By Friday, July 18, 2020 Blacks and the Nation had lost two civil rights icons. Representative John Lewis lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and died at age 80, and the day before Cordey Tindell Vivian (a.k.a. C. T. Vivian) minister, author, and close friend and lieutenant of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement died of natural causes in his home at age 95. Vivian resided in Atlanta and founded the C.T. Vivian Leadership, Inc. He was also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.
Rep. Lewis represented the city of Atlanta for more than 30 years in Congress. He had recently won the June primary for the 5th Congressional District seat in his bid for an 18th term. Under state law, the Georgia Democratic Party was required to choose a replacement nominee by the end of the day Monday, the first business day since Lewis’s death. Today, the Georgia Democrats chose Nikema Williams, a state senator and chairwoman of the state party, to replace the late congressman John Lewis (D) on the November ballot.
Rep. Lewis has been called many things to include “one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced” and “the conscience of the U.S. Congress.” Rep. Lewis’s biography speaks volumes about the life he lived and the work and advocacy he dedicated his life to. For more information about Rep. Lewis visit https://johnlewis.house.gov/john-lewis/biography.
Flags were ordered to fly at half-staff at the White House and all federal public buildings and grounds, including embassies abroad and all military posts and naval stations, throughout the day Saturday.
Funeral arrangements for Rep. Lewis most likely will be held in Atlanta, but there weren’t any immediate announcement on plans, which could be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Funeral services for Vivian are currently scheduled to be livestreamed broadcast on Thursday.
(Video from CNN)
2021 City Council Inauguration
San Antonio’s newly elected Council members are all sworn in and ready for the work ahead. Four new members joined the 10 district dais including District 2 Councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez who made history when he won the Jun. 5 runoff election against former councilwoman, Jada Andrews-Sullivan. Mckee-Rodriguez, 26, ran his entire campaign on progressive principals and values with the goal of transforming city hall. He is also the first openly gay black man to serve on the council and in the state of Texas. The former math teacher is looking forward to serving his constituents, focusing on the budget, and bringing accountability to District 2 and the city of San Antonio.
Fight Back Against Voter Suppression
Rally at the TX Capitol this Saturday: Fight Back Against Voter Suppression
JOIN THE TEXAS POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN AND VDC OUTREACH THIS SATURDAY AT THE CAPITOL FOR A RALLY AGAINST VOTER SUPPRESSION (MASK Required). April 24, 2021, 100 W. 11th Street, Austin, TX 78201
A record number of voter suppression bills have been filed in Texas during the legislative session. These attempts to further voter suppression reflect a coordinated, nationwide effort to stifle the power of a multi-racial fusion movement to make democracy real for the 140 million poor and low-income people living in the U.S.
The bills in the TX Legislature that pose the greatest threat to Texans are House Bill 6 (HB 6) and Senate Bill 7 (SB 7). While slightly different in content, these bills aim to limit voting by restricting how and when people can vote.
In response to HB 6 and SB 7 advancing through the Legislature, we will be having a rally at the Capitol to show lawmakers that we are paying attention and that we will not let our right to vote be stolen from us.
Special guest speakers include:
- Charles O’Neal, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.
- Dr. Shirley McKellar, Council member District 3, Tyler, TX
- Dr. Jamal Randy Allen Rasheed, President / C.E.O Ellis County African American Hall of Fame Museum
- Eric Williams, Dallas filmmaker who recently released “Finding Miriam“
Collective Bargaining Negotiations Extended
City of San Antonio’s statement on collective bargaining negotiations with the San Antonio Police Officers Association
SAN ANTONIO (April 19, 2021) — Today, the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA) agreed to extend collective bargaining negotiations. The parties agreed to a 15-day extension, which extends negotiations through May 12, 2021.
“We have made positive progress in these negotiations, but the arbitration process remains unresolved – that is our top disciplinary reform priority. We made our disciplinary priorities clear and known prior to beginning these negotiations,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “It is not acceptable to have arbitrators undermine the Chief’s authority and force him to rehire officers that have been fired for egregious conduct. Allowing that to continue tarnishes the City, the San Antonio Police Department and our efforts to serve the public daily.”
“Our residents have voiced their priorities and asked us to seek substantial disciplinary changes for police officers. My Council colleagues and I are committed to making that the City’s top priority in these negotiations,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.
The City has negotiated in good faith and is willing to continue negotiations.
“It is critically important to the San Antonio community that the police contract no longer protect and enable bad officers. The vast majority of San Antonio Police Officers do a tremendous job protecting and serving the community, and they deserve better,” said Deputy City Manager María Villagómez.
The City of San Antonio’s negotiating team met with SAPOA 11 times since both parties agreed to negotiate in good faith. Both parties agreed at the start of the negotiations to meet and negotiate through at least April 19, 2021.
More information about the collective bargaining agreement negotiations, including recordings of past sessions can be found here: https://www.sanantonio.gov/City-Attorney/CollectiveBargaining