Old Divisions of Race & Status

(Community Matters) In this morning’s AAS, a story about Old Divisions of race & status (sorry, can’t find the link).  No way am I defending Austin or its institutions against these charges.  Most definitely East Austin and its residents have suffered & sometimes still do suffer under institutional racism.

And, I don’t believe this had anything to do with AISD’s decision on which organization to support for our “Harlem Children’s Zone Project,” here known as The Austin Achievement Zone.

The coalition created to address Austin problems by starting off in St. John’s neighborhood is unprecedented. I don’t begrudge East Austin residents near and around the former Johnson High School for being disappointed that their neighborhood isn’t the initial demonstration target; however, Southwest Key Programs didn’t begin to approach the comprehensive coalition of cross-county, cross-city, multiple philanthropists/funders/elected leaders.  Doesn’t mean their proposal doesn’t have merit. And, our community’s chances of securing the federal grant for this program is probably enhanced by AISD’s endorsement of only one and that one being the broadest coalition.

Having just sat through Childrens Optimal Health’s presentation at an AARO meeting this week, I know the need for services (especially among children) is very high in both geographical areas.  I seem to remember that there are even more children in need in the St. John’s/Quail Creek area.  And, there is a lot of very helpful, important baseline information (albeit dated) on hand from Neil Kocurek’s Root Cause Project.

Look at the breath of leadership among the Austin Achievement Zone team :

Steering Committee Members: Judge Sam Biscoe, Travis County; Cheryl Bradley, Austin ISD Board of Trustees; Sue Carpenter, United Way Success By Six; Dr. Meria Carstarphen, Austin ISD; David Delgado, Webb Middle School PTA; Sherri Fleming, Travis County; Rey Garcia, Webb Middle School; Sterling Lands, Greater Calvary Bible Church; Bert Lumbreras, City of Austin; Laura Morrison, Austin City Council; Glenn Neland
Abraham Perez, Ebenezer Family Center; Allen Weeks, St. John Neighborhood Association

Advisors: Kit Abney Spelce, insure.a.kid; Sylvia Acevedo, The Communicard; Amy Averett, Austin Voices for Education and Youth; Debbie Bresette, United Way Capital Area; Deborah Britton, Travis County; Sarah Buel, UT School of Law; Edna Butts, Office of Texas Senator Kirk Watson; Sheryl Cole, Austin City Council; Paul Cruz, Austin ISD; Jessica D’Arcy, Webber Family Foundation; Susan Dawson, E3 Alliance
Tina Fernandez, UT School of Law; Stephanie Hayden, City of Austin; Suzanne Hershey, Ready By 21; Julian Huerta, Foundation Communities
Brian Kelsey, CAPCOG; Ann Kitchen; Annette Lovoi, Austin ISD Board of Trustees; Susan McDowell, Lifeworks; Wanda Nelson, University of Texas; Caroline Newman, Sooch Foundation; Forrest Novy, UT School of Social Work; Mary Ellen Pietruszynski, Sooch Foundation; Jeffrey Richard, Austin Area Urban League; Ryan Robinson, City of Austin; Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, Texas House of Representatives; Suki Steinhauser, Communities in Schools; Rep. Mark Strama, Texas House of Representatives; Gloria Williams, Austin ISD; Pete Winstead

btw, I continue to express my concerns about Southwest Key governance and conflicts of interest. Their 2009 990 indicates that their CEO and CFO have a 66% ownership interest in a company from which Southwest Key rents property. At one time, I was told this provided extraordinary additional income to this nonprofit’s CEO

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s