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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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Be Counted and Be Heard Comedy Show

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Be Counted and Be Heard Comedy Show to encourage African Americans in our community to get counted in the 2020 Census

The Dream Big Scholarship Fund, in collaboration with the San Antonio/Bexar County Complete Count Committee, will host the Be Counted and Be Heard Comedy Show this Sunday, Sept. 27, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the AT&T Center parking lot. The goal of the comedy show will be to encourage African American residents of San Antonio and Bexar County to respond to the 2020 Census before next week’s deadline on Sept. 30.   

“It’s imperative that the African American community understand the impact that they can make by letting their voices be heard and getting counted in the 2020 census is one way to be heard,” stated Michele Thomas founder of the Dream Big Scholarship Fund. 

The show’s program will be hosted by 25-year United States Army Combat veteran and aspiring gospel singer Thomas B. Bryant. The program  will feature “Funniest Person in South Texas” finalist, Comedian Clifton Simmons. Headlining the comedy show will be Comedian Marcus D. Wiley from the Yolanda Adams Morning Show. While providing entertainment, these trusted voices will share information about why completing the 2020 Census is important to our communities.   

Multiple organizations such as The 100 Black Men of San Antonio, Psi Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. have pledged their support and resources to the event to ensure a complete count of the community.

The open-air event will be held in Parking Lot 3 at the AT&T Center. To ensure physical distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19, all activities will allow participants to stay in their vehicles. Attendees can enjoy the comedy show from the comfort and safety of their cars, as well as fill out the census form on their own mobile device or on tablets which volunteers will bring to each vehicle.  

The event will be live-streamed on Dream Big Scholarship Fund’s Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/dreambigscholarshipfund) and participants can complete the questionnaire at home and register to win gift card prizes. The census can be completed online at my2020census.gov or by calling 1.844.330.2020. Time is running out, be heard and get counted now!

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Sickle Cell Awareness Month

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September is National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, designated by Congress to help focus attention on the need for research and treatment of sickle cell disease.

SCD is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders. Healthy red blood cells are round, and they move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In someone who has Sickle Cell Disease (SCD), the red blood cells become hard and sticky and look like a C-shaped farm tool called a “sickle”. The sickle cells die early, which causes a constant shortage of red blood cells. Also, when they travel through small blood vessels, they get stuck and clog the blood flow. This can cause pain and other serious problems such as infection, acute chest syndrome and stroke.

In the United States

The exact number of people living with SCD in the U.S. is unknown. Working with partners, the CDC supports projects to learn about the number of people living with SCD to better understand how the disease impacts their health.

It is estimated that:

  • SCD affects approximately 100,000 Americans.
  • SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 365 Black or African-American births.
  • SCD occurs among about 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic-American births.
  • About 1 in 13 Black or African-American babies is born with sickle cell trait (SCT)

SCDAA’s theme for this year is Sickle Cell Matters. Sickle Cell Awareness Month Flyers, Myths & Facts Sheet, Calendar of Events as well as other vital information can be found by visiting https://www.sicklecelldisease.org/ People can share in awareness efforts or join SCDAA at one of the many great events to support sickle cell awareness!

Everyone is encouraged to be a part of this national effort to increase awareness about sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait during the month of September. Individuals and organizations can join the efforts to bring attention to sickle cell disease by engaging elected officials for proclamations, hosting awareness events, distributing educational information to dispel the myths about sickle cell disease, and lighting public spaces, buildings and landmarks red (burgundy)!

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Another Blow Dealt: Charges Not Directly Linked To Victim Breonna Taylor

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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.

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