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VOLUME 122 | February 13, 2020
Dear Neighbors,
Another Round of Improvements Coming to Jane Dubel Park

This past Saturday, my office welcomed residents from the Thunderbird Hills neighborhood to Jane Dubel Park to kick off another round of improvements to the park.

As part of this round of improvements, the City is installing a new restroom, known as the "Portland Loo," to replace the port-o-potty currently at the park. 

We had a great turnout for the ceremony, including Mayor Ron Nirenberg, State Representative Ray Lopez, County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez, and, of course, the park’s namesake, Mrs. Jane Dubel.

The park used to be named Thunderbird Hills Park, but neighbors recognized the tireless advocacy of then-president of Thunderbird Hills, Jane Dubel, and supported renaming the park in her honor. Her efforts are a legacy of stewardship and leadership. Thank you, Jane.

You can view the photos lower in the newsletter or on Facebook.

City Launches Program to Improve Highway Safety and Reduce Congestion

Beginning this March, the City, Bexar County, and TxDOT are launching the Highway Emergency Response Operation (HERO) to improve highway safety and prevent minor crashes and vehicle breakdowns from bringing highways to a stand-still.

HERO operators provide a range of services. They provide fuel, change and inflate tires, clear vehicles and debris, jumpstart batteries, and work with first responders to manage traffic when there’s a major accident.

Providing simple services like these keeps highway traffic flowing and reduces the odds that secondary crashes occur. 

I’m looking forward to seeing how the program works for San Antonio.
Yours in public service,
Councilwoman Sandoval will welcome residents and then converse with residents individually.
The Week in Photos
Code Enforcement visited the University Park Neighborhood Association to educate their members on common code violations and how to handle them.
The District 7 Team joined the board of the Braun Station West HOA for their monthly meeting to provide updates on the City's Neighborhood Registry Policy and projects in the area.
The Retreat at Oak Hills HOA held their annual meeting with Councilwoman Sandoval as a guest speaker, where she summarized District 7 updates from over the last year.
D7 in the News
"Cities and nonprofits that stepped up to provide humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of migrants last year will soon get another chance to apply for federal reimbursement."
“No one deserves to live in that kind of fear that a car is going to come into their home,” Ana Sandoval said, who represents District 7.
Announcements
Pre-K 4 SA Scheduled for May 2 Election
On February 13, City Council authorized an election for the reauthorization of Pre-K 4 SA on May 2, 2020. The ballot language will read:

For / Against: Renewed adoption of a sales and use tax at the rate of one-eighth of one percent for the purpose of continued financing of authorized programs of the San Antonio Early Childhood Education Municipal Development Corporation for a maximum period of eight years.

For more information, watch the presentation delivered to City Council at the A Session held on February 13 or visit the Pre-K 4 SA website here.
Texas Joint Primary Elections on March 3;
Early Voting Beginning February 18
The Texas 2020 Primary Elections are coming up on March 3. This year’s ballot includes:
  • U.S. President
  • U.S. Senate
  • U.S. House District 20
  • Texas Senate District 26
  • Texas House District 125
  • Texas Railroad Commissioner
  • Bexar County Sheriff
  • Bexar County Tax Assessor-Collector
  • Bexar County Commissioners
  • Supreme Court of Texas
  • Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
  • State Board of Education
  • And more. See a sample ballot here.
Early voting begins February 18 and ends on February 28.

This year, you can vote at any polling location during Early Vote and on Election Day. The full list of polling locations is available here. There are four locations in or near District 7:
  • Leon Valley Conference Center
  • 6421 Evers Rd, 78240
  • Maury Maverick Library
  • 8700 Mystic Park, 78254
  • Wonderland of the Americas Mall
  • 4522 Fredericksburg Rd, 78201
  • John Igo Library
  • 13330 Kyle Seale Pkwy, 78249
  • Great Northwest Library
  • 9050 Wellwood, 78250
The League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) provides nonpartisan information to the public with both general and state-specific information on VOTE411.org.
Applications Sought for City Boards & Commissions
The District 7 Office is looking for applicants for the following Boards & Commissions:


You can apply or view a full list of the boards and commissions  here. Have any questions? Call the District 7 Office at 210-207-0870.
City of San Antonio Update on Novel Coronavirus preparedness and coordination
The CDC, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District today confirmed a case of the COVID-19 virus (2019-nCoV, previously known as novel coronavirus) in Bexar County. The patient who was under a federal quarantine order at Lackland Air Force Base recently returned from Wuhan, China, where an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by this novel coronavirus has been ongoing since December 2019. This brings the total of number of 2019-nCoV cases in the United States to 15.

“The collaboration between our local, state and federal partners is working as it was designed. We will continue to work together to protect our community from exposure to the virus,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

At this time, the risk to the public remains low. This case is the first in Texas. Although few cases have occurred in the United States, the City of San Antonio continues to prepare and coordinate with its state, regional and federal partners. While this is a positive case, the quarantine process functioned as appropriate and the patient is being treated in maximum level isolation and is in stable condition.

For the latest information on the outbreak, visit CDC’s COVID-2019 website

The CDC and the City of San Antonio held a media briefing this morning, it can be viewed here.
 
On February 11, the CDC worked with local authorities because a person in quarantine at Lackland Air Force Base was observed to have a fever during the day’s routine screening. The CDC coordinated safe transport of the patient to a local hospital that has isolated and cared for the patient. The patient was screened for COVID-19 and specimens were provided to the CDC for testing. The positive test results were confirmed on February 12, 2020. All responding personnel continue to follow CDC guidelines for the use of personal protective equipment and care of the individual. Out of respect for the privacy of the patient and their household, this is the only information that is available at this time.
Information for the Public:
Metro Health continues to maintain an up-to-date website which will provide current updates to anyone seeking information on the situation here.
 
Information regarding the Novel Coronavirus is also available in American Sign Language here .
 
How do people become infected with Coronavirus?
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
  • Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands; and
  • Rarely, fecal contamination.
 
What are the symptoms?
  • Patients with confirmed 2019-nCoV infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
 
At this time, CDC believes that symptoms of 2019-nCoV may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
 
How can I avoid infection with Novel Coronavirus?
The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, nor your hands. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Update to City's Neighborhood Registration Policy
Councilwoman Sandoval sent the following email to the members of the City Council's Culture and Neighborhood Services Committee:
Dear Members of the Culture and Neighborhood Services Committee,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide commentary on the Neighborhood Association & Community Organization Registration Policy Update. 

District 7 is comprised of a fabric of neighborhoods from Woodlawn Lake to the great northwest to the edges of Helotes. Through Neighborhood and Homeowner’s Associations, residents have united to advocate for capital improvements for their respective areas and greater communities for over 37 years. Their voices guide me in the job I have the humble responsibility to carry out each day.  

Over the past 60 days, the District 7 Neighborhood and Homeowner Associations have voiced strong concerns and opposition to the proposed administrative policy changes: specifically, the provision allowing new neighborhood associations to register where one already exists -- without requiring coordination with the existing neighborhood association. I do not support this recommendation. A change like this threatens to undermine existing neighborhood associations and the work their decades of work. District 7 has an example of two neighborhood associations with overlapping boundaries: the Woodlawn Lake Community Association and Jefferson Neighborhood Association. Both collaborate and have often united in advocacy for improvements in the area.

Nonetheless, there are opportunities for improvement in the neighborhood registry and in how our City departments interface with neighborhood associations. I would like to share recommendations for such improvements for your consideration:

  • City staff should evaluate opportunities for the departments of Neighborhood and Housing Services, Development Services, Planning, and Office of Historic Preservation to work together to remove barriers for notification and public participation in their respective functions. 
  • For example, by making zoning notifications more convenient for neighborhood leaders or residents to obtain. Currently, residents must comb through agendas and addresses in order to determine if a specific property on a committee agenda is located in their neighborhood. By utilizing geographic data for neighborhood boundaries, city staff can flag properties located in specific neighborhoods and provide targeted notifications. An alternative would be to indicate the neighborhood and plan area in the agenda.
  • Notifications do not need to be limited to one individual email address in the registry. Any resident who wants to receive the notification for a given neighborhood should be able to receive it.
  • In addition to zoning amendments, proposed plan amendments should have a notification process that informs neighborhoods as well those who have participated in planning teams.

  • Neighborhood associations require support and technical assistance in issues like bylaws and non-profit status. The Neighborhood and Housing Services Department currently offers a leadership academy, which is an excellent start. However, more tailored assistance is needed. The department could seek to partner with other non-profits in the area that provide such services.

  • In general, the services offered to neighborhood associations by the city are limited and should be revisited. The City could begin the reevaluation by hosting a city-wide Neighborhood Summit or by hosting regular forum for interaction with neighborhood leaders, similar to the DPTF hosted by DSD.

San Antonio is growing and changing faster than we have ever seen before. Our neighborhoods are part of our City’s long standing identity. As such, they must have a voice in how that change occurs. I respectfully request that you find ways to ensure their voices are a part of the process. 

Thank you again for your consideration. I look forward to seeing the policy recommendations submitted by the Committee. 

Sincerely,
Councilwoman Ana E. Sandoval
The City Council's Culture and Neighborhood committee discussed the administrative changes at their meeting on February 10. You can watch the meeting here .

Opportunities to Speak Up
There are two ways you can share your input:

  1. Email comments to Neighboorhood Housing Serivces Department at neighborhoods@sanantonio.gov
  2. Email comments to members of the Culture and Neighborhood Services Committee:
San Antonio Renters Commission enters community engagement phase
The Office of Councilman Roberto Treviño authored the following press release:

Members from across the community packed the B Room in Municipal Plaza to attend the first meeting of the new Culture & Neighborhood Services Committee Monday morning. District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño was appointed chair of the five-member council committee tasked with overseeing San Antonio’s artistic, cultural, and historic heritage in addition to issues that serve to preserve the integrity of our city’s neighborhoods, libraries, and senior center facilities. One agenda item in particular elicited passionate public comments from neighborhood, social justice, and business groups – the creation of a Renters Commission.
 
“The Renters Commission is intended to be a platform to meaningfully engage a group that makes up almost half of our population,” said Treviño. “Statistically, renters earn less, spend a greater proportion of their income on housing, and have more barriers to civic engagement. Renters also have a unique view on issues like transportation, education, public safety, and housing which needs to be heard.”
 
During Monday’s meeting, the community presented recommendations and input for the committee to consider when designing the framework for the Renters Commission. The committee voted in favor of moving the Renters Commission forward to begin gathering feedback from the community. The District 1 Councilman is planning a Renters Commission Town Hall later this month before the item comes back to the Culture and Neighborhood Services Committee.
 
“I am grateful so many folks took time out of their schedules to attend and make their voices heard,” said Treviño. “I look forward to the community shaping the Renters Committee, which will truly be a committee of renters, for renters, created by renters.”
 
More:
On June 25, 2019, District 1 City Councilman Roberto Treviño filed a Council Consideration Request to initiate the creation of the San Antonio Renters Commission to represent diverse renter voices across the city. Under the proposed policy, each Councilmember and the Mayor would appoint a renter/commissioner, and the Commission would provide information, advice, and counsel to the Mayor, San Antonio City Council, and departments concerning issues and policies affecting renters.
San Antonio Public Library Celebrates Black History Month
In honor of Black History Month, San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) will be hosting a line-up of free, fun and educational programming for all ages that celebrate diversity and inclusion. During the month of February, we celebrate Black History Month, a time to recognize and honor the central role of Black Americans in U.S. history.

The San Antonio Public Library is proud to be hosting a variety of events and discussions throughout the month at several branch locations that offer a contemporary look at Black History Month while addressing the historical narrative. For a complete list of library events, visit www.mysapl.org.
Voluntary Income Tax Assistance Program
VITA is a FREE tax preparation service for individuals and families who earn up to $55,000 per year. All Tax Preparers are IRS-trained and certified.

VITA es un servicio GRATUITO de preparación de impuestos para individuos y familias que ganan hasta $55,000 por año. Todos los preparadores de impuestos están entrenados y certificados por el IRS.
February 15: Sign Up for Basura Bash
Basura Bash is a community clean up effort meant to keep our creeks and waterways free of garbage. Since its beginning, volunteers have collected and disposed of over 600 tons of litter.

Registration for this year’s Basura Bash is now online. The event day is February 15, 2020. STORM (South TX Off Road Mountain Bikers) will again be manning 2 locations: OP Schnabel Park and the Leon Creek at the Buddy Calk Trailhead. Below are direct links for each site.
  
We will be asking participants to arrive at 8:00 a.m. for a briefing on safety procedure and event protocol on the morning of the event.
 
Suggested Attire: long pants/jeans, closed toe shoes, and long sleeves. If you have work gloves, please bring them. Sunscreen and bug repellent is also encouraged. We will have water available but please bring your own water bottle or hydration pack.

To volunteer with the District 7 Office, call Frank Ramirez at 210-207-0870.
February 15: DSD Academy
DSD Academy is back!
Saturday, Feb. 15
9 to 11 a.m.

This month, attendees will learn about the City's Unified Development Code, which is updated every 5 years.

What does the code do? In short, it's the set of rules that lay out what our buildings look like, what can be built where, and what's required when new buildings are constructed. For example, the Code answers questions like, "How many trees need to be preserved on this plot of land? How tall can this building be? How many parking spaces does the building need?"

This session will take you through the whole process of updating the code, from submitting a proposed amendment to the its final approval.
February 15: 90 Second Newbery San Antonio Film Festival
BiblioTech and H-E-B Read 3 cordially invite you to attend the 5th Annual San Antonio 90-Second Newbery Film Festival – Saturday, February 15th, 2:00 PM at the Witte Museum’s Mays Family Center. Free parking is available in the Brackenridge Park Parking Garage on Avenue B.
 
We hope you will join us as we, along with 90-Second Newbery creator and author, James Kennedy, celebrate the creativity and talents of local students as they are challenged to translate Newbery award winning books into 90 second videos!
February 17: West Quill Park Community Meeting
Come learn about design ideas for the future park on West Quill Road. The meeting will be held on Monday, February 17, at 6:00 p.m. at Forest Hills Library, 5245 Ingram Road.
February 19: Overview of City Code Update Process
The City's Development Services Department is hosting a community meeting to provide an overview of the City's Unified Development Code, which is updated every 5 years.

What does the code do? In short, it's the set of rules that lay out what our buildings look like, what can be built where, and what's required when new buildings are constructed. For example, the Code answers questions like, "How many trees need to be preserved on this plot of land? How tall can this buidling be? How many parking spaces does the building need?"

This session will take you through the whole process of updating the code, from submitting a proposed amendment to the its final approval.
February 22-23: On and Off Fred Road Studio Tour features 80 artists in gallery stroll!
More than 80 artists will participate in the 13 th annual On and Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour presented by Bihl Haus Arts from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23 in San Antonio’s Deco District.  

“Fred” is a self-guided tour of private homes, art studios and galleries of the participating artists, including painters, sculptors, photographers and metal smiths. The studio tour kicks off with an On and Off Fred Autograph Party and opening reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21 at Bihl Haus Arts, 2803 Fredericksburg Road, 78201. Music is by Los Nahuatlatos

The Deco District has become a hot spot for many of the Alamo City’s artists. In fact, all artists featured in Fred live and/or work in the surrounding Fredericksburg Road communities: Alta Vista, Beacon Hill, Los Angeles Heights, Jefferson, Keystone, Monticello Park and Woodlawn Lake. 
“Our goal is to highlight the quality, variety, and sheer numbers of professional artists who live and/or work in these neighborhoods,” said Kellen McIntyre, executive director of Bihl Haus Arts, the nonprofit that organizes the event each year.
Attendees can purchase either the hardcopy color catalog, consisting of a map to help people plan their route, artist bios and an image of their work, or the online catalog for $10. For more information, visit www.OnandOffFred.org or call Bihl Haus Arts at (210) 383-9723.
Girls Empowerment Summit
Coming soon: the City of San Antonio’s inaugural Girls Empowerment Summit! ✨ This free two-day conference for girls between the ages of 14-18 features conversations about self-care, social media awareness and non-traditional career roles for women! Learn more or register here .

Próximamente: ¡la Cumbre Inaugural de Empoderamiento de las Niñas de la Ciudad de San Antonio!  ✨ ¡Esta conferencia gratuita de dos días para niñas de entre 14 y 18 años abordará temas sobre el cuidado personal, el uso con conciencia de las redes sociales y los roles profesionales no tradicionales para las mujeres! Obtenga más información o regístrese aquí .
Affordable Housing Training Series
Neighborhood and Housing Services Department (NHSD) invites you to attend a series of information sessions aimed at helping you understand how to use federal funds to develop affordable housing.
NHSD will hold a series of information sessions aimed at helping interested parties understand how to use federal funds to develop affordable housing. Topics will focus on the development of affordable rental and homeownership housing, home rehabilitation, and other federal requirements. The Affordable Housing Development Training Series is free to the public and will be held in Main Conference Room “A” in the NHSD facility located at 1400 S. Flores, San Antonio, Texas.
The first session will be held February 18, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. To register for any, or all, of the sessions visit here .
For more information visit here or call 210.207.5467.
Where We're Going Next
Wonder where your District 7 Team is headed next? Join Councilwoman Sandoval and/or District 7 staff at any of the following events! Call us for more information.
French Creek Village HOA Meeting
Date: February 13
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Call us for more info
Basura Bash
Date: February 15
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Location: Call us for more info
Community Meeting on West Quill Park Design
Date: February 17
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Forest Hills Library,
5245 Ingram Road
Date: February 17
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Call for location
Date: February 18
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Call for location
Braun Station East Community Improvement Association Meeting
Date: February 19
Time: 6:45 p.m.
Location: Call for location
Guilbeau Park Annual Meeting
Date: February 20
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Call for location
Date: February 22
Time: 7:30 a.m.
Location: Woodlawn Lake Park
Community Coffee with Councilwoman Sandoval
Date: February 22
Time: 10:00 a.m. to noon
Location: Forest Hills Library, 5245 Ingram Road
Sunshine Estates
Neighborhood Meeting
Date: February 24
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Call for location
Rolling Ridg e Village HOA Meeting
Date: February 24
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Call for location
Date: February 25
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Call for location
Date: February 26
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Call for location
Our Offices
Brass Professional Center
4414 Centerview Dr, Ste #160

Monday - Friday:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Closed for Lunch:
12:00 pm- 1:00 pm
Plaza de Armas
100 Military Plaza

Monday - Friday:
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Please call for an appointment.