Travis County

Agenda Item

Approve proclamation recognizing February 2020 as “Black History Month.” (Commissioner Travillion)


Department:CC Agenda requestSponsors:
Category:General Government


  1. #3; Proclamation; Black History Month

Meeting History

Feb 18, 2020 9:00 AM Video Commissioners Court Voting Session
draft Draft

MOTION: Approve Item 3.

MOVER:Gerald Daugherty, Commissioner
SECONDER:Brigid Shea, Commissioner
AYES:Sarah Eckhardt, Jeffrey W. Travillion Sr, Brigid Shea
ABSENT:Gerald Daugherty, Margaret J. Gómez


Feb 18, 2020 9:00 AMVideo (Windows Media) MP4 VideoCommissioners CourtVoting Session


11:16 AMWe are cruising.
Good work. &j
Good morning, we have completed our executive session where we discussed a couple of items. Agenda item number 26, no need for action on that item. 29 and 30 also do not require action at this time. But on agenda item number 31, Commissioner Travillion, do you have an have a motion?
I do, move to appoint william travis as our representative to attend mediation in the hernandez versus travis county versus perez, cause number c1cv-18- 010694 and report back to commissioners court the results of mediation and recommendations if necessary.
11:17 AMSecond.
All those in favor? that passes unanimously. On agenda item number 34, Commissioner Shea, do you have a motion?
I do. I move re authorize purchase of the conservation easement at the price discussed in executive session.
We have a motion by Commissioner Shea, seconded by Commissioner Travillion all in favor? That passes unanimously. Next let's go to our resolutions and proclamations. Mr. Acevedo, it's so good to see you. We haven't seen you in a while. Let's take up agenda items 4 and 5.
11:18 AMI'm prepared.
Commissioners, May I hand these over to you all and perhaps we could start with 4. Commissioner Shea, would you do the honors?
Sure. I would be happy to.
Agenda item number 4, I love doing resolutions and proclamations. It's such a great way to finish off the morning portion of our session. 4 is to approve a proclamation recognizing February 16-22-2020 as national lulac week. Would you all like to -- hey, come on up.
Please come join us at the table. Fidel, you as well.
Gavino, we got done with executive session much quicker than we thought so i'm so glad you came a little early.
I just escaped from early vote. [laughter]
Who is manning the polls.
11:19 AMWhereas 91 years ago the founders of the league of united latin american citizens, better known as lulac, joined together take establish an organization that would become the largest and oldest hispanics rights service organization in the united states. Whereas since its inception February 17, 1929, in corpus christi, texas, lulac has championed the cause of hispanic americans in education, employment, economic development and civil rights and has grown to include over 16 active chapters in travis county. Whereas lulac has developed a comprehensive set of programs fostering training, housing, scholarships, citizenship and voter registration. Whereas lulac members throughout the nation have established a track record of success advancing the economic condition, political influence, health and civil rights of all people in the united states. Whereas lulac's legislative platform promotes humanitarian relief for all residents, increased opportunities for youth, and equal treatment for all in the united states and its territories including the commonwealth of puerto rico. And whereas this year the league of united latin american citizens celebrates 91 years of community service marked by increased educational opportunities and improvements to the quality of life for all americans. Now there we the travis county commissioners court do hereby proclaim the week of February 16 through the 22, 2020, to be designated as lulac week in travis county, and we urge all residents of travis county to join in the contributions the organization has made during its 91 years of service to the community. And I move approval.
11:20 AMSecond.
We have a motion and a second. It's so great to see you all here today. Do you have comments to the resolution?
Yes. of coursewe are grateful, the commissioners court has always done a great job. So we keep up that great job going forward. There's a lot of things that are lulac -- our lulac is doing across the state of texas and the united states. As we go on not only with civil rights, but we go on with our civic duties that we are engaged in especially at this time. So we know from our national president that we are trying to register a million new voters, hopefully between now and november. So we're doing what we can that's our responsibility to our latino community.
11:21 AMThanks so much.
Gavino fernandez, lulac and district 12. Again we want to also appreciate your continued support of lulac in all our endeavors. Like fidel mentioned, we do ongoing voter registration. Every meeting I go to, that's my first question, who is registered to vote and then we'll proceed because that is a very important step. And that is that people not only be registered to vote but actually go out and vote election day. And again, I just want to repeat our strong collaboration with this commissioners court. Commissioner Travillion when he was naacp president locally and ms. Brigid shea when she was on council and obviously the judge. thank you for your continued support and service.
11:22 AMThank you so much for all your voter registration. Could we add census to the request?
It's already there, judge. we've been -- as a matter of fact, the front porch is holding an event this evening at the university of texas division of community engagement at the asian center on census, and yes, it is definitely on the forefront.
Thank you. rick?
I thought he was going to be silent.
11:23 AMThe voters that we need to keep on going and voting for our candidates, you know.
Thank you so much. all those in favor? That passes unanimously. We would like to come down and take a picture if we could.
Just a couple comments, if we could.
I'm sorry.
That's all right. this is particularly special to me because of the relationship that the naacp shares with lulac. One of the states is texas where there's a memorandum of understanding that we work together, that we build community, that we not allow ourselves to be pitted against one another. That is something that has been critical and significant for years. That we have worked together, that we have a history of working together. Whether we talk about the '20s or '50s or '60s. And today because a lot of us understand our history and remember the terror that led to the great migration from the south for the african-american community and see the analogies right now between what's happening in central and south america and how people are being treated who are fleeing terror.
11:24 AMCorrect.
So we appreciate the work that we have done together and pledge again that we won't stop fighting as long as we see children sleeping in cages.
And we appreciate the work that you continue to do to make sure that we are all treated with respect and honor. And this organization has worked to treat all people with respect and honor. And we're proud to be siblings in the civil rights movement.
We thank you for your kind words, commissioner. judge, could we also take marcelo's after and then we can do a picture. Mr. Tafoya is ill and Mr. -- fidel is accepting his proclamation.
11:25 AMThank you so much.
The m.o.u. with the naacp, right here. He's the one that crafted that.
We talked a few times.
I just want to make a point of acknowledging how remarkable it is to have maintained a civil rights organization that's largely volunteer for 91 years. The amount of time that volunteers have put in to further the cause to do the community education, to do the hard work of reaching out to people and helping them understand their rights the and helping get them plugged into civic life is remarkable. And I just really want to acknowledge 91 years. Congratulations.
And I also want to mention, commissioners, that this year we'll be registering four youth councils. East side memorial, del valle, manor, and our lnesc youth components. So we're also getting our youth involved because, you know, we're close to trying to retire.
11:26 AMAnd it's a great moment to get the youth involvement. They are just craving a way to connect.
Judge And commissioners and Commissioner Travillion, just a quick note on our lnesc program, which is second to none. And we are so fortunate that as young as district 12 is, it's only been in existence for about ten to 12 years, to have an lyesc program from the national level here in austin for our youth, taking care of 500 youngsters going through high school, trace them on to college and get that data, we're just new at getting data on our tracking on these 500 students from freshman through graduating class and then on to college. So this is our second year working on our third year, fourth year and fifth years. It's an award that we get that's been awarded. We don't just get it. We have to make that proposal happen and it's coming up in two years. Normally it's a long process, but it's a tedious process and it just so happened with the help of everybody in our district, not only fidel, not only so and so, it been one of those things that to get a grant from the secretary of education at the national level, to get that kind of money to bring it down to our austin area for our minority students. And those students have to qualify as their parents never went to college. So these are -- these are first-time students that we can see trying to get them. Sooner than later we'll have that director here to go through the fine process that she has to go through, but to let you guys know that that grant is working here every day, and the high schools that gavino mentioned, there's five of them and we're very proud to be in those high schools and getting those youngsters going.
11:28 AMIt's a wonderful intergenerational work. It's great stuff. Let's go ahead -- we already voted that one. Let's move to agenda item number 5. Commissioner Travillion, would you do the honors of reading the resolution?
Thank you. just before I read that, confusius said if you are planting for a year, plant rice, if you are planting for ten years, plant trees. If you are planting for 100 years, educate children. So thank you for what you do. I love these types of proclamations because too often we do not recognize people on this side of glory for the work that they did. It gives us an opportunity to recognize somebody who is truly dedicated his live to serving his community. So whereas Mr. Marcelo tafoya was born to joaquin and concepcion tafoya on January 16, 1939 in lorraine, ohio, raised in georgetown, graduated from georgetown high school and inducted into the georgetown high school hall of fame. Whereas marcelo is married to isabel and together they have four children, six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Whereas upon graduation from electronics school, Mr. Tafoya became a papal volunteer serving in mexico city after which he returned to georgetown where he began a career in broadcasting, spanning over 40 years. Having owned several businesses in austin including two radio stations, hosting a television show on ktbc, channel 7, an advertising agency, record label, newspaper, record shop and a number of other enterprises, too many to list, I imagine. He also owned three other radio stations across the state. Each dedicated to serving the community and had a distinction of teaching classes at the university of texas at austin where he was able to impart his knowledge and experience to broadcasting students and is considered a founding father of tejano music, having been awarded the first lifetime achievement award at the tejano music awards. Whereas marcelo joined the league of united latin american citizens, lulac, in 1970 and became president of his local council. Through dedication and hard work he held the positions of district director of districts 7 and 12, deputy state director of texas lulac, national state civil rights chair and texas state lulac parlimentarian and now celebrates 50 years as a member in good standing. He plans to continue to dedicate his time to the league and to work to preserve tejano music history as a founder of the museum and serving as a member of the board of directors of the promesa public schools. And whereas marcelo has dedicated his life as a father, grandfather, great grandfather and a person dedicated to dealing with his community and looks forward to seeing our community and children achieve their dreams and future endeavors. Now therefore with the travis county commissioners court do hereby proclaim our appreciation for Mr. Marcelo tafoya on this occasion of his 50th anniversary as a leader with a league of latin american citizens, lulac, who has continued to promote lulac's mission of advancing the economic, educational, political and civil rights of all residents in travis county. Signed and entered this day, the 18th day of february, 2020, I so move.
11:32 AMSecond.
11:33 AMIt's so great to have you here for this one too. All those in favor? That passes unanimously.
Is there anyone else here from marcelo's family or the community to participate?
We really appreciate you representing the family.
Needed a drink of water for that one.
You are going to need a drink of water for the next one too. We're going to come down and take a photograph with you all right after we do this proclamation, and single spaced two pages.
Can I get the water in early?
Absolutely, please.
You know, it's a great honor to get to know someone that marcelo -- all that jeff just read, Commissioner Travillion, is just a small part of what this man is. Because those of you who have seen him from childhood on crutches because of polio, so all those achievements were made as an a da video who did not let anything stop him. So to me it's one of the greatest honors to accept this proclamation for him. Known him since 1960 and '63 when he started deejaying, the only vietnam era acevedo and myself while he couldn't serve, he wanted to serve, but he did the next best thing for the latino community, serving in vietnam and in europe. He recorded tejano music for them and it was a reel to reel back then, sent it to them and they could listen to the academy award winning and emmy award winning, not academy, emmy award winning little joe and other tejano artists from back in the era. So for those many years that he was in radio, I mean his favorite saying [speaking in spanish] that says a lot. [speaking in spanish] but for the other years that we have been working together with the league of united latin american citizens with gavino and the rest of us who started district 12, it has been a tireless, ongoing day by day trying to get state, community involved whether it's here locally, which that's one of our favorite sayings, stay local, but we know as ambassadors of the league we have to move across the state of texas and try to get other communities involved because they need it. And so for Mr. Tafoya and his family, it is a great honor for me to accept this. Thank you very much.
11:36 AMThank you. [applause]
Thank you, and I echo fidel's comments to Mr. Tafoya and we appreciate the honor that you bestow on him in our lulac family. Thank you.
Judge, I do just want to make note, we often don't get a sense of the larger scope of people's lives and contributions until we're reading their obituaries. I completing agree with Commissioner Travillion, it's great to give people the recognition they deserve while they are still with us because I had no idea of the breadth of marcelo's work. I didn't realize he owned all these radio stations and made all those contributions to tejano music. What a whole new rich series of layers of appreciation we can have for the contribution he has made and is continuing to make.
11:37 AMAppreciate the comments.
You bet. thank you.
Did we vote this? we did. Thanks so much. We're going to come down and take a photograph right after we read this next proclamation. Thanks so much. Commissioner Travillion, agenda item number 3.
This really is a little longer, isn't it? Okay. Whereas each February travis county and the austin independent school district proudly recognize black history month by proclaiming that the african-american history -- or that african-american history is also american history. And we proudly highlight noble african-americans and events that have shaped american history and contributed to american culture. Whereas black history month began or was begun by historian carter g. Woodson in February of 1926 as negro history week and hoped to raise awareness of african-american contributions to a nation and to the world. He also founded the association for the study of negro life and history. Now known as the study of african-american life and history. Asalh, who has requested that black history month 2020 focus on african-americans and the vote. And whereas there's been an ongoing effort on the part of both african-american men and african-american women to obtain and preserve the right to vote and have full citizenship rights in the united states. For example, more than a half million african-american men became voters in the south during the 1870s. Women did not secure the right to vote in the united states until 1920. And whereas the most basic right of a citizen in a democracy is the right to vote, and without this right people can easily be ignored or even abused by their government. Unfortunately this is what happened to the african-american citizens after reconstruction. Despite the 14th and 15th amendments guaranteeing the civil rights of african-americans, their right to vote was systemicly and brutally taken away. By the end of the era of reconstruction in 1877, the u. S. Supreme court in a series of decisions had eviscerated many of the laws that had been given -- that had been given to african-americans including the right to vote. We know those are the cases from 1883 that were put after a court was packed by rutherford b. Hays. Whereas the federal troops no longer -- were no longer present to protect the rights of african-american citizens, the oppression of the african-americans quickly returned to the old confederate state. As african-american voting fell off sharply because of threats from employers and threats of violence from the ku klux klan. Poll taxes, whites only primaries, vouchers of good character, literacy tests and brutal violence were just some of the methods we used to keep african-americans from voting or going to the voting booth. Whereas while some of these laws were eventually struck down, it took years for african-americans to regain the basic right to vote. The civil rights act of 1864 prohibited unequal application of voter registration requirements and also in 1964 the 2nd amendment to the u. S. Constitution was ratified abolishing all federal poll taxes in federal elections, but you still had literacy tests and whatnot which would ask things like how many bubbles are in a bar of soap. Just to recognize this was still going on in the '60s. Whereas even though president lyndon johnson signed into law the voting rights act of 1965, a federal law that banned racial discrimination in voting nationwide and banned a literacy test, today there are still too many african-americans and women who are not registered voters who choose not to vote if registered. And whereas all freedom-loving americans must remain vigilant on the issue of voting rights because there are still those who if they could would change the laws and enact new regulations to make it more difficult for african-americans and others to vote, which we see currently at our own legislature, and whereas the government of travis county and the austin independent school district value the history, heritage and culture of our african-american citizens and we celebrate the right of all citizens to vote and salute the african-american elected officials, school district officials, department heads, and employees who have served to improve access and resources in travis county for all residents, and this year the austin independent school district will sponsor its 37th annual african-american heritage celebration with a theme equity and excellence for all students. And honor those who have made positive contributions to the aisd and travis county communities on sunday, February 23rd at 3:00 p. M. At the aisd performing arts center. Now therefore be it proclaimed that we the travis county commissioners court do hereby proclaim the month of February 2020 as black history month in travis county and urge all public officials and all citizens of travis county to raise awareness and celebrate the contributions of african-americans and urge all to participate in the austin independent school district celebration in appreciation of african-american history. Signed and entered this day, the 18th of february, 2020, I move approval.
11:43 AMSecond.
It's a wonderful proclamation as well as
It's a wonderful proclamation, as well as the additional facts. Thank you so much. With that, I believe we are done for the day, with the exception of a photograph, which we are very much looking forward to. So, if there is no objection, we are now adjourned, although we will adjourn to the well in order to take a photograph with our guests from lulac.
11:47 AMRecording was Paused