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Bexar County Voters Make Decisions in Midterm Election

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Bexar County residents went to the polls Nov. 6 and spoke loudly with their vote on proposed city charter amendments and annexation.

Voters overwhelmingly said no to annexation to land around Camp Bullis and Lackland. On the proposed amendments, voters were more split.

“San Antonio voters sent a strong message last night. By rejecting Proposition A, voters made it crystal clear they are tired of special interest politics and want us to continue moving forward down the path of prosperity and economic growth,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “Citizens were also clear that they want us to limit City Manager compensation. Their wishes will be front and center as we determine the path forward. While I did not believe Proposition C was the best path forward, the voters also made clear they are tired of the conflict between the union and the city.”

AMENDMENTS TO THE CITY CHARTER

The San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association conducted a petition drive seeking three changes to the City Charter. The proposed changes will be enacted only if they are approved by San Antonio voters on Nov. 6. The following are summaries of the proposed changes.

PROPOSITION A – Voters said AGAINST – 54 percent of vote

Shall the City Charter be amended to expand the types of ordinances that may be subject to referendum including appropriation of money, levying a tax, granting a franchise, fixing public utility rates, zoning and rezoning of property; increase the number of days within which a petition may be filed seeking a referendum on an ordinance passed by council from forty to one hundred eighty days after passage of the ordinance; and to provide that no more than twenty thousand signatures of registered voters are required for a referendum petition instead of ten percent of those electors qualified to vote at the last regular municipal election?

PROPOSITION B – Voters said FOR – 59 percent of vote 

Shall the City Charter be amended to limit the term the City Manager may serve to no longer than eight years, limit the compensation of the City Manager to no more than ten times the annual salary furnished to the lowest paid full-time city employee, and to require a supermajority vote to appoint the City Manager?

PROPOSITION C – Voters said FOR – 50 percent of vote 

Shall the City Charter be amended to provide the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 624 with unilateral authority to require the City to participate in binding arbitration of all issues in dispute with the Association within forty-five days of the City’s receipt of the Association’s written arbitration request?

 

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Education

Where Will You Be For History?

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021 marks the day for the 59th Inaugural Ceremony. This historical event has been witnessed by Americans for over 200 years. The moment marks the transition of power for the President and Vice President of the United States. From the first Inauguration of George Washington, in New York City, in 1789, to the present, the 59th Inaugural Ceremonies, the Swearing-In Ceremonies represent both national renewal and continuity of leadership. Several Inaugurations have held great importance and significance including the swearing in of Barack Hussein Obama II, the 44th President of the United States, but what makes this year’s inauguration so remarkable? Well, as we reflect on the current time we are in; a divided nation where hate is at the forefront of the actions of many American citizens, COVID has devastated the population, historic election voting percentages have reigned, the inaugural events are closed to the public, and where gender and race have for far too long been the basis as to why some have been denied opportunities to fulfill “positions of power,” this milestone marks another step towards us becoming “one nation under God with liberty and justice for all.” Kamala Harris already made history when she was elected as the first Black and South Asian woman elected Vice President, however January 20, 2021 her role will be official and she will officially be Madame Vice President.

The ceremony traditionally begins with a procession to the capitol beginning about 11:00 ET. Harris will be sworn in first by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and Latina Justice appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States. (She was nominated by President Barack Obama.). Joe Biden will be sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts followed by remarks from both.

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Politics

A New Chief In Charge

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Less than two weeks into the new year and after the insurrection chaos on Capitol Hill, the US Capitol Police has appointed a new chief. Yogananda Pittman was appointed the acting police chief after former Chief Steven Sund resigned after criticism and calls for his resignation due to the many failures and ill planning and handling of security against the pro-Trump rioters that invaded the US Capitol. Pittman will be the first woman and first Black person to head the Capitol Police. Previously, she served as an assistant chief.

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2021 History Makers

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by LaNell Taylor

We’re just seven days into the new year and although political chaos has turned deadly (US Capital takeover), the COVID virus is still running rampant throughout most of the world, history makers are already taking their place in the record books.

Right here in Bexar County, TX, San Antonio’s very own Kathryn Brown was sworn in at midnight on Jan. 1 taking on her role as Bexar County Constable, Precinct 4. She is the first-ever Black woman to serve in the county. Brown defeated her Republican opponent Larry Ricketts. Brown is a 19-year veteran of the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, a mother of two, and a cancer survivor.

Tia McWilliams made history as the first African American woman sheriff of Taliaferro County in rural Georgia. McWilliams is also a mother of two and has been with the sheriff’s office for over 19 years. She was elected in November 2020 and will replace retired Sheriff Marc Richards.

On Tuesday, January 5th Reverend Raphael Warnock won the runoff and was elected Georgia’s first black senator. When he is sworn in later this month, he’ll be the 11th Black person to serve in the US Senate, but the first Black Democrat to represent a southern state in the Senate. (Other non southern states Black Democrat Senators were Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, Carol Mosely Braun, Roland Burris, and William “Mo” Cowan). Warnock beat the GOP incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Warnock is a native of Georgia, graduate of Morehouse College, the 11th of 12 children, the first in his family to graduate college, and he’s the senior pastor of Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached.

These groundbreaking success stories are just the beginning of many great moments to come. After a tumultuous year of uncertainty, grief, and some feelings of hopelessness, for at least a brief period we can be assured that more opportunities and doors will continue to open for Blacks to become the firsts but definitely not the last.   

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