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June 5, 2020
Dear Neighbors,
Two Pandemics

George Floyd’s murder last week, under the knee of a law enforcement officer so calm that his hand rested in his pocket, was an unacceptable tragedy.

Yet there is an even greater tragedy: this was not an isolated incident. The unjust taking of African American lives links us to a history of racism we cannot fully shed.

Today, we’re faced with two pandemics: COVID-19 and systemic racism. They may not seem similar at first glance, but if you step back, you’ll see two public health crises that are destroying our black community and causing so much loss of life.

People across our community - from organizers and local leaders to everyday residents - have come together in mourning, frustration, and anger. They all want the same thing: a safe society where people can go about their lives with respect and dignity.

Now, local and state leaders are called once again to govern with a resounding commitment to equity and accountability in all parts of life.

To the members of the public who testified at City Council yesterday or who have called and emailed my office: thank you for speaking up . Your right to free speech, including protest, is in our collective DNA as Americans. Working together, may we finally end systemic racism in this nation.

 Community Recovery & Resiliency Plan

Yesterday, City Council approved a $380 million Community Recovery & Resiliency Plan.

The plan will direct $54.5 million to short-term health and emergency efforts directly related to COVID-19, such as testing and tracing; $20.7 million to the City’s personal protective supplies and equipment; $50 million for housing security; $38 million to micro business support; and $75 million and $27 million to workforce development and digital inclusion, respectively.

Unfortunately, there remains a noticeable absence in the plan: direct investment in health improvements. You can read my full commentary on the importance of prioritizing public health in the Rivard Report this week .

I ultimately voted for the Recovery and Resiliency budget, but only after I obtained assurances from the Mayor and city staff that council will still have the ability to make adjustments as needed. I look forward to working with City Council members over the coming months to ensure the health of our community is a top priority.

You can view the presentation on the plan here.

Stay Safe, San Antonio

I encourage you to continue practicing safe social distancing and using masks when in public spaces, like protests or the grocery store. As you know, not everyone with COVID-19 exhibits symptoms. Without caution, all of us are at risk of acquiring COVID and spreading it to our older, or more health sensitive family members. Please keep them in mind as you go out about your day.
Yours in public service,
District 7 Initiatives
Facebook Live Every Wednesday

Thanks for joining us on Facebook Live this past month! We'll continue these sessions through the end of June. Join us next Wednesday, June 10 at 7 p.m.

To view our latest Facebook update with Commissioner Justin Rodriguez, click here. Hope you'll join us next week!
Help us Serve Our Seniors

During this time our office is making an effort to ensure that vulnerable neighbors have the resources they need in order to stay safe. Our office, alongside volunteers, have made over 1,200 phone calls to senior citizens in District 7 to date.

If you would like to help, feel free to contact us by email or phone.
Local and State Updates
COVID-19 Updates

  • As of June 5th, there are 3,018 cases of COVID-19 in Bexar County. Of these, 1,866 individuals have made a full recovery. Unfortunately, we have had 78 deaths attributed to the virus in San Antonio.

Community Updates
The City of San Antonio is seeking applicants to fill three positions on the VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority Board of Trustees. The positions will be open until Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Applications are available here.
Project Cool
Catholic Charities alongside the Department of Human Services have come together to collect and distribute box fans to seniors. T he program reduces energy costs for seniors on a fixed income. Click here to find out how to donate . Seniors looking to receive a fan can call 211 for more info.
Parks and Rec Summer Food Program
The City of San Antonio's 2020 Summer Food Service Program started June 1. Parents with children ages 1-18 can pick up FREE "Grab and Go" drive through style meals at 26 locations city-wide. Locations in District 7 include:

  • Gilbert Garza Community Center (5627 Mira Vista)
  • Joe Ward Community Center (435 E. Sunshine Dr.)

Click here to see a full list of the locations.
VIA announces a Workforce Assistance Pass
The complimentary pass is good for 31 days from activation and is available for any VIA customer who presents a copy of their unemployment benefit statement and a current photo ID. The program is scheduled to continue through August 2020.
Environmental Film Fest
The San Antonio River Authority will be hosting its 7th Annual Environmental Film Fest to help commemorate National Rivers Month in June. The event will run from June 3-21 and is completely free. Click the link to register.
Engage Online
Public Comment Returns!
This week, San Antonio City Council relaunched its usual public comment session virtually immediately following the conclusion of the City Council’s regularly scheduled B session meetings. San Antonio residents can begin submitting comments starting on the Monday morning before the Wednesday evening comment period.
 
The public can provide public comment in four ways:
  1. Email comments to publiccomment@sanantonio.gov
  2. Leave a voice message at (210) 207-6991. Voice message comments are limited to 300 words transcribed;
  3. Drop off written comments at the Office of the City Clerk located at 114 W. Commerce, San Antonio, Texas 78205. Written comments are limited to 300 words; or
  4. Through a live call-back option. To request a live call-back, the resident should include his or her name, telephone number, and topic on which they would like to speak in their voice message at (210) 207-6991. Live call-back comment time limits will be determined by the Chair of the meeting.

Residents can provide comments in English or Spanish. Interpretation services will be provided when requested in advance.
Metro Health launched a COVID-19 Community Survey to gather information on symptoms, testing, and social distancing behavior in the San Antonio community.

The survey can be taken by calling the Metro Health hotline at 210-207-5779 or clicking here.
Public Health Reminders
Stay Informed
Click any of the following buttons for reliable information about COVID-19. Additionally, you can text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message updates.
Community Resources
The following buttons link to community resources should you need any assistance. If you need a service that is not listed below, please contact our office at 210-207-0870 or by email at District7@SanAntonio.gov.
See a full listing of resources here.
Local Job Listings
How You Can Help Your Neighbors
Looking for a way to help your neighbors during this time? Here are a few ideas:
See more ideas on how to get involved here.
District 7 Office Work Arrangement
During this time, the District 7 Office is continuing to work for you. We are taking the following precautions to protect your health and ours:

·     We will remain accessible for your phone calls and emails.

·     We will begin calling into neighborhood association and HOA meetings, should you choose to host them. If you would like help hosting a video or conference call for your NA/HOA meeting, we can assist!

·     We are postponing office events for the time being.

Reach us by calling 210-207-0870 or emailing us at District7@SanAntonio.Gov

We appreciate your understanding.