Notes & Noticias: Recovery Efforts

Dear Friends,

The past two weeks have been intense, as my staff and I have been focused 100% on recovery efforts in the Dove Springs area and elsewhere in the community.

I’m pleased to report that we’re making progress, though there is still tremendous work to be done.

This week’s Notes and Noticias focuses on how you can help — by giving your time, or your financial support. Please support those in our community who continue to face a difficult recovery from this disastrous flooding.

Join The Recovery Effort

Our community continues to come together to help the recovery effort in Dove Springs and other areas affected by the Halloween floods.

Right now, there is a significant need for both financial support and volunteer man-power.

If you would like to contribute to the relief efforts, please consider donating to the Texas Builders Foundation Relief Fund. This fund will specifically support those who lost their homes and need help purchasing building materials and other goods necessary to rebuild.

If you can volunteer your time, your efforts are needed this Saturday, November 16, from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Volunteers should report to the intersection of Quicksilver and Pleasant Valley, where they will be assigned a task. Thanks to the Dove Springs Neighborhood Association for helping to coordinate this effort.

Additional efforts to raise support are already in the works. In partnership with Council Member Mike Martinez and KXAN, a telethon will be hosted on the evening of Monday, November 25 to raise funds for all individuals affected by the floods. Additionally, there will be an all-day fundraiser concert at Fiesta Gardens on December 1, and more fundraising planned for December 6-13 during Keep Austin Generous Week.

I’ll keep you posted as more details are confirmed.

Please help however you can. Our neighbors need us to come together and help in these recovery efforts.

Last Night’s Town Hall

Thanks to everyone who came out to last night’s town hall meeting to discuss the ongoing recovery effort. In particular, I’d like to recognize the following individuals and organizations who were in attendance:

Council Member Mike Martinez; Diego Martinez-Moncada, from Congressman Lloyd Doggett’s office; Sean Griffin, from Senator Judith Zaffirini’s office; Scott Daigle, from Representative Donna Howard’s office; the Texas Association of Builders; Texas Builders Foundation; Home Builders Association of Greater Austin; Austin Habitat for Humanity; Texas Department of Insurance; David Courreges, from the Austin Bar Association; Marissa Marquez, from the Hispanic Bar Association; Abby Anna Datko-Taylor, from Volunteer Legal Services; Mayra Lopez, from Latino HealthCare Forum; Melinda Ruby, Rafael Garcia Zuazua, and Alex Lopez, from the City of Austin Buyout Program; Dan McNabb, Candy Coward, and Greg Guernsey, from the City of Austin Planning and Development Review Department;  Edward Reyes, Dove Springs Neighborhood Association President; Ricardo Zavala, founder of Dove Springs Proud; and Mona Gonzalez, from the River City Youth Foundation.

So many people are working so hard to aid this recovery effort. I appreciate all of the energy in the room last night and the broad, ongoing commitment to helping Southeast Austin from all of the organizations and community members in attendance.

In Memoriam: Sam Coronado

Our community lost a tremendous leader in the Latino arts and culture movement. Sam Coronado, artist and co-founder of the Mexic-Arte Museum, passed away this week.

Sam began his career as an artist in 1969, and owned studios across Texas. His skill as a graphic designer was well established, as Sam created a logo for the Pedernales Electric Cooperative and  other companies.

Sam was always committed to advancing and supporting other Latino artists, through using his studio to support printmaking work and teaching art at Austin Community College.

Sam will be sorely missed by the community, and especially the emerging Latino artists in whom he invested so much time and energy. I offer my condolences to his family and friends, and all who knew Sam.

On The Ballot

Today, I filed for re-election for House District 51 with the Travis County Democratic Party. These past few weeks, though challenging, have emphasized to me what an honor it is to serve this community. I hope that my work in the Legislature and in our district will earn your support for my re-election.

In the meantime, my staff and I continue to post up-to-date information about flood relief efforts, community meetings, and fundraising events on my Facebook page.

Please check the page and stay connected as we work to support the recovery efforts together.