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VOLUME 71 | December 14, 2018
Dear Neighbors,
Fifty years ago this week, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights began several days’ worth of hearings on the status of Mexican Americans in the southwest. The hearings were held at Our Lady of the Lake University and drew hundreds from across the region. People from all walks of life came to testify—professors and researchers, as well as students and migrant workers. 

The hearings exposed difficult truths about our country. For many, they validated their experiences of discrimination. Those who testified spoke of:
  • cramped, insecure housing; 
  • unsafe and exploitative working conditions;
  • being punished for speaking Spanish;
  • foregoing education because they didn’t have transportation to school or because their educators weren’t properly trained.

Last month, over 900 gathered to commemorate the hearings and take stock of our progress and obstacles. It was a moving conference. So many more people attended than were expected—many of the sessions were standing room only. It was an opportunity to remind ourselves of the pain of that time and the raw suffering people were made to bear. But more than that, it was a chance to take an inventory of our progress since then and to focus on some of the challenges that remain.

Today I want to recognize those who testified 50 years ago, those who came together to organize the conference, and those who have worked to advance Mexican American civil rights in our City and in our country. Thank you.

We’re lucky to have people who lived through the hearings with us today. The cause endures, too. We need younger people to step up and become the new flagbearers. The history of the civil rights struggle is too rich to lose and the challenges too pressing to go unaddressed.
Yours in public service,
Editor's Note: To watch the opening remarks from the conference, including Councilwoman Sandoval’s, visit here.
Office note: In observance of the holidays, the District 7 Office will be closed from December 20 to January 3.
Celebrate the Holidays with Councilwoman Sandoval!
This year, our office will host two holiday celebrations: one at Woodlawn Lake Park and the other at the Maverick Library and Nani Falcone Park.

In advance of the celebrations, we'll be collecting toys at our office for the Blue Santa Toy Drive. Drop donations of new toys at 4414 Centerview Drive, Suite 160, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
December 18

Meet at Nani Falcone Park; we'll walk to Maverick Library

5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

We'll decorate the tree, enjoy refreshments,
and more!
The Week in Photos
Councilwoman Sandoval recognized the organizers of last month's Holding Up the Mirror Conference that honored the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights' Hearings on the Status of Mexican American's in the southwest.
The District 7 Council Office hosted the first annual tree lighting at Woodlawn Lake Park with friends from the Young Women's Leadership Academy, the Monte Vista Montessori School, Santa Claus, the Police Department, and the Fire Department. It was a spirited event chock full of holiday cheer.
The District 7 Council Office invited neighborhood leaders to create and hang unique ornaments representing their communities. We were lucky to have neighbors from Woodlawn Lake, Thunderbird Hills, University Park, Lincoln Green, Jefferson, Monticello Park, and Donaldson Terrace with us to hang their ornaments. Sparky and SAFFE Sergeant Michael Ross also snuck ornaments onto the tree!
Woodlawn Lake Community Association's ornament.
University Park's ornament.
Sparky the Fire Dog hangs up an ornament for the Fire Department.
Thunderbird Hill's ornament.
Ask Ana Anything
One of the ways Councilwoman Sandoval wants to give you the answers you need about city government is through "Ask Ana Anything", a recurring part of the weekly District 7 newsletter. Have a question for Ana? Email it to district7@sanantonio.gov with the subject "Ask Ana Anything".
Hi Ana,

Would you please remind people how to keep safe during the holidays? I’m reminded every year at this time of a good friend whose home nearly burned down years ago. I don’t want anyone else to go through that. 

Thanks,
Cautious on Clubhill
Dear Cautious,

I hope your friend is doing well and everything turned out alright in their situation. Yes, some holiday safety tips may be useful this time of year, though I’ll admit, I’m no expert on this topic. That’s why, this week, I’ve invited the Firefighter’s Department to share safety tips with us. Here’s what they came up with:

Smoke alarms
  • Roughly 3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms. Make sure you have a working smoke alarm inside and outside each bedroom and separate sleeping area, as well as on each level of your home!
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year. At the very least, a good reminder of when to change the batteries is to do it when we change our clocks (Spring, Fall) for a total of twice a year.
  • Never borrow batteries from your smoke alarm to use in another device.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms
  • CO is produced when common fuels burn – such as wood, coal, charcoal, natural gas, propane, and gasoline. CO is poisonous, and breathing in CO can be harmful or deadly. Symptoms of CO poisoning include dizziness, headaches, nausea, and/or shortness of breath.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, or you feel any of the above symptoms, move to fresh air outdoors and call the fire department from this fresh air location. Stay there until emergency personnel arrive to assist you. 
  • Install CO alarms in central locations, outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of your home.
  • CO alarms are NOT substitutes from smoke alarms. You still need separate smoke alarms.

Heating
  • Keep a 3 foot zone clear around fireplaces, wood stoves, portable space heaters, other space heaters, furnaces, and water heaters.
  • Have all fuel-burning heating equipment inspected once a year.
  • Purchase and use only space heaters that have a label from a recognized testing laboratory and they have an automatic shutoff – if they tip over, they shut off.
  • Creosote buildup in chimneys is the leading cause of chimney fires. Have your chimney inspected once a year, and cleaned and repaired as necessary.
  • Always use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks and ash from flying in to the room

Escape Planning
  • Make a home escape plan – draw a map of your home, including all windows and doors.
  • Plan two ways out of every room. Check doors and windows that lead outside to make sure they open easily.
  • Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of the home.
  • Practice your home fire drill at least twice a year.
  • If your pets are trapped inside your home, tell the firefighters as soon as possible, but never re-enter a burning building please!

Thanks for the question and, please, enjoy your holidays with care!
Sincerely,

Ana
Connect with Your Councilmember
Blue Santa Toy Donations Sought
Until December 19, the District 7 Field Team will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for San Antonio Police Department's annual Blue Santa Toy Drive. The District 7 Field Office is open from 9:00 to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, at 4414 Centeview Dr., Suite 160. We will also collect toy donations at our upcoming Holiday Tree Gatherings.

Blue Santa benefits underserved children in San Antonio by providing them with new toys during the holiday season.
District 7 in the News
"District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval and Mayor Ron Nirenberg are pushing for a more open and accountable city government, which would include livestreaming more meetings and clearing obstacles for citizen feedback. Critics say it’s about time."

"The Woodlawn Lake area looked a little bit more like Christmas Thursday night. The District 7 Council Office and Councilwoman Ana Sandoval hosted the Woodlawn Lake Tree Lighting ceremony as the park revels in its 100th year."

"'In a public park, everyone is a role model in the eyes of children,' Sandoval said. 'We want children and families to enjoy our City’s parks without learning unhealthy behavior or inhaling harmful smoke—especially as their lungs develop. By moving forward and making our parks tobacco-free, we ensure they remain welcoming and clean spaces.'"

"The policy changes passed 8-2 with Councilman Rey Saldaña (D4) and Councilwoman Ana Sandoval (D7) voting against the changes."

"Ana Sandoval, concejal del distrito 7 invita a la comunidad a dos eventos que se realizarán en Woodlawn Lake y en el parque Nani Falcone para disfrutar de un chocolate caliente y regalar juguetes."

Neighbor of the Week:
Ramon is a Licensed Counselor as well as a veteran of the United States Air Force. His military career spanned more than twenty years and includes over a dozen accolades. He retired as a Master Sergeant and currently serves as the Regional Director for Volunteers of America leading two programs that assist homeless veterans and provide treatment for substance abuse. He conducted the first District 7 Council sponsored "safeTALK" training for assessing suicide risk and served as the lead organizer for District 7's first veteran targeted outreach event, Operation Cold Front. He is a father and grandfather, and the District 7 appointee to the Veterans Affairs Commission, where he assists with constituent inquiries related to the challenges faced by service members.

He is one of the founders of Vet Strong, a newly formed nonprofit that provides gently-used furniture and home goods to any veteran in need. Ramon and a team of other volunteers spend their weekends picking up donated household items and furniture, cleaning and sanitizing them, and then delivering them to their new homes. Completely unpaid and entirely dependent upon donations of time, vehicles, muscle, and household items, he works tirelessly to ensure no veteran lives in an empty residence. He serves as a passionate, engaged, and phenomenal representative of District 7. Ramon was named Regional Citizen of the Year for 2018 last week by AACOG, Alamo Area Council of Governments.
Share Your Thoughts
Announcements
Short Term Rental Facts
To find more information about Short Term Rentals, visit the Development Services Department website here.
Metro Health Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season
The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District ¡Viva Health! campaign reminds you that the holidays are a great time for families to create traditions and healthy eating habits by celebrating together, cooking together, and talking together during meal times. 

And as always remember the three ¡Viva Health! messages:
  1. Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies, every meal, every day.
  2. For portion control, use a smaller plate.
  3. Drink water, not sugary drinks.

For more information and materials on the ¡Viva Health! Campaign, click here.
Tax-Free Online Shopping
All honorably-discharged veterans now have the ability to shop tax-free online at PX/BX/NavEx shops. Click here to learn more about the benefits offered and how to utilize them.
This Weekend at San Antonio Public Library
Ladies' Choice Book Club
Maverick Branch Library
(8700 Mystic Park, 78254)
Saturday, December 15
10 a.m.

Join the San Antonio Public Library in spreading holiday joy and fun.

Please bring a poem to share and food to feast on!
December 15-22: Merry Fitmas in the Park
Join the Parks Dept. for fun, festive, fitness classes, all for a good cause.
Saturday, December 15
Kick-off event
Woodlawn Lake Gym
10:00 a.m.
219 Alexander Ave.
Saturday, December 22
Finale Celebration
Lady Bird Johnson Park
10:00 a.m.
10100 Nacogdoches Road
Workouts led by Body Architecture Personal Training and Fitness with healthy snacks, raffle prizes, giveaways, and more!

Workouts at locations throughout San Antonio. For schedule information, visit www.saparksandrec.com.

Encouraged donation of an unwrapped at any fitness event to be given to the Children's Shelter.
December 17: Star Party with the SA Astronomical Association
Join the SA Astronomical Association and Forest Hills Library on Monday, December 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for a Star Party.

Be there for an evening of star gazing and looking at Mars, Saturn, and Orion.

The SA Astronomical Association bring their telescopes and expertise to Forest Hills for a premium Star Party.

Telescopes will set up on White Tail Dr on the sidewalk leading up to Villarreal Elementary.

The program will be rescheduled if it is cloudy or rainy.
December 22: San Antonio Youth Wind Ensemble Concert
SA Youth Wind Ensemble Concert
Forest Hills Library (5245 Ingram Road)
Thursday, December 22
2:30 p.m.

Join the Forest Hills Library for this concert by the San Antonio Youth Wind Ensemble performing holiday favorites.

The San Antonio Youth Wind Ensemble (SAYWE) was founded as the premier honor wind ensemble for youth in the San Antonio and surrounding areas. Its purposes are to provide a positive musical experience for advanced musicians and to supplement music education programs in the public and private schools in the region.
Upcoming Events
Little Dauber Toy Give Away
Date: December 15
Time: 10:00 to 2:00 p.m.
Location: Golden Bingo (1327 Bandera)
*District 7 staff will be in attendance.*
Salvation Army Peacock Center's Holiday Dance
Date: December 15
Time: 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Salvation Army (2710 W Ashby Place)
*District 7 staff will be in attendance.*
District 7 Office hosts Holiday Celebration at Nani Falcone Park
Date: December 18
Time: 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Location: Maverick Library (8700 Mystic Park)
*District 7 staff will be in attendance.*
Community Meeting; Thespian Island Bond Project
Date: December 19
Time: 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Location: Thomas Jefferson High School Cafeteria (723 Donaldson Ave)
*District 7 staff will be in attendance.*
Community Meeting: Nani Falcone Park Bond Project
Date: December 20
Time: 6:30 to 7:00 p.m.
Location: Maverick Library (8700 Mystic Park)
*District 7 staff will be in attendance.*
Our Office Staff








Office Hours
Note: Our offices will be closed in observance of the holidays from December 20 to January 3.
Brass Professional Center
4414 Centerview Dr #160

Monday - Friday:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Maury Maverick Library
8700 Mystic Park

By appointment only.
Please call 210-207-2727.