SAN ANTONIO – The Black Lives Matter movement has shed light on deep-rooted racial and economic disparities throughout the country, including the differences in opportunities realized in historically underserved, predominantly minority communities compared to affluent neighborhoods.
District 2 Councilwoman Jada Andrews-Sullivan says she has a plan to provide East Side residents with the same access to quality education, health care, and other resources that have been lacking in parts of the area for far too long.
“We have to speak to the issues of equality and what that really looks like within the city of San Antonio,” Andrews-Sullivan said, adding that some of the disadvantages stem from practices and policies put in place long ago.
“The issue of economic segregation and redlining as it pertains to an area that’s been underserved ... undeveloped,” Andrews-Sullivan said.
She is hoping to use budget funds to create initiatives that include job and skills training, door-to-door health care education and testing and entrepreneurship opportunities, especially for self-sustaining businesses that hire people from the community and benefit the community.
“Even if it’s producing the markets and the community markets and community stores that we need,” Andrews-Sullivan said.
Andrews-Sullivan said she also wants to make sure small business owners in the area are financially literate, so they know how to access available funding.
“In the first round of the loan programs, and the disaster loan disaster grants, a lot of our small businesses within the district didn’t get any of that funding,” Andrews-Sullivan said. “We have to change the mindset of the people within the community because one thing is for sure -- you give them something to do, and you give them the things that they need to thrive, that’s what they’ll do.”
The ideas are still being finalized. Once proposals are complete, they must be voted on by the city’s Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) board, then the City Council as part of next year’s budget.
If all goes as planned, new resources could be provided to District 2 as early as next year.