The Clawback LIVE! Episode 20 covering how we are protecting our health, ongoing work, and how you can volunteer to help.
Check out all of our collected COVID-19 resources at http://www.atxd6.org/2020/03/02/keeping-up-with-the-coronavirus/
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Hello Austin Hello District Six hello everybody who is sheltering in place staying at home. I am once again joining you from my own home. you know we've been doing this clawback show for four or five months now, this is our twentieth episode but I don't think we could have possibly imagined the conditions under which we would be continuing. I am really glad that I I started this video series it means I've got a good webcam and some good lights so we. Communicate more directly about what's going on right now.
I just finished watching Dr Escott's press conference where we talked about now having identified community spread of COVID in our community but I mean we were already assuming that we had already made that declaration several days ago and started taking those precautions. lot of stuff has been moving fast. let me pull up my my top three so. I mean we're in a public health crisis. I'm gonna talk about the economic crisis in a second you know community spread is it's a very dangerous proposition. there have been some evidence in other communities of spread happening before people are showing symptoms. it is especially dangerous for folks over 60 that's been shown to be true in the virus, but every action we all take has an impact on how this virus will or will not spread in our community. and of course the more it spreads the more strain we will put on our health resources here in Austin, we're seeing that happen in some other communities. You know the the work that we're doing here. it continues. Thankfully, at least for for the district Six office, you know we had already started being a paperless office. We were pretty well set up to go digital so our work has continued. Although you know the public health stuff is really not something the Council members work on. when you trigger these emergency powers, it really sits in office of the mayor, which for the city of Austin. It's kind of an uncomfortable place because in most cases, the mayor doesn't really have a lot of separate powers. Everything is done in concert with the Council but in this case it is it is working differently. of course at the state and federal level, the governor and the President always have a different set of powers and abilities than their legislative bodies do but in the city, it's a little more complicated. you know there's a lot of a lot of stuff happening. I really wanna encourage folks to to stay home and don't go out unless it's absolutely necessary. You know the more that we voluntarily comply the less likely we need to enforce and of course the challenge with enforcement is it puts our public safety professionals in harm's way. There's no need for that. If you have the ability to stay home, you should and for those who who who don't who still need to go out the more of us that stay in the better it is and the more likely we can slow the spread of this virus.
we started working on the economic issues right after SouthBy was cancelled, which you know feels like years ago, but I think it was about seven to 10 days ago. No I guess it's Friday so two weeks ago was when it was cancelled two weeks ago, we were still somewhat deliberating whether or not SouthBy should be canceled kinda stunning to think about our work has continued. We have a resolution that we're getting ready for the Council meeting next Thursday. We've been working on it for a week. Now you can follow along on the Council message board. I have all the links on our website like a point to it there. It is right there atxd6.org. That is my official website for the district. The banner headline is our Coronavirus article. You can scroll through all of the resources I'm gonna be talking about on that website, including the links to the resolution in its current draft, but it is a work in progress and the message board where you can see other Council members joining in and submitting their own comments and their own suggestions and amendments. Hopefully we'll be able to get that work to narrow down as we get to what will be a very unusual and abbreviated Council meeting next week. it looks like right now for that Council meeting the mayor will be present as will five Council members. I will be video conferencing in. I have decided to stay at home. really until we get through the substance of this crisis. My boyfriend works for HEB. He's a service manager at HEB. And so that means my home is a vector with someone who is having a lot of contact with the public so rather than risk anything even though both him and I are in are in good health and are showing those symptoms rather than risk it. I'm gonna continue my operations hear from home, but you can see in that resolution all of the ideas that we're putting together. Also. it's important to note that the resolution is not a barrier to the work started. We had been developing this language in conjunction with city staff who have already started some of that work. we of course talk with other agencies. We've talked with Workforce Solutions, Tamara Atkinson over there. I chair the Regional Economic Development Board. so these economic response measures are right in my wheelhouse. you know before I was a Council member. I ran the LGBT Chamber of Commerce for many years, and so this is of course was a small business owner for 20 years. So this is really something I have some expertise in. So you'll see a lot of ideas being listed there an updated version is gonna get posted today so that instead of it just being a SouthBy resiliency resolution, which was originally intended, It's gonna broaden up a little bit be a little more about giving staff direction about where the Council is comfortable having staff go out and try and develop new programs or new solutions but but the reality here is that the larger economic crisis that we're facing is going to require significant state and federal support. There are parts of this crisis that are somewhat specialized to Austin, You know we have an outsized reliance on South by Southwest for a lot of our bars and restaurants and for our musicians and the music community, which is where we started with the resolution and so there are still things we can do in the short term and are already doing in the short term. go to that website again, atxd6.org, and you can see all of the programs as we continually update that webpage as it links to the city site and the County sites and all the other resources as we start to compile them The The economic challenge is significant. I feel very fortunate my partner and I, my boyfriend and I both have jobs. We both have jobs in his case it has become a dangerous job, but one where he still gets a paycheck. I'm still getting my paycheck as a Council member as are a lot of city staff, all the city staff doing all the very important work in all of the city departments to keep the city operating you know, it's important to note any of you out there that have over purchased at HEB, please stop doing that. I think the message is getting out, but I saw a great video from HEB where it showed their warehouses were still full... the supply chain is still active and we're still just in the first couple of weeks. we don't have to panic.
How to help
it is it is not necessary to panic, but what I find helpful is that there are ways that we can help I worked with representative Bucy, John Bucy, who represents a state Rep who represents the Williamson County part of Austin and Cedar Park and Leander, and we have launched a volunteer recruitment effort to help seniors in our part of town. you can go again. atxd6.org. you'll find the sign up link we're gonna try and coordinate. we are gonna be coordinating with Hill Country Ministries and do direct outreach to seniors in this part of town to make sure that they have the resources they need. They have access to food and helping them get the information that they need not all seniors are gonna be on Facebook. Although many of them are not all seniors. Gonna be watching the live streams or the press conferences. the newspapers you know don't deliver as much or or as frequently as they used to certainly a lot of our constituents read Community Impact, which is a great publication. But of course it's just monthly in its print form. So we're gonna do direct outreach start with phone calls and see how many seniors we can get a hold of and make sure people have the resources they need thanks a lot to Representative Bucy for partnering with my office on that effort. His office will cover all the Cedar Park Leander areas as well and as we start to see how this process involves we're gonna explore expanding it in partnership with our other representatives that cover district six, Representative Goodwin and Israel. hopefully we'll be able to roll these programs out in some in some rapid succession. This is just a very very crazy time. I'm gonna make those titles go away. We we don't know where this is going and we don't know how this will evolve, but we do know that will end. We do know that that this this challenge that we face as a community will have a conclusion. how we get to that conclusion? How quickly we get to that conclusion and how many people suffer as a result is really in our hands, The more of us that can stay home the more of us that can stay out of public spaces, the more likely we can arrest the spread of the virus. the more likely we can prevent more vulnerable folks from from contracting it and putting a burden on our health care systems. The more we can limit what deaths may be in our community's future, but we can also work together. The effort with Representative Bucy is just one. There are many efforts that are starting up around the community, fundraising efforts. I'm starting to see other volunteer efforts start to be created. We will get through this. I believe in Austin I believe in district six, I believe in Texas I believe in the United States, I may have my issues with some of their current elected leadership, but I still believe that we will get through this together. But we have to do it together, so please do everything that is within your power. If you can stay at home stay at home. If you have ongoing financial means, please you know order takeout at your local restaurants. They're being hit pretty hard with this effort. I did take out from Phil's Ice House. I think it was two nights ago and and gave a hundred percent tip for for those folks that were still able to work there. do everything we can individually and we will get through this crisis together, please again. Go to the website atxd6.org. check out all the resources that are available. talk to others that you can that you can reach to make sure that they're getting the resources that they need and communicate with my office as we get through this unprecedented and unimaginable crisis together. Thank you District six. I'm gonna go to my end credits. It feels a little odd. Honestly. I created this with the kind of an upbeat mode in the music, but I still believe we can stay there. We can stay upbeat. We can still believe that we're gonna get through this together and I believe all of you will work with my office to do it. Thanks everybody. Thanks for watching stay tuned. We're gonna be putting out more content. Follow my Facebook I'm gonna post this video on to YouTube and Twitter. You can be able to share it. Please share it on Facebook and again go to my website atxd6.org. You can find all the resources we have collected. Stay safe everybody.
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