Former director of Austin Public Health, Shannon Jones III, recently began his new duties as the Interim Assistant City Manager for Health & Environment and Culture & Lifelong Learning. Read more here.
The Texas State Conference of NAACP Units has released a comprehensive Change the World-Texas Restorative Criminal Justice Plan. This plan comprises five critical areas of action: 1) Community engagement; 2) police recruitment and training; 3) police discipline and management; 4) grand jury and trial initiatives; and 5) legislative action. Read more here.
The local NAACP has filed a complaint with the UIL following Friday's state semifinal game between the Lindale Eagles and the Austin LBJ Jaguars. The Eagles won the game 31-28, but the NAACP said it was only because of unfair officiating. Read more here.
The pandemic has disproportionately affected minorities, placing them at higher risk of severe illness and death and forcing them to make “the unfortunate choice required between voting and minimizing their risk” of exposure under Abbott’s poll exemption, Judge Jason Pulliam wrote. According to Gary Bledsoe, president of the Texas NAACP, the NAACP has received reports of mask-less poll-watchers using this to intimidate minority voters at the polls. Read more here.
Still need to vote? Unsure what to think about Proposition A? Well, Austin Justice Coalition, Workers Defense Action Fund, and NAACP Austin's Nelson Linder have all thrown their support behind Project Connect as a way to create job opportunities and to improve mobility for outlying communities where lower-income families have been displaced. Read more here.
A federal judge on Sunday formally struck down a Trump administration attempt to end food stamp benefits for nearly 700,000 unemployed people, blocking as “arbitrary and capricious” the first of three such planned measures to restrict the federal food safety net. Read more here.
NAACP President Nelson Linder said that, over the past four years, the city has lost black leaders in the City of Austin, including code enforcement's Carl Smart, former Assistant City Manager Anthony Snipes, and previous City Manager Marc Ott. The NAACP said Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk announced he was replacing his entire executive team, which includes black employees. Read more here.
These investigations are reminiscent of ongoing racial discrimination in the city of Austin.
On Tuesday, Lake Travis resident Marie Lowman was preparing her four children for the start of school later this month when she clicked on a local Facebook buy and sell group site, Lakeway Swap, to see if she could buy or give away supplies. She was already a member of another site, one of several tagged Lakeway Swap, but was drawn to the new site she discovered because it touted 16,000 members.
But when Lowman asked to join the site, she didn’t expect to find a questionnaire that asked if she supports “Antifa, BLM, or Democrats.” Read more here.
If Frederick Douglass rightfully asked the question, "What to the slave was the Fourth of July?", then contemporary African Americans might similarly ask what this day means to them against the backdrop of mass incarceration, racial segregation, mass unemployment, mass poverty, and a COVID-19 pandemic that has disproportionately scarred the entire Black community.
What does it mean to you? Comment on this post with your thoughts and read the full article here.
Kymberly Keeton is tired.
“I’m one of the go-to people for black history now in Austin. I get phone calls all the time: ‘We want you to talk about the history of blackness,'" Keeton says. "But even I get tired of telling the same story over and over and over. Even I get tired.”
Read/listen to the full conversation with KUT here.
For frequent updates, visit the Facebook page of Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder!