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VOLUME 91 | May 18, 2019
Dear Neighbors,
Since March 30th, the federal government has been dropping off asylum-seekers in downtown San Antonio. Hundreds of people are arriving daily mostly families with young children. They are being bused here from the border after receiving court dates for asylum hearings in different parts of the country. These asylum seekers are here legally and allowed to travel within the United States.

These individuals have been traveling for weeks before arriving in San Antonio. They arrive only with what they can carry, and without travel arrangements for their final destination. They have no place to go or rest once they have been dropped off. They would be forced to sleep on downtown streets upon their arrival, were it not for the assistance of organizations like Travis Park Church, Catholic Charities, and the Food Bank among others. These organizations, together with City volunteers, have provided warmth, shelter, medical aid and travel assistance to over 8,000 individuals at the Migrant Resource Center established downtown in response to this crisis.

After six weeks of this assistance, our non-profit partners are feeling the financial pressure. What’s worse, the federal government notified us this week that we will see an increase in migrants traveling through San Antonio in the coming weeks.
 
City Manager Erik Walsh spoke to me about this situation and recommended providing emergency funding to our non-profit partners so they may continue to assist the migrant travelers through the end of the city’s budget year. I discussed this situation at two different neighborhood meetings I attended last week, and it was clear to me where our residents stood. They were full of concern for the crisis experienced by the travelers. They also understood that without our help, those travelers would be stranded on the streets of San Antonio indefinitely and might never arrive at their asylum hearings. 

At our Thursday Council Meeting, I voted in support of the City Manager’s recommendation. Our City is facing a humanitarian crisis, which we cannot ignore. Further, leaving hundreds of migrants on the street would present a health and safety problem for our city. The approved $86,000 funding will go to Catholic Charities and the Food Bank to continue operating the resource center. In addition, Council approved a matching program, where the City will provide $1 for every $2 raised by the organizations, up to a maximum of $55,000 from the City. 
 
The action reinforces what many of us already know: our residents are full of compassion—people know when it is our responsibility to help.
 
It also exemplifies what I love about local government: the ability to respond swiftly and effectively to any number of situations.
 
Although the funds we approved amount to less than 10th of one penny from each San Antonio resident, that doesn’t mean we’re simply absorbing the expense. We’re demanding that Congress appropriate funds to reimburse communities like ours, McAllen, and many others currently dealing with this humanitarian concern.
 
If you want to support the cause, you can donate here .
Yours in public service,
City to Begin Providing Video Coverage of Council Committee Meetings and Planning, Zoning and Historic Design Review Commission Meetings
The City of San Antonio will begin providing video coverage of City Council committee meetings and development related boards and commissions, including the Zoning, Historic Design & Review and Planning Commissions this fall. Today, the City Council approved mid-year adjustments to the City’s general fund budget to enhance video coverage of these additional meetings.

“The more sunlight and scrutiny we can shine on the public process the better,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “Councilwoman Sandoval has been a leader in modernizing our outreach efforts and inviting the entire community to participate.”

In the past year, the City has added new options for residents to participate in the policy-making process. The City Council adopted a set of guiding principles of public participation in January, which state that the City’s public participation initiatives should be meaningful, transparent, respectful, inclusive, accessible, informative, responsive, timely, convenient and continuous.

“As technology has changed, so too have our residents’ expectations for access to public information. While a copy of the meeting minutes might have been sufficient a decade ago, today’s residents want to watch the meetings and learn about what’s affecting their neighborhoods,” said District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval. “With this move, we’re making it easier for residents to stay informed about their city government.”

To operationalize the guiding principles, the City has hosted telephone town hall meetings on various topics, including innovation zones, the parks master plan, the FY2020 budget and dockless vehicles. In November, the City expanded its SASpeakUp program to serve as the City’s one-stop resource for all public input opportunities.

“By providing video coverage options for these meetings we are putting the Council adopted public participation principles into action. Access to information is critical for our residents to engage with their City,” said City Manager Erik Walsh.

Last night, for the first time in the City’s history, Citizens to be Heard was held outside of City Council Chambers. The meeting was held at Port San Antonio to provide easier parking accessibility and the opportunity for residents and businesses in the area to participate at a more convenient location. More information about Citizens to be Heard can be found here.

Video coverage of the meetings will begin this fall. Currently, City Council “A” and “B” sessions can be viewed live at www.SanAntonio.gov/TVSA. Archived videos in English and Spanish and Spanish language broadcasts are also available. The City also maintains a YouTube channel with public service announcements, shows about City programs and other content.
Sign up Bexar County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez's newsletter! Much of City Council District 7 overlaps with Bexar County Precinct 2. Unsure if you're in Commissioner Rodriguez's precinct? Find out here.
The Week in Photos
Our 2019 Property Tax Workshop Series has come to a close. Thank you to the hundreds of residents who joined us to learn about the tools available to them! We're looking forward to seeing by how much you can reduce your appraisals.
Councilwoman Sandoval joined SAPD to observe National Police Week , thanking the officers who keep our communities safe and secure and recognizing those who have given their lives in the line of duty.
This past Thursday, volunteers and Parks & Recreation staff visited Jane Dubel Park to make improvements and beautify the area. Thank you to everyone who helped out!
Councilwoman Sandoval attended a community meeting for the Berta Almaguer Multi-Generation Center and Woodlawn Lake Park Walking Trail Project this week to hear community input on the upcoming bond project.
Councilwoman Sandoval provided updates at the Jefferson Neighborhood Association meeting this week.
Thank you for making it worth a while to bring a Dial-A-Trailer out to the Braun Station area! As you can see in the photos, we had a full day!

A special thank you to our excellent Solid Waste Management Department employees! You sure made it easy to dispose of brush and bulky items today.
This week, we bid farewell to Mexican Consul Reyna Torres Mendivil, who has served the region since 2017. We wish her luck continuing her service in Chicago.
Connect with Your Councilmember
Have Coffee with Ana!
Spots are available for upcoming Coffees with Ana! This is an opportunity available each month for District 7 residents to schedule a twenty minute, one-on-one meeting with the Councilwoman.

Coffees are held on the first Saturday of the month. The next Coffee will be held on June 1 at our field office at the Maverick Library, 8700 Mystic Park.

To make an appointment, call 210-207-0870 or send an email to district7@sanantonio.gov.
District 7 in the News
San Antonio City Council Approves Funding for Asylum Seekers
“'Thanks to the work of our nonprofits and the City of San Antonio volunteers that have worked together, they've kept the migrants in one location very close to the bus stop, offered them what they needed an not really affecting businesses nearby or the greater community.' said Ana Sandoval, San Antonio Councilwoman.”

Podcast: Sandoval prepares for active second term on San Antonio City Council
“In her first two years at City Hall, Sandoval — an engineer and urban planner with degrees from Harvard, MIT and Stanford — established herself as a key player on a host of hot-button issues, such as climate change, transportation and housing displacement."

T exas Could Raise Tobacco Sales Age to 21
"Councilwoman Ana Sandoval supported the ordinance in San Antonio, and says that a similar adoption of the rule by the state will likely impact San Antonio by enforcing a change in surrounding cities."

C ity leaders approve bonds, tax incentives for several affordable housing projects
"We need affordable housing in all parts of San Antonio and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find one council member who says ‘OK put it all in my district.’ We do need it everywhere in San Antonio," said Ana Sandoval, councilwoman for district 7"

City Council Considering Proposal To Manage Dockless Scooters Downtown
" The Dockless Vehicle Pilot Program would change the rules of the road, allowing scooters to be driven on streets instead of sidewalks. District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval said this comes after pedestrians have complained they don't feel safe on sidewalks with scooters whizzing by them."

C ouncil Approves budget Adjustments, Debates Funding Migrant Support
"The federal reimbursement may never come, but the alternative – straining resources to the point that shelters close and food runs out – is not an option, Councilwoman Ana Sandoval (D7) said. “[Congressional action] doesn’t happen overnight … but people are arriving here overnight every night.”

City Council approves funds for migrant resource center
“Today reinforces what many of us already know: that San Antonio is a city that steps up and ensures that those who live here and those who pass through here are taken care of. Our residents are full of compassion—people know when it is our responsibility to help."

La ciudad de San Antonio brindará apoyo a los inmigrantes liberados de los centros de detención
"El alcalde Ron Nirenberg y la concejal Ana Sandoval destacan que se han asignado más fondos para ofrecer albergue, comida y otros bienes a los inmigrantes mientras continúan su camino."

Construction in the Community
Safety Improvements Coming to Hillcrest Dr
A “Merge Left” sign and pavement marking are coming to Hillcrest, just south of the Babcock / Hillcrest intersection!

Residents brought this safety concern to our attention and are happy that the City’s traffic engineers have a solution to help alert drivers that the lanes are merging.
Braun Station East & West: Google Fiber Update
Google Fiber asked us to notify you that their vendor, BComm, will be conducting boring work in the following areas:

  • Just north of New Guilbeau
  • London Heights
  • About 250 feet north of Queen Heights
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Wickersham

Have any questions? You can contact Google Fiber directly on their 24/7 service line at 1 (877) 454-6959.
Share Your Thoughts
What are your bright ideas for San Antonio’s future? Take the @SASpeakUp FY2020 Budget survey today and make your voice heard. The deadline to provide input has been extended to May 19th ! It’s our city. Let’s talk! SASpeakUp
¡Cuéntanos tus ideas brillantes para el futuro de San Antonio! Toma la encuesta de @SASpeakUp AF 2020 y ¡haz contar tu voz! ¡Alza tu voz, San Antonio! #SASpeakUp
The City of San Antonio would like to hear from you on Air Quality in our community. Please complete this brief survey. Thank you!
 
La ciudad de San Antonio le gustaría saber de usted sobre la calidad del aire en nuestra comunidad. Por favor complete esta breve encuesta. Gracias!
Announcements
*DEADLINE EXTENDED* City Seeks Applicants for the VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority Board of Trustees 
The City of San Antonio continues to seek applicants to fill one (1) slot on the VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority Board of Trustees. The term of office expires December 31, 2019. The VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority Board of Trustees is comprised of 11 members, of which five (5) members are appointed by the City Council for staggered two-year terms. Members must be qualified voters residing within the VIA Metropolitan Transit Service Area.

Members receive compensation of $50.00 per meeting of the Board attended, not to exceed five meetings or a maximum of $250.00 any calendar month. Board meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 5:00 PM at the VIA Metro Center.
The application deadline has been extended through Monday, May 20, 2019 by 5:00 p.m. Applications are available at: https://webapp9.sanantonio.gov/BoardCommApplication/vacancies
For assistance with the application process, please contact Brandon Smith, Boards & Commissions Coordinator, at (210) 207-7253.
May is National Bicycle and Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
According to the National Safety Council, motorcycles make more road appearances during the Spring months than any other time of the year. Four-wheeled drivers play a major role in responsibility for keeping cyclists safe on the road because it is usually other drivers who violate the cyclists’ right of way, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
 
The San Antonio Municipal Court cares about all drivers’ safety, regardless of the number of wheels you’re traveling on. We encourage everyone to look twice, share the road, drive defensively and courteously, and take all steps to have a distraction free ride. Drive safe San Antonio!
Metro Health Recognizes May as Trauma Informed Care Awareness Month
San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) is recognizing Trauma Informed Care Awareness Month throughout May. The City of San Antonio and Bexar County have collaborated on the first annual observance of a month of inspiring events, conversations and presentations for the local community.
 
Metro Health aims to raise awareness about Adverse Childhood Experience (ACEs) and Trauma Informed Care by connecting directly with the community through marketing campaigns and multiple community events. ACEs are traumatic events that include abuse, neglect, exposure to mental illness and substance abuse, and witnessing violence at home or in the community that disrupt a child’s healthy development and alter the way their brains and bodies respond to stress. Trauma Informed Care approaches refer to ways of providing services to people that understand and recognize the role that trauma could play in their life. These types of programs ask the question “What happened to you?” instead of “What’s wrong with you?.”
 
Utilizing a Trauma Informed Care approach can reduce the impact of ACEs on the individual, the individual’s family, friends, neighbors, and their entire community. More than 20% of children in Bexar County have experienced two or more ACE’s. A reduction in ACE score from one generation to the next can dramatically improve health.
 
In August 2018, the South Texas Trauma Informed Care Consortium was formed to bring together organizations and systems across sectors committed to addressing the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and building Certified Trauma Informed Care Systems. Currently, the Consortium consists of 11 Sectors that include 158 total organizations and over 300 community members.
 
Throughout the month of May, the Consortium has scheduled events to raise awareness about ACEs and Trauma Informed Care approaches. A calendar of free events is available on the Metro Health website. To learn more about ACEs and Trauma Informed Care please visit: https://www.sanantonio.gov/Health/HealthyLiving/trauma-informedcare
This Weekend at San Antonio Public Library
Qi Gong for Wellness
Forest Hills Branch Library (5245 Ingram Rd., 78228)
Saturday, May 11
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Qi Gong is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for the purposes of health, spirituality, and martial arts training. Join us for a weekly Qi Gong session led by a certified Qi Gong instructor!
DIY U: Phases of the Moon T-Shirt
Forest Hills Branch Library (5245 Ingram Rd., 78228)
Saturday, May 18
2 – 3:30 p.m.
Create your own "Eight Phases of the Moon" T Shirt. We provide all the supplies,T shirts, fabric paint and stencils. You add the DIY. SAPL is preparing for a new year of Summer Reading Programs and our theme is ... wait for it ... "Phases of the Moon"!
May 20-22: Goodwill Retail Seasonal Hiring Events
May 21: Westside Creeks Restoration Oversight Committee Meeting
Join us for the Westside Creeks Restoration Oversight Committee Meeting
 
May 21, 2019 

6:00 p.m.

San Antonio River Authority Boardroom
100 East Guenther Street
San Antonio, 78204
 
Agenda to Follow
For more information, please contact Hillary Lilly at (210) 302-3641 or
hlilly@sara-tx.org.
May 22: Nani Falcone Park Community Meeting
May 24-26: Museum Reach Decennial Fest 4 All
May 28: Community Meeting on Air Pollution
June 1: 4th Annual Neighborhood Day
Mark your calendars for Neighborhood Day on June 1, 2019 at UTSA Downtown - Buena Vista Building. Author of the Turquoise Table, Kristin Schell, will deliver the keynote address - Putting Neighbors back in the Neighborhood. 

This half-day summit will feature workshops on prime issues facing neighborhood leaders including engaging with local officials, building leaders from within, understanding and working with city and county services, and networking with each other. Coffee and breakfast tacos will be served.
Upcoming Events
Wonder where your District 7 Team is headed next? Join Councilwoman Sandoval and/or District 7 staff at any of the following events!
Maverick Neighborhood Meeting
Date: May 20
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: St. Brigid's Convent on Loma Linda
Culebra Park Neighborhood Meeting
Date: May 21
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Esparza Elementary School, 5700 Hemphill Dr.
San Antonio Great Debate Panel
Date: May 25
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: St. Mary's University, University Center Ballroom
Our Office Staff

  • Joseph Bravo
  • Chief of Staff
  • 210.207.2727

  • Lexi Bachran
  • Community Outreach Coordinator
  • 210.207.0875

  • Debbie Dehlinger
  • Super Volunteer
  • 210.207.0870

  • Julio Arroyo
  • Executive Secretary
  • 210.207.7044

  • Bianca Maldonado
  • Chief of Policy & Communications
  • 210.207.0873

  • Matteo Trevino
  • Communications Coordinator
  • 210.207.0872

  • Frank Ramirez IV
  • Zoning & Case Manager
  • 210.207.0874

  • Josh Jaeschke
  • Policy & Case Manager
  • 210.207.0858
Office Hours
NOTE: The District 7 Office will be closed on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.
Brass Professional Center
4414 Centerview Dr #160

Monday - Friday:
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Lunch
12:00 pm- 1:00 pm
Maury Maverick Library
8700 Mystic Park

Monday - Friday:
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Saturday:
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.