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.
Joe Webb Sr. passes away
Joe Webb Sr. Longest serving SATX politician D2 Councilman passes away
On Saturday, September 17, 2021 Joe Webb Sr passed away at Metropolitan Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. Born in Beeville Texas in in 1935. It was in Beeville that Mr. Webb learned the value of community. He graduated from High School in 1952 and married Frances Dee Toliver in 1953. In 1955 Joe Webb Sr moved back to San Antonio. He began his work at the YMCA in 1957. During these years Joe Webb began to understand the power of higher education and what it could mean for his family financially. He attended San Antonio College and St. Mary’s University.
In the late 1960’s Joe Webb Sr. began his career with HEB. Charles Butt traveled from Corpus Christi Texas to personally hire Joe Webb Sr. In 1969 he entered the HEB Managerial program. He then became the manager of several HEB grocery stores. Most notably the first African American to manager HEB store #1 and the East Side flagship HEB on N. New Braunfels.
Joe Webb’s relationship with San Antonio’s East Side began with his employment at the YMCA. There he met and networked with many of the city’s movers and shakers. They were impressed with his ability to effectively communicate and express the needs of the people within his neighborhood. It was here that he was encouraged to use his gift to seek greater employment opportunities and political office. Joe Webb’s campaign began as all grass roots campaigns do. The use of family and friends to make phone calls and knock on doors, he spoke at various Church’s and public gathering. Soon his idea of a bigger and more dynamic East Side caught on and in 1977 the East Side cast their ballots for Joe Webb Sr as their representative City Councilman for District 2. Mr. Webb would retain this seat through many elections, finally ending his City Council career in 1991. Those years between 1977 and 1991 were years of great change not just for the East Side but for the City of San Antonio at large. Joe Webb served on the City Council with names are we are still familiar with today. His contemporaries included former San Antonio Mayor and United States HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros, former TX St. Representative, Senator, Mayor and currently Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff as well as former Mayor and Author Lila Cockrell.
PRIDE IN THE EAST SIDE
While in and out of office, Joe Webb used his name and clout to support and encourage many East Side causes. He owned and operated his own grocery store on the East Side. He was an early supporter of the MLK celebration, and he helped to secure the Alamodome. He has been awarded numerous times for his contributions to San Antonio. In 1992 The City of San Antonio renamed Durango Bridge the Joe Webb Bridge. In 1995 Ruth Jones McClendon read into the City Council minutes a proclamation honoring Joe Webb Sr. for his service to the community. 2016 saw then Councilman Alan Warrick II award Joe Webb Sr. the Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2017 the Bexar County Historical Society interviewed and entered his biography into their official database. Joe Webb Sr. was a Minister of the Gospel, a lifetime member of the NAACP as well as a Grand Master of the Masonic Masons.
In 1999 Frances Webb passed away and Joe Webb Sr, became a widow. He later married current wife, Mrs. Barbara Webb. The couple remained an active part of the community and Joe Webb Sr. continued to engage in East Side politics through speaking engagements and support of various District 2 candidates and Councilpersons.
Town Hall Meetings
City to host town hall meetings on the FY2022 proposed budget
SAN ANTONIO (August 4, 2021) – The City of San Antonio will host a series of town hall meetings for each City Council district to be held through September 1, 2021. City Manager Erik Walsh and City staff from key departments will share highlights from the Fiscal Year 2022 proposed budget and answer questions from residents.
“Whether you participate virtually or in person, these town hall meetings are a great way to learn more about the proposed budget, ask questions and provide feedback to the Mayor, City Council and City staff,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “I’m looking forward to talking with our community about the proposed budget, our spending priorities and answering their questions.”
During City Council A Session on August 12, 2021, City Manager Erik Walsh will present the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget. The town hall meetings will also serve as an opportunity to gather input from residents about the proposed budget. City Council will vote on a final budget on September 16, 2021.
Residents can watch the town hall meetings live on the web by visiting www.sanantonio.gov/tvsa or on the City’s Facebook page. Residents can also watch on television channels: AT&T 99, Grande 20, Spectrum 21, and digital antenna 16.1, or listen live by dialing 210-207-5555 and selecting option 1 for English or option 2 for Spanish.
In addition, residents are invited to submit their budget questions in advance by calling 311, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, using #SASpeakUp22 on social media, or by texting “SASpeakUp22” to 55000.
A complete schedule for the SASpeakUp on the FY2022 proposed budget town hall meetings is shown below. Meetings will be available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language.
|Monday||August 16||7 p.m.||10||Clayton Perry||The Tool Yard10303 Tool Yard|
|Tuesday||August 17||6 p.m.||8 & 9||Manny Pelaez & John Courage||VIRTUAL www.saspeakup.com|
|Monday||August 23||6 p.m.||7||Ana Sandoval||VIRTUAL www.saspeakup.com|
|Tuesday||August 24||6 p.m.||5||Teri Castillo||Harris Middle School Cafeteria325 Pruitt Ave.|
|Wednesday||August 25||6 p.m.||3||Phyllis Viagran||Pecan Valley Elementary School3966 E Southcross|
|Thursday||August 26||6 p.m.||1||Mario Bravo||Victory Center – San Antonio College1819 N Main Ave.|
|Monday||August 30||6 p.m.||2||Jalen McKee-Rodriguez||Ella Austin Community Center1023 N Pine St.|
|Tuesday||August 31||6 p.m.||6||Melissa Cabello Havrda||VIRTUAL www.saspeakup.com|
|Wednesday||September 1||6 p.m.||4||Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia||San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology David Monroe Education Center102 Mabry Dr.|
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.
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