ST. PHILIP’S COLLEGE INVITES ALL TO JOIN IN ITS FAMILY-FRIENDLY 2019 JUNETEENTH FREEDOM DAY PROJECT
SAN ANTONIO (May 22, 2019)–––As the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, Juneteenth Freedom Day is considered a special event project on the timeline of a college that was originated in 1898 for the daughters of former U.S. slaves.
All are welcome to join St. Philip’s College students as participants in the college’s 2019 Juneteenth Freedom Day project. The highlight of the SPC project involves marching with the college’s students in the local parade that celebrates the event—the Juneteenth Freedom Parade—June 15 at 10 a.m., beginning Sam Houston High School at 4635 E. Houston St., and ending at Comanche Park #2 at 2600 Rigsby Ave.
Juneteenth Freedom Day is a widely recognized celebration of the moment 154 years ago (June 19, 1865) when more than 200,000 enslaved persons in Texas found out that they were both free and independent from being considered as someone else’s property. One-hundred-fifty-three years is slightly more than half of San Antonio’s 301-year existence as a city, meaning Juneteenth—and slavery—and freedom—has more than a few deep roots in one of the nation’s largest states.
The march is the signature element of the college’s engagement with the local organizers of the Juneteenth Parade. It began getting into early gear for the last two years when the parade organizers ran into a few issues scheduling the parade close to the actual date of Juneteenth.
When the nation’s first Juneteenth parade of the 2018 season took place June 2 in San Antonio, rather than the projected June 16 date, the college had two weeks to organize its 2018 participation early and appropriately.
As in year’s past, the college’s 2019 Juneteenth project will be confirmed in coming weeks with at least a single day of family friendly activity and engagement, and the parade is once again announced to be aligned with the actual week that Juneteenth is observed nationwide.
Celebrations public and private began once the final reading of the proclamation on the ending of slavery in the United States occurred in Galveston have enjoyed continuity in North America, for freedom from living as property in legal and commercialized concentration camp-like conditions in a country where freedom is foremost is worth celebrating. Descendants of the enslaved in other parts of the Western Hemisphere where slavery thrived or was frowned upon commemorate similar human events with exhibitions or Juneteenth-like events for the intellect—and for human unity in avoiding such atrocities of the past.
A co-organizer of the 2018 project, Paul Lede is the college’s coordinator of student success.
“We all wore our college anniversary shirts and were waving out the window and honking the horn in our van when the students inside the van decided to get their Juneteenth Freedom Day message closer to the people. Most people in the parade were in cars, and once we got halfway there in vans our students decorated by hand, the students said, ‘We want to walk,’ explained Lede. “After they got out of the vans, our students gave kids beads as they walked in front of the Sam Houston High School Band, and our contingent included Collegiate 100 chapter, honor society and student government members. The students were creative. They took time to decorate our van with beads, ribbons and banners in our college blue and white colors, so people knew it was us,” said Lede.
The college will welcome all to join its contingent in the 2019 Juneteenth Freedom Parade lineup June 15. For full details on the college’s observance to include partnering in or scaling up college participation, service and excellence, contact college Juneteenth Freedom Day program co-chairs John Martin(director of student conduct and Title IX programs) at email@example.com and Ruben Guerrero (senior multimedia specialist) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another Blow Dealt: Charges Not Directly Linked To Victim Breonna Taylor
Residents of Louisville, Kentucky along with spectators across the world have waited for more than six months with anticipation for the verdict in the Breonna Taylor case. Anticipation has been boiling so much so that city and state officials began preparing days ago for uncertainty in the event that protests and riots could potentially break out once the verdict was read. The Kentucky National Guard and state police were called in and a 72-hour countywide curfew has been enacted. Once again there is further division, unrest, and lack of trust in another American city as clashes have already began to erupt in the streets of Louisville.
The verdict is in and the long-awaited grand jury charges are as follows. Only one former police officer, Brett Hankinson, was indicted on three felony counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. In a nutshell, the other two officers will face no charges and the charges Hankinson faces are not directly related to the wrongful death of Breonna Taylor, but rather his reckless action of “wantonly shooting a gun” into an apartment (not Breonna’s). First-degree wanton endangerment is a Class D felony, the lowest of four classes of felonies, the maximum sentence is five years; the minimum is one year.
Last week an announcement was made by the city of Louisville that a $12 million settlement had been reached with the family of Breonna Taylor. Continued prayers for the family of Breonna Taylor and the city of Louisville.
2021 Budget Adopted
City of San Antonio’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Makes Investments in Public Health, Housing and Workforce Development
SAN ANTONIO (September 17, 2020) – Today, the City Council unanimously adopted the $2.9 billion Fiscal Year 2021 Budget, which is $4.4 million lower than last year’s budget, stays well below the statutory cap on property taxes and continues to invest resources in the four pillars of the Recovery & Resilience Plan, which includes keeping people in their homes, training people to secure jobs that are available today, supporting small businesses and improving digital connectivity for residents.
“The goal of the fiscal year 2021 budget is to maintain the city services that our residents expect, while also helping them recover from the devastating economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “We’ve been able to make meaningful investments in the services our community asked for, including public health, housing and human services, such as resources for mental health and support for those experiencing homelessness.”
The FY 2021 Adopted Budget invests $346 million in the community to vital services including health, housing, education and human services; this is in addition to the $291 million from federal grants targeted to assist the City with the response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, as part of the continued response to COVID-19, many departments, such as Metro Health, Fire, Neighborhood & Housing Services, Economic Development and Human Services, have changed their focus to address the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and help San Antonio recover from its effects.
$45.8 million is allocated to Metro Health, including $20.3 million in the General Fund, which is a 29.6 percent increase compared to the FY 2020 Adopted Budget, the largest proportional increase of any department. The Adopted Budget creates a new Violence Prevention Division in Metro Health with a total investment of $8.9 million, including $1.3 million in new funds, and the transfer of 20 Crisis Response Team employees from the San Antonio Police Department to Metro Health.
The adopted budget also includes $1 million to expand the Healthy Neighborhood Program and to create a new Community Health Connector Partnership and augment other public health programs. The adopted budget also adds $120,000 to add 12 healthy corner stores in Districts 1, 2, 4 and 7, while maintaining support for the eight stores in District 3. This program provides healthy food options to areas that lack access to grocery stores.
The FY 2021 Adopted Budget allocates $27.5 million for affordable housing initiatives. This allocation also includes $300,000 for new legal kiosks at key city locations to assist at-risk populations.
The adopted budget includes $486.5 million for the San Antonio Police Department, an increase of 1.7%. Nearly all of the increase is contractually-obligated (by the collective bargaining agreement with the police union) or state law-required. The proposed budget reallocates $1.6 million from the police budget to accept a federal COPS grant to hire 25 new officers focused on preventing domestic violence and reduces overtime for police officers by $3.4 million.
The FY 2021 Adopted Budget also introduces a deliberate process to address foundational issues within the police department, review police services and engage the entire community on expectations. The San Antonio Police Department responds to more than 2.1 million calls for service per year, some of which may be more appropriately handled by other departments and service providers. The process will review foundational issues, such as accountability and discipline of officers, determine the community’s expectations of the police department, incorporate community input and identify funding and alternative response mechanisms. A draft plan will be presented to the City Council by April 2021. Negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the San Antonio Police Officers Association will begin in the spring of 2021.
Support for Residents Experiencing Food Insecurity
The budget also invests $1 million in the San Antonio Food Bank’s Culinary Center. The project will provide more prepared meals for families experiencing food insecurity. The center will also increase Culinary Training program class size, provide space for on-site nutrition education classes and allow the San Antonio Food Bank to be more prepared in the event of a natural disaster or future pandemic.
The General Fund, the largest operating fund in the proposed budget, is $1.28 billion, which is a 0.7 percent increase over FY 2020. The increase is primarily due to compensation increases from the collective bargaining agreements with the police and fire unions. The Adopted Budget includes new and existing investments in community service priorities. These investments include:
- Small business support: additional $500,000 that partially reinstates a City fee waiver program and an establishes a new entrepreneurship program
- Violence Prevention: a new division in Metro Health with a total investment of $8.9 million, including $1.3 million in new funds and the transfer of 20 Crisis Response Team workers from SAPD to Metro Health
- Affordable Housing: $27.5 million to assist residents at risk of displacement and facilitate the development of affordable housing
- Homelessness and Mental Health: $36 million investment, representing a $1 million more than FY 2021. $560,000 will allow the City to expand the Homeless Outreach Team created through the recovery and resiliency plan resulting in 11 district outreach Teams (one per district and downtown). $500,000 is added for an alternative mental health response option
- Healthy Food Access: $120,000 to add 12 healthy corner stores in Districts 1, 2, 4 and 7, while maintaining support for the 8 stores in District 3
- Education: $1.1 million to AlamoPROMISE to provide college scholarships to Alamo Colleges students
- Human Services and Workforce Development: $24.3 million for delegate agencies providing critical services to San Antonio residents
The General Fund also adapts to a new fiscal reality and the impacts of COVID-19 by including $87 million in budget cuts over two years ($38 million in FY 2021 and $49 million in FY 2022) due to revenue reductions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some the of the reductions include:
- Reduction of $14 million through City hiring freeze for most vacant positions, no pay increases for City employees, and other compensation adjustments
- Suspension of economic development incentives saving $5.5 million
- $3.4 million in reductions to the Police Department overtime budget and suspension of Police Cadet Hiring Bonus program ($739,500)
New SAPD Protocols
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus announces new mental health crisis call protocol and permanent end of the use of “no knock” warrants.
SAN ANTONIO (September 11, 2020) — Today, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus issued new orders updating San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) policies relating to how SAPD responds to mental health calls and prohibiting the use of “no knock” warrants.
“The decision to revise these policies was made to better protect our officers and the public,” said Police Chief William McManus. “The newly established Escalated Mental Health Crisis Protocol’s objective provides officers with a way to help an individual who is need of mental health assistance. This new protocol aims to deescalate situations and equip officers with the tools needed in the field to protect lives.”
“I’m completely supportive of Chief McManus’s policy revisions. These encounters can unnecessarily put officers and the public in harm’s way,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “Over the course of the next few months, we’ll continue to work with the community and evaluate SAPD’s programs, policies and call response to align with best practices.”
This June Chief McManus suspended the use of “no knock” warrants for both search and arrest warrants. In June, District 2 Councilwoman Jada Andrews Sullivan issued a Council Consideration Request (CCR) seeking to discontinue the use of “no knock” warrants.
“I’d like to thank Chief McManus, City staff and my council colleagues for working to keep our community safer. Thank you to the community for making their voices known and truly asking us to review policies in full detail,” said District 2 Councilwoman Jada Andrews Sullivan. “By discontinuing “no knock” warrants we are saving lives of both the public and our officers.”
Updates to the policies were shared with today’s meeting of the City Council Public Safety Committee Meeting, which is chaired by District 6 Councilwoman Melissa Cabello Havrda. Councilmembers Jada Andrews Sullivan, Ana Sandoval, Clayton Perry and Rebecca Viagran also sit on the committee.
“Today we made tangible steps towards making our city a safer place for the public, police officers, and our community as a whole. I have spent hours listening to and reading public comments and meeting with community groups. Thanks to Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan, Chief William McManus, Deputy City Manager Maria Villagomez, the Baptist Ministers Union, the San Antonio Police Officer’s Association, individual police officers, COPS Metro, Community Churches for Social Action, organizers Pharaoh Clark and Josie Garcia, and countless others for their dedication to making substantive changes to city policy. I remain committed to fostering meaningful dialogue, thoughtful questioning and a genuine desire to foster progress rather than division. Today is a win for our city,” said District 6 Councilwoman Melissa Cabello Havrda.
The updated procedures are detailed below.
Procedures 503, entitled Obtaining and Executing Arrest Warrants and Procedures 504, entitled Execution of Search Warrants have been revised as follows:
- Prohibits officers from applying for or participating in the service of “no knock” search warrant entries
- Prohibits officers from applying for or participating in the service of “no knock” arrest warrants.
- Prohibits entry into premises when serving high-risk warrants and requires the use of alternative strategies to include setting up a perimeter and encouraging the individual being sought to surrender.
The Escalated Mental Health Crisis Call Protocol will be used for mental health crisis calls involving violent acts or the presence of weapons. The protocol includes the following provisions:
- The Communications Unit will try to determine if a service call is a mental health crisis involving weapons or violence. If an Escalated Mental Health Crisis Call exists, the dispatcher will dispatch a supervisor to the scene.
- The responding officer will coordinate with the assigned supervisor and will try to contact the complainant to gather as much information as possible prior to the supervisor’s arrival. If an Escalated Mental Health Crisis Call exists, then the SAPD Mental Health Unit Supervisor will dispatch the SAPD Mental Health team to respond to the location.
- Responding officers will not approach the person in crisis, unless the person initiates contact or there is a life-threatening situation. Officers are instructed to evaluate the situation and to be prepared to take appropriate measures to protect themselves and others. Officers are also instructed to conduct interviews of relatives, friends, neighbors or others that can provide useful information.
For more information about the San Antonio Police Department’s policies and procedures visit SanAntonio.gov/SAPD.
Another Blow Dealt: Charges Not Directly Linked To Victim Breonna Taylor
Denver, CO Governor Diversifies the Bench
2021 Budget Adopted
Video Surfaces in Ahmaud Arbery Case
Mel Waiters Gets Street Named After Him
Bushwick Bill, Of Houston Rap Group Geto Boys, Dead At 52
Travel2 weeks ago
NASA Astronaut Jeanette Epps Joins First Operational Boeing Crew Mission to Space Station
Crime2 weeks ago
Faith Leaders Unite to Ban Chokeholds and No-Knock Warrants
Entertainment2 weeks ago
Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air Reboot In The Works
Entertainment1 week ago
Netflix Orders 10 Episodes of Animated ‘Good Times’ Series Co-Produced By Steph Curry
Community2 weeks ago
New SAPD Protocols
Sports1 week ago
Naomi Osaka Wins 2020 US Open
Politics3 days ago
Denver, CO Governor Diversifies the Bench
Business7 days ago
2021 Budget Adopted