 7 years serving a life sentence after being convicted of a murder that he says he did not commit. There has even been a DNA test administered that has proved his innocence, and yet he still remains in prison.

Grant was accused of chasing down and fatally stabbing Aaron Scheerhoorn, a 28-year old man, near a night club in Montrose, Texas in December 2010. Grant was arrested days after the incident because of a Crime Stoppers tip.

During the trial, no one testified about whether the victim and Grant, who was a gang member and has previous arrest records, knew each other before the incident. He has since maintained his innocence and said that he did not commit the crime. But in 2012, Grant was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for murder.

Just recently, new evidence and testimonies prove his innocence. Aside from eyewitnesses who said Grant was not the one who killed the victim, the state DNA expert testified that Grant’s DNA does not match the DNA recovered from below the victim’s fingernails.

Moreover, the DNA test, which was even retested by the Innocence Project of Texas and the DPS crime lab, reveals that the identified suspect still remains at large.

While his release and exoneration are on the process, he could have been released on bond. Last week, Grant was in court for the hearing that would allow him to be released on bond, but the judge ruled he will remain in custody.

Another hearing is scheduled in late November but his family was somehow disappointed that Grant would still have to remain in custody and their reunion was postponed until then.

“We know he’s innocent, and we’re gonna fight to the end,” his aunt, Kitsye Grant, told ABC13. “They really need to go and find the right person. What I feel bad for is the mother of the young man, the victim. They got the wrong person.”

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6th Annual Rance Olison Sr. “Celebrity Sports Trivia Night” Gala

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San Antonio, TX— The NFL Former Players Association San Antonio-Austin Chapter will host their 6th Annual Rance Olison Sr. “Celebrity Sports Trivia Night” Gala, October 12, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., at the Plaza Club, located on the 21 st floor of the Frost Bank Tower, 100 W. Houston St.

Rance “Sonny” William Olison used his athleticism to open doors that led to an advanced education and a lifetime of philanthropy. “He had a lot of great one-liners I find myself repeating, like: ‘To be a gainer, you must be a giver,’” former NFL and University of Texas running back Priest Holmes said about his friend. Olison called himself a “suitcase” player because he played in four professional football leagues including the NFL. He was a cornerback with the San Francisco 49ers in 1976. He also played for the Texarkana Phantoms in Arkansas from 1977-78, the Kansas City Chiefs in 1979, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1980, among others.

Olison also served as an assistant coach for the Dallas Cowboys and instructed many young people in sports throughout the years. Wanting to empower others, Olison also become a history teacher and philanthropist. During his reign as president of the NFL Former Players Association San Antonio-Austin Chapter, the organization worked with the San Antonio-based Priest Holmes Foundation to provide scholarships for students to help them step into promising futures.

On March 11, at age 65, Olison died of heart complications. To honor all of his accomplishments, The NFL Former Players Association San Antonio-Austin Chapter will host their 6th Annual Rance Olison Sr. “Celebrity Sports Trivia Night” Gala, October 12, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., at the Plaza Club, located on the 21st floor of the Frost Bank Tower, 100 W. Houston St.

The event will feature a dinner, dance and silent auction. There will be several Former NFL, NBA and MLB players in San Antonio, Texas to take part in this event.

Proceeds will benefit the Mrs. Carrie Kendrix Buggs Turkey giveaway in Rance hometown in Arkansas and in San Antonio on December for families in need.

Tickets can be purchased on Event Brite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/6th-annual-rance-olison-celebrity-sports-trivia-night-gala-tickets-65676737891

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District 2 – Special Report

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