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
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
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.