BLM at UTSA Mayoral Candidate Forum List of Demands/Concerns
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Black Lives Matter at UTSA believes strongly in civic engagement and holding our city officials accountable for the needs and safety of their citizens. In order to encourage an open line of communication between those in positions of power and their constituents, we have created a brief list outlining some of the specific concerns we have to be presented at the Mayoral Candidate Forum sponsored by the Esparanza Peace and Justice Center. We hope the candidates will view these issues with open minds and take heed to the message we are trying to send. As mayoral candidates, you are all poised to be put into a position where you'll have the power to greatly affect the lives of San Antonio citizens. Those citizens have voices; voices that shouldn't be ignored in favor of special interests, high levels of contigency, or fear of standing up for what is right. We hope to open a dialgue capable of creating more than piecemeal solutions to the long ignored difficulties faced by San Antonio's minority populations.
What would BLM like to see from our city officials?
- The implementation of a bi-annual review of police officers by an independent body accomplished by creating a committee lead by citizens or comprised of citizen appointed representatives to audit officers’ performance to include, but not limited to, complaints, citations, and acts of misconduct.
To ensure a high level of transparency, a review of record keeping and data collection should also be performed regularly.
- Eliminate over policing in the East Side.
In San Antonio, there’s 16 police officers per 10K citizens. There should be a standard implemented to prevent a high concentration of law enforcement in specific areas. More thought and attention should be focused on aggressively addressing the problems that lead to crime (poverty, poor education, lack of resources) instead of prioritizing attention to after a crime has been committed (increasing the amount of law enforcement in a particular area).
- Following in the footsteps of Harris County, San Antonio needs to work towards decriminalizing marijuana possession.
Criminalizing marijuana unfairly targets primarily Black and Brown poor folks.
- City wide movement to increase the crackdown on human trafficking in San Antonio.
Human trafficking is the trade of humans, most commonly for the purpose of forced labor, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others. This does not include willful migration and/or consensual sexual activity between adults.
- A renewed commitment to improve community - police relations, led by a cohort representative of the San Antonio community. A renewed commitment to the demilitarization of the San Antonio police force and implementation of new training, continuing education on social issues and de escalation techniques.
Use of available data will guide the search on what techniques have been proven ineffective. Ineffective or outdated training techniques should be removed and replaced promptly and regularly to fit the changing social environment.
- Address the issue of food deserts, specifically on the East side. Providing reasonable access to basic human necessities needs to be a priority to elected city officials.
A community garden or grocery would help provide jobs to San Antonio citizens. Expanding the San Antonio food bank to open additional centers and/or gardens on the north side.
- Address the efficiency of public transportation and infrastructure and plan for much needed improvements.
- We want an immediate call to action concerning the pollution surrounding Kelly AFB; the radiation of which causes severe birth defects in minority communities.
The entire surround of Kelly AFB should be inlaid with mycelial inoculated storm debris packages discovered by Paul Stammets. All areas surrounding elementary schools should also receive the same treatment.
- More funding needs to be allocated towards non religious doula organizations. Women need reliable access to reproductive health resources, education, and care especially before, during, and after childbirth.
- Address the issues of high infant mortality rates, birth defects, and low birth weight in black San Antonio women. The gross negligence of our city’s representatives to this issue cannot be allowed to continue.
SAMHD Healthy Start and similar organizations should receive more funding and expansion throughout the greater San Antonio area.
- We would like to see the city plan for the allocation of funds to special interest groups/organizations that provide resources and services as aforementioned. We’d like to see you push for the visibility of these special interest groups/organizations. People can’t access these resources if they don’t know they exist.
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