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).

CARAVAN TESTIMONIALS (AUDIO FIELD RECORDINGS)

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:

‘HILLSIDE MIRACLE’ MURAL – DEDICATION

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

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/bold-and-colorful-once-again-mural-at-east-2425045.html

About another recent mural project in San Juan, Texas : BRACERO AND FARMWORKER MURAL
http://utpamas.wordpress.com/

About Raul Valdez
http://www.raulvaldez.net/

See ‘We Will Always Be Here”   (Sol Rojo Productions)
http://blip.tv/zgraphix/we-will-always-be-here-sol-rojo-productions-5502379

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.

Protected: Alvarez – HPP Oral History

July 26, 2012 Comments Off on Protected: Alvarez – HPP Oral History

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Environmental Justice – The Relocation of the BFI Recycling Plant (Austin,TX.)

July 25, 2012 § Leave a comment


On the occasion of the start of structural demolition of the Holly Street Power Plant, here is a May 1997 archival documentary produced by Rene Renteria & PODER (People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources)  about grassroots organizing to relocate the BFI Recycling Plant located in East Austin.  Like the Holly Street Power Plant, the recycling center was another concurrent example of “environmental racism” in  East Austin.
 
Production credits also include: Lisa Sánchez González (narration/script) & Maria Loya (interviewer/translation)
 
For over 20 years, East Austin residents and various community organizations called for the removal of the plant due to public health and safety concerns related to air pollution, extreme noise levels, rodent/roach infestations and fires.  The industrial facility was situated in close proximity to homes, parks, schools and churches. « Read the rest of this entry »

Environmental Justice – Shutting Down Holly Street Power Plant (Austin,TX.)

July 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

On the occasion of the start of structural demolition of the Holly Street Power Plant, here is a 1994 archival mini-documentary produced by  Rene Renteria  & PODER (People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources) which features the story about grassroots organizing to shut down the Holly Power Street Power Plant located in East Austin.
 
For nearly 30 years, East Austin residents and various community organizations called for the removal of the plant due to public health and safety concerns related to air pollution, extreme noise levels, chemical spills and fires.  The industrial facility was situated in close proximity to homes, parks, schools and churches.

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Mexican American Experience 2012 – Music Showcase

March 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Mexican American Experience 2012

I had the honor to document the Mexican American Experience 2012 music showcase at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center  (ESB MACC) held March 14 & 15.

The 2 day event was presented by Crossroads Events productions in collaboration with theESB MACC.  Performers included Little Joe y La Familia, Sunny Ozuna, Shelly Lares, Hadyn Vitera, Patricia Vonne, Los A-T Boyz,  Susana Torres y Conjunto Clemencia, Mike Torres III and the Groveland Chicano Band, and Ashley Borrero.

To see my photos, visit my galleries at Rene Renteria Photography:

Photo Booth – Music Matters 2012

March 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

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To view your photos from the ‘Photo Booth’ at Music Matters 2012,  visit Rene Renteria Photography

Look at the bottom of the home page in the Featured Gallery section for ‘Photo Booth’.

To view the gallery, use the password:   guitar

I provide more details about how to order your photo file.

RITA March and Rally – Texas Can Do Better

February 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Here are moments from the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA) march & rally held Feb. 22, 2011 at the Texas Capitol.

RITA members convened at the Capitol to promote the security of all Texas families as well as the dignity & rights of immigrant families.

The video features excerpt of Tx.Senator – Jose Rodriguez (Dist.29 – El Paso) speech. His remarks start at 3:50min.

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