Austin Latino Coalition – Forum on Redistricting

February 10, 2013 § Leave a comment


Saturday February 9, 2013    Austin, Texas

The Austin Latino Coalition invited the public to a community conversation about the new Citizens Districting 10-1 election system, passed by Austin voters in November 2012 as “Prop 3.” Eligible minority voters were urged to come learn why they should volunteer to serve on the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC). The ICRC will draw the lines for Austin’s 10 new city council districts. At the informational meeting, attendees would learn how to apply to serve on the ICRC.

AustinLatinoCoalition_Forum (2)

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Austin’s Rosewood Neighborhood – Booksigning at Resistencia Bookstore

January 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

November 9, 2012  Resistencia Bookstore  1801-A South First Street, Austin  TX
Austin's Rosewood Neighborhood - booksigning/presentation at Resistencia Bookstore

Austin’s Rosewood Neighborhood – booksigning/presentation at Resistencia Bookstore

Here a few moments from a presentation & book signing of AUSTIN’S ROSEWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD written by Jane.H Rivera PhD & Gilberto C. Rivera.   Both authors have been neighborhood activists in Rosewood for decades. Their book is based on interviews with their neighbors, personal photographs, and information from the Austin History Center.

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East Austin’s “Tejano Trails” as National Recreation Trail

September 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

September 6, 2012 –  East Cesar Chavez neighborhood – 1307 Haskell Street

City & East Austin Community Partner to Celebrate the Federal Designation of East Austin’s ‘Tejano Trails’ as National Recreation Trail

East Austin’s ‘Tejano Trails’ designated as National Recreation Trail

 A ribbon-cutting ceremony  & reception celebrating federal designation of the East Austin’s “Tejano Trails” as a National Recreation Trail system was held at the historic National Fish Hatchery pond (near the Rebekah Baines Johnson (RBJ) Tower,  1307 Haskell Street) in the East Cesar Chavez neighborhood.

Designation by the US Department of Interior creates more opportunities for the “Tejano Trails” to showcase a community dedicated to preserving its cultural history. These Austin trails highlight historic properties (residential/commercial/public) as well as local art commemorating Tejano music legends.  The two trails are the ‘Tejano Healthy Walking Trail’ and ‘Trail of Tejano Legends’.

Here is an audio montage featuring various guests and co-sponsors of the ‘Tejano Trails’.

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Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity AUSTIN STOP

August 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Austin – Texas Capitol  Saturday August 25, 2012

Here are a few moments from the Austin stop of the CARAVAN FOR PEACE WITH JUSTICE AND DIGNITY led by Javier Sicilia.

Sponsors of the Austin event included the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, MORENA Austin, St. James’ Episcopal Church, Texas NORML, Austin Tan Cerca de la Frontera, SOA Watch Austin, Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Drug Policy Alliance and the human rights nonprofit GLOBAL EXCHANGE.

I encourage people to find out more about each organization if you want to support the movment on a local level.

Within the week, I aim to include more photos on my website from the rally and the dinner held at the St.James’ Episcopal Church.

Most of the rally included testimonies from protesters who have lost family members to the violence in Mexico due to the Drug War.

Many thanks to Ana Yanez-Correa, Leah Pinney, Craig Adair, Oscar Ponce,  the various wonderful translators (Catalina Nieto and John Pluecker)  , Jennifer Elena Mendoza (photo assistant)  and my family (Eileen, Iris & Nora).


Javier Sicilia

Marco Antonio Castillo (Caravan coordinator) introduces Ricardo ‘Richie’ Rivera

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Youth Event for the Festival Beach Master Plan

August 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Saturday August 18, 2012 —    Fiesta Gardens-West End, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia Street (Under the Pavilion)

Very few youth attended the event for the Master Park Plan.

I dropped by the Youth Event for the Festival Beach Master Plan at Fiesta Gardens. At this event, youth in the community were going to create a model of a park using cake as a building block. The activity would give the youth an opportunity to express their ideas of what they want to see in a park. The ideas and results of the event are to be presented at the community meeting tonight (Monday Aug.20  6pm-8pm) at the Community Meeting at the ESB MACC.

There was minimal attendance by the public. I only saw about one family participate while I was taking photos.

I had a chance to conduct a couple of quick interviews from two people at the park. Here they are:

Rebecca Brisco-Rohne – She was helping with a local clean-up effort by picking up trash around park with a team of 17 volunteers from LBJ School of Public Affairs.  She was familiar with parts of the Master Park Plan dealing with trails and pedestrian walkway. While we walked, she spoke about her general ideas to improve the park and some of her concerns.

‘Rambo’ – Andy Ramirez  — Rambo was sitting under the shade of a tree near the boat ramp at “Chicano Beach”. He is a native East Austinite who lives blocks away from the park. As a war veteran, he is taking advantage of a program at the Austin Community College to continue his education.   Mr. Ramirez expresses his concern & frustration of rising property taxes for homeowners & residents in the area (especially elderly population with fixed incomes) due to new development. As a long time park visitor, he recognizes the new interest in the area by many people. A person who has deep roots in the community, Mr. Ramirez regards East Austin as ‘God’s country’ which needs to be treated with respect and care to preserve this precious place.

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‘Platica’ Meeting – Master Park Plan (Aug.14, 2012)

August 15, 2012 § 2 Comments

Last night I attended a small gathering at the Metz Recreation Center concerning the Master Park Plan for the Edward Rendon Sr. Park at Festival Beach, Fiesta Gardens and Holly Power Plant site park (in East Austin).

A community outreach team for the Master Park Plan facilitated a ‘platica’ with stakeholders interested in the future of these Parks.  The Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is working with a team of consultants led by Michael Van Valkenburgh & Associates Inc. (MVVA) on this public space project.  Another ‘platica’ is taking place tonight August 15 6pm at Metz Recreation Center.

In the meeting, participants included a small gathering of residents (long term and newly arrived), neighborhood association members, and people interested in the hike/bike trails along the river.  Participants of the ‘platica’ in some way found out about the meeting through an ‘commuinty advisory group’.

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Restoration of ‘Hillside Miracle” mural by Raul Valdez

July 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

A few moments of Raul Valdez restoring the ‘Hillside Miracle’ mural

Over the course of the Spring of 2012, I had the honor to photo document the restoration of the ‘Hillside Miracle’ mural by Raul Valdez.   The photos will be part of a documentary project that I’m producing about the mural within the community. It will also speak of the A.B. Cantu Pan American Recreation Center.

For now though, here is some information about the re-dedication of the mural:


The City of Austin will dedicate the newly restored mural Hillside Miracle by Raul Valdez.

For over 30 years the mural has served as the backdrop for the Hillside Theater at the A.B. Cantu Pan-American Recreation Center. The mural dedication will precede a concert by AT Boyz and Joe Bravo & Ruben Ramos, part of this summer’s popular Hillside Concert Series presented by the A. B. Cantu Pan-American Recreation.

Mural Dedication at Pan American Rec Center
When: Tuesday July 31, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Where: 2100 East 3rd Street

An Austin American Statesman story by Juan Castillo

About another recent mural project in San Juan, Texas : BRACERO AND FARMWORKER MURAL

About Raul Valdez

See ‘We Will Always Be Here”   (Sol Rojo Productions)

This historic documentary (produced by Gilbert Rivera) captures the destruction of Valdez’  “Los Elementos” mural and the Juarez-Lincoln building, and the resistance to stop its destruction in 1983.

  • Rene Renteria Photography

    Rene Renteria Photography


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