The senseless death of Eric Garner also exposes the fallacy, futility, and incompetency of how too many incidents of police misconduct are mishandled in this nation. First, I send my condolences and prayers to the family. The horrific scene of a human being dying in the street based on a senseless ordinance does irreparable damages to our psyches and expectations for creating the framework and foundation for a just society. However, it does not abdicate any of us from our collective responsibilities to prevent these kind of incidents.
To be very clear, New York City failed Eric Garner, just like it failed Amadou Diallo 20 years ago. The list of African Americans killed in New York City and all across America is to long to list here and would not serve a constructive purpose in this article. The list provides tremendous insights into why these incidents are still occurring. These are local incidents that require local solutions. The idea that 18 USC 242 and its antiquated statutes, will address these kind of incidents, ignores the fact that intentionally and willful intent are classrooms discussions, that are seldom helpful or useful in real life incidents.
I have addressed police misconduct and brutality for over 20 years in the City of Austin. I have worked in environments where almost no communication existed between local governments and Civil Rights organizations, to the current environment where communication is almost daily and constant. I have worked with 5 police chiefs, 5 union presidents, countless elected officials and 3 district attorneys. There is a common standard that everyone in local government must support and demand. That “Minimum Force Necessary “ is not just a cliche. That response to resistance, is not just a policy, but a protective oath. Every community facing these challenges, can learned and adopt best practices, however every community must invest the time to understand it’s on social, political and cultural dynamics. I have had the opportunity to work with great law enforcement people in the City of Austin and as a result, the entire city is much better. Yes, we have had our own horrific incidents and the goal has to always aim for zero tolerance. Every governmental institution failed Eric Garner and we should all be ashamed of that sad reality. - NAACP President Nelson Linder
Read more about the incident here.
On this day in 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law, preventing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.
The act essentially ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination. It also led to other landmark civil rights bills like the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlaws voter discrimination, and the 1968 Fair Housing Act, outlawing housing discrimination.
On its 55th birthday, here's how we got this landmark law, which continues to be relevant today.
Plenty of variables go into determining individual rates for car insurance, but in Austin they’ve coalesced into a simple rule of thumb — if you live east of Interstate 35, you’re probably paying more than similar drivers in much of the rest of the city.
Read more here.
Today at 11:30 a.m. CST, the neighborhood group Friends of McKalla Place will hold a protest rally at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center to denounce the healthcare provider’s sponsorship of Precourt Sports Venture, Austin FC, and the proposed MLS soccer stadium.
Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV), Austin FC (MLS soccer team) will not pay property taxes that are sorely needed to fund health and social services for indigent care. “It's disappointing that St. David's has chosen to sponsor this speculative venture fueled by corporate welfare, greed, and political motivations. This is not the type of corporate citizens that Austin respects nor the values or the moral principles of our community. Precourt's property tax exemption is a gross social inequity that will impact our children, our poor, and working families for the next 50 years.” said a group ‘s representative.
The PSV’s stadium deal is the single largest corporate welfare packages in Austin’s history. Opposition to their property tax exemption is a widespread sentiment in Austin. Earlier this year, Friends of McKalla filed a ballot petition with 29,000 signatures of registered voters calling for a public vote to prohibit a for-profit business tax free use of public land. The petition was certified by the City Clerk and is expected to be on the November ballot.
As Austin faces an affordable housing crisis, high property taxes, and budget short falls, citizens are not accepting of the lucrative land deal offered to the California billionaire. “This deal is a poor policy decision and it places a huge burden on Austin taxpayers just so Precourt can turn a profit on his professional sports team,” said a representative of Friends of McKalla.
Prominent community leaders are also concerned with the social inequity of the incentive package, the lack of funding for area infrastructure, and flooding risks to neighbors and small businesses in the area. Nelson Linder, President of Austin NAACP, states “It’s important for St. David’s to send a consistent message by not supporting corporations that avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”
According to stats from Glimmer Austin, over 150,000 people in Austin and Travis County do not know where their next meal is coming from. They rely on food trucks, pantries, etc. to receive a free meal. It’s hard to imagine that a city brimming with food trucks and restaurants of every sort and variety has so many people suffering from hunger. These are largely the people who are living at or below the poverty line. In Austin, 250,000 people live at poverty level, meaning they earn $1,000 or less a month, or $2,000 for a family – which makes it very difficult when you are trying to eat, live, provide shelter, and care for loved ones.
The South Austin Community Church parking lot will serve as the location for the Community Summer Food Program. The first date is Monday, June 24th from 5:00 to 8:00pm. Email email@example.com for more information.
Last week, the Austin City Council sent City Manager Spencer Cronk a set of guidelines to use in his revision of our community’s land development code. When it comes to reshaping Austin neighborhoods, those guidelines go far beyond anything imagined during the CodeNEXT process. They could lead to the demolition and replacement of tens of thousands of our community’s homes and small businesses. They could raise our already-astronomical property taxes. And they could touch nearly every neighborhood in the city. Read more here.
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Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, issued this statement regarding U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s release of the redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
A life Appreciation and Celebration for Akwasi Evans
On Wednesday April 17, 2019 at 1:00pm, there will be a Life Celebration event for Akwasi Evans. Akwasi Evans served the African American and Austin’s progressive community for
over 32 years by providing an independent newspaper - Nokoa The Observer.
Nokoa The Observer focused on bringing a news
perspective that often addressed issues like police misconduct, gentrification, education and employment discrimination. He provided a voice for the voiceless and a platform that spoke truth
to power. He could often be seen participating in
direct action among people who suffered the most from discriminatory policies.
He worked tirelessly to empower those who were poor and ignored by mainstream organizations and institutions. His sacrifices
were numerous and he was determined to improved the quality of Life for African Americans. His legacy will stand tall among
Austin’s Civil Rights pioneers.
This event will be held at Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church located at 4301 Tannehill Lane, Austin, Texas. The program will begin at 1:00pm
and feature remarks from Austin’s Civic and Community Leaders.
At 3:30pm, a Repass ceremony will be held at
the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex located at 1156 Hargrave Street, Austin, Texas.
Services will be provided by King Tears Mortuary.
For frequent updates, visit the Facebook page of Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder!