Tonight Susana Almanza from P.O.D.E.R (People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources) spoke at our church. She talked about how toxic chemicals are near our elementary school in East Austin. She talked about how AISD didn't fully integrate until 1983 despite the 1955 Supreme Court ruling. She told us that AISD sued to stop from integrating Austin schools until 1978 when the Supreme Court said -- you must integrate. She talked about the fact that there are 8,000 people on the waiting list for low income and Section 8 housing. She reminded us that we must be involved in our communities, by voting, by understanding the issues, by calling our City Council People. She talked about how the city decided, in 1928, to move people of color and poor white people to the East side of Austin. She told us that when people go to jail, when they get out they get to vote. She told us that people in East Austin had to live next to the Holly Power Plant (which was very loud) and people were losing their hearing. Her organization worked hard to get that power plan shut down.
We are glad that she came to Parker Lane to share the story of our history as a city. We are grateful that she reminded us that we need to be involved in community.