Thrilled to have guests on The Clawback LIVE! for the first time to talk about the crazy year this last week has been. Joining me are HD-136 State Rep. John Bucy, musician Courtney Santana from Survive2Thrive, and candidate for Congress TX-31 Dr. Christine Eady Mann.
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Hello everybody Welcome to this, our first edition of the Clawback on our new streaming platform We're going to be bringing in a couple of guests We've got three amazing folks joining us for this very first multicam streaming edition of the Clawback a couple of things I just want to talk about briefly: We had our first virtual remote council meeting yesterday which was quite an amazing experience Most of us were we're kind of dialing in remote -- had a little bit of a Brady Bunch feel to it with all the different videos in place A couple of key things that we got done in the council meeting: We passed item 91 which was the Economic Resilience Resolution my office has been working so hard on You can of course read more about that on our website ATXD6.org Thanks everyone in the community and my co-sponsors and the council for for getting through a very laborious and long process to put together this work for staff to start dialing up different programs One program already approved in that same meeting related to emergency bridge loans for small business, so thanks to Economic Development staff for getting that ready to go And then we passed item 90 which kind of codifies the delay on evictions for renters Our Justice of the Peace courts in both Travis and Williamson County had already made similar moves, so thanks to Council Member Casar for aligning our code to match the moves of our justice system But I will move into our guests
So I'm gonna bring up first, the amazing TX State Representative John Bucy Hi John! Hey Jimmy! How are you, Councilman? I am great Thank you for for joining the show and being our very first guest - ever on the Clawback Live. I really appreciate the opportunity thank you. Well I just want to start, How are you and your family holding up? Well, you know we have a two- month old baby at home. So my wife Molly and our baby girl Bradley are doing well They've been in home, you know, staying in home because she didn't get her shots until a few days ago for eight weeks now So they are we prepared for social distancing. That's amazing. We're doing well, we do daily walks, just the three of us, it helps us out. We spend time in the backyard, and you know we're working hard and working hard to raise her. Also working hard with my staff on doing things in the district that I know we're gonna talk about in a minute. Yeah, tell me a little bit about what this this process looks like for a state representative? As a council member, there's just 11 of us - 10 of us plus the mayor, and so we're all like really active in responding to the public, in talking to staff, and standing up programs, but it seems like it's very different at the state level. It is, but something to keep in mind is State Reps as far as policy only happens when we're in session So from that standpoint, it's not that different right now under a state of emergency, the executives take over So the governor is able to make the decisions, at the county level the county judge, in the city level the mayor, for the most part. But one thing that some of the State Reps have to do all the time because, unless we're in session, is figure out how to best serve our constituents. And so that's something we've been really thinking through Really stemming from a conversation with you, but I'll tell you the first thing we did right off the bat was, we saw so much data coming in of resources, and what's going on. So at Bucyfortexas.com we created a landing page for coronavirus updates relevant to our district. Like the Austin D6 page, we've done something similar, where we put on our school board information, any of our city, county, state, and national information A lot of you know talk beyond the medical needs - and the obviously which needs to come first, is about how this is impacting our small businesses, so we put resources for businesses, and impact employment on there, and we're updating this page regularly, almost daily as we get more information So it's a good resource, we hope. That's the first thing we did was just make sure we were putting stuff together to help people - move information out to the constituents. I think that's the number one role of a state rep right now is to help move information out to our constituents. Yeah to that end, let's talk about the the Neighbor-to-neighbor program. I'm gonna pull up and change the title so people can go look that up on the website You and I've been have been working together for a long time, even before we were elected officials You know I really value our friendship and your leadership at the state level, and you and I did talk about this Gosh has it - it feels like it was two weeks ago but it was probably just like four days. Yeah, I think it was about two weeks ago. Yeah, tell me how it's been going on the Neighbor-to- neighbor program. Yeah this quick overview of what it is councilman Flanagan gave me a call and said we have to do something to help reach out to our constituents and the initial thought was let's just start calling them, especially the 60 and over crowd, if you remember. We're all impacted by coronavirus, and we need to all take it seriously, but early on so much of the conversation was focusing on those that are 60 and over - the advice from the World Health Organization. So our initial talk was, let's just call our neighbors and see how they're doing. From that initial meeting, we thought about well, let's also get them food if they need it, that's so essential right now, and maybe they don't regularly need help with food, but because they're staying in - and this was even before we were all told to stay in - it was the initial resource. So what we've done in partnership with councilman Flannigan but also Hill Country Community Ministries who's a big food bank in our area and other city leaders. We're working with we've got councilmember Ann Duffy from Cedar Park, and Mel Kirkland from Cedar Park. We've spoken with the mayors they're all in support. The County Judge has been a support, so it's been a great program to make sure we reach out to our neighbors. So how does this look: our number one goal is to get food to those that need it, and our number two it's just to check in on our neighbors. So we are targeting 24,000 seniors 60 and over in House District 136, letting them know about the program, getting them signed up for door-to-door food delivery from the Hill Country Community Ministries Food Bank. And also we've got about 120 volunteers that are making calls to those 24,000 people every day, just checking in on them - that's why we also call it "food and wellness program," so they're talking to them, seeing how they're doing, what we can do to support them, do follow-up calls just so they can have someone checking in on them, and most importantly helping them get food resources if they need it. In fact, today we have our first shipments of food going out We're meeting up at 2 o'clock We've got about 11 volunteer drivers We'll be picking up the food that's already been packaged by volunteers; it'll be put into their cars without human -to-human interaction by putting it in their trunks. Then we will, as the volunteers that are delivering will drop it off on the doorstep and you know have no direct human contact, but still get the essential food to these individuals that need it. That… let me make sure I get into my videos correctly. Thank you, John I'm so glad and thankful to you and your staff for taking on the leadership and the logistics around this program. It's - as you said - it's the the thing that I worry about a lot, is whether or not people are getting all the right information and access to the right resources. We're doing a lot of work to stand up programs and even in concert with the food and wellness program that we're doing with your office, you know H-E-B started their own program for seniors, seniors who have who still have financial resources, but they may not know that that program exists. so I'm really thankful to your office for taking that on. That's a great point, especially in our district, right? A lot of people have the means, but they just don't want to take the risks of getting out. So when we make these neighbor-to-neighbor phone calls, that's one thing we get. They'll say, well I don't need the donation of food, but I don't want to get out. So we're sharing that H-E-B program as part of our calls and any other resources we can for food delivery for individuals. So it's been it's been amazing to see. In our first 24 hours, we had 75 volunteers sign up, and it's now beyond 120. It just shows that everybody in our community is trying to figure out how they can help and come together. And as we saw the other day in the joint press conference with Travis and Williamson County, I think it just shows that people are putting the needs first right now, and we're trying to do our best and work, especially at the local level. We've got a lot of challenges coming down from the national level, and we've got to do our part locally. You know, I've just been amazed by our elected leaders, but also just everybody, how they're trying to do their best to help out. Thank you so much, John. I was really impressed to see Williamson County, Travis County, City of Austin, all at the same press conference earlier this week. It's great to see everybody pulling together. Thank you so much for joining us on the show. I'm sure we'll have you back to give us an update on on other things that you're learning. Good luck on your first delivery day today! Thank You councilman, and I appreciate it. Have a great day! Thanks! So that was fun- our first guest, yeah John Bucy and I have been working together for a while we both ran for office in 2014 unsuccessfully, and then built a movement. And here we are, both now in a position to really help our community.
I want to bring on a constituent, one of my really close friends, and an amazing person in a number of different ways. I can't wait to get to the details on all of the great stuff that she's doing. Bringing on the amazing Courtney Santana! How are you? I am fantastic! I'm so glad to see you here on the show. We do hang out from time to time, you and I, and so it's been hard to not be able to be in person. But it's been really great being able to work with you closely on these efforts. I want you to talk a little bit about your nonprofit-- I'll bring up your little title here- Tell us a little about Survive2Thrive? Well, Survive2Thrive came out of the need to provide resources for displaced and homeless victims of domestic violence. 42% of those who will be looking for shelter in the state of Texas will be wait-listed. That means that they won't be able to get into the shelter. So these folks are either going home or they're becoming displaced and homeless, living in their cars and they never quite recover the way that they should economically, financially, with their children. So Survive2Thrive is there to provide those resources to help with that specific community. How long have you been been doing Survive2Thrive? Since 2006. It actually started because I'm a 20-year survivor of domestic violence myself. I lived at Safe Place Austin with my two children back in 2001, and when I left, I was like, I need to go back and support that community, because now we have this trauma bond where we are family… and I was like, I want to put art on the walls, I started singing there, and then I started speaking. When I started speaking, I realized that there was this issue of people being turned away because there's just simply and not enough space. The local shelters do everything they possibly can to provide for that but they just aren't, because of the lack of space. One of the things that really impressed me about your nonprofit, and the idea, is how you partner with hotels, and how you work with the tourism industry. Can you can you explain for the folks exactly what that unique type of partnership looks like? Sure. So of course when we found out that there was this waitlist issue. I was like, there's hotels everywhere. Why can't we source those? Then I started doing some research. There was an issue: Hotels are like, well, if they come in, we don't want them to stay too long, we don't want them to squat, we don't want damages… So I said, if we come up with a plan to partner with you to ensure that we, number one, leave your property undamaged, that we cover it through insurance, would you agree to let us have that space? And they've agreed. We've got six partner hotel locations in the Austin area that we use quite frequently to house victims who are not able to get in. The kitchen, that style, they have security measures that meet our requirements, and they're a great partner. You shared this graphic with me earlier today. Let me get that title to go away so people can see it… Tell me tell us a little more about what this is? I'll zoom in a little bit… Okay yeah go ahead there is a concern that right now with COVID-19, that survivors who are already in a tight and tense situation at home, are now going to be quarantined or isolated with their abuser for an extended period of time and statistically, it we've seen historically, where violence has a tendency to escalate when there is a long period of isolation. so we have people who are suffering from domestic violence but unable to leave or afraid to leave because they don't know where they're going to go to. So we partnered up with the Central Texas Allied Health Institute to provide about what COVID-19 is, because I think there's a lot of miseducation out there about it. And then what tips they could use to actually go out and find an alternative place to stay because we're advising people: do not stay in a violent home if you are being abused during this time, there are resources and community to team up to meet you. That's great, and I assume you've got all this stuff posted on your website you can folks can see it down there below: Survive2Thrive Foundation Something else that that I happen to know about you, and you did kind of mention it. You are also a musician, a singer - you've got music. I'm gonna switch up your titles to talk about your music. Tell them more about about being a musician in the Live music capital of the world? It's been very interesting. I have been in live music now -I'm aging myself- but I've been in live music in Austin for 20-some odd years 20+ and I've been watching my friends and musician colleagues struggle during this time. You know we had SXSW to cancel and then all these other gigs canceled because of social distancing, and doing things to stay healthy. so it's been an interesting experience - all of a sudden to not be working but we're making the most of it: writing music. doing studio sessions online. like trying to figure out how to diversify my voice to still allow me to earn income. It's very interesting. That is a real real struggle. When we worked on our Economic Resiliency Resolution, we started the night South By was cancelled. We started convening musicians and music venues in my office downtown. It's hard to imagine that two weeks ago we were just worried about South by being cancelled and not still, how quickly this this situation has evolved. But hearing all of the stories about musicians and and the venues, which have a very symbiotic relationship - it may not always be the world's greatest relationship, but it is definitely a symbiotic one. You actually invited me to come and sing with you recently, which was it was so much fun being able to do that… a little of a Christmas show. Thank you so much, Courtney. I don't know that there's any video of that, although the Internet sleuths may be able to go find it somewhere but that was a lot of fun… I think you may have prepared a song for us today, is that right? Yes, back in the 90s, I was in a show called Rent in Austin at Zach Scott Theater. I was trying to think of a song that would be appropriate for the times that we're living in right now, and this one just popped up to me, because I was just like, we got to keep living and moving forward and thriving in this time just figuring out different strategies for survival, and I think we can do it together, you know we're separate but we're not alone. so it's called "No Day But Today," and Idina Menzel sings it. It's one of my favorite songs ever, so I cued it up with my karaoke track, and I'm ready to sing it if you want me to. I'm, I'm so excited Take it away, Courtney! Okay okay great deal. I'd like to thank my soundman husband Gary for doing this for me setting it up. There's only us, there's only this Forget regret, or life is your's to miss, No other path, no other way No day but today, There's only us, only tonight We must let go to know what's right, No other road, No other way No Day but today I can't control my destiny, I trust my soul, my only goal Is just to be There's only now, there's only here, Give in to love or live In fear there's only one path no other way no day but today, there's only us there's only this forget regret or life is your's to miss, no other Road no other way no day but today not day but today Ohh No day but today, No day but today Thanks, Council member. I appreciate that. Thank you so much, Courtney that was that was beautiful thank you so much for sharing your voice and your music and your art with us today, and with everybody who's watching, I'm so thankful for your friendship, and for your family's friendship. I mean I did neglect to ask you how are you and your family holding up during the crisis? We're good. everybody's doing well. we got out and decided to social isolate away from everyone, and we're down here at the beach for a couple of days, just to you know work and get away. so we're doing great Gary's good, and our son is with us, our daughter still in Austin, and she's doing really well. my mom's great everybody's good. thanks for asking. I'm so glad, and thanks for all the hard work you do with Survive2Thrive and helping folks get into safety and get into homes. You are you are an amazing person and I'm so lucky to have your friendship. Thank you thank you thank you! if everybody will continue to volunteer and donate and give towards our work getting folks into the hotels over the next month for the foreseeable future that would be great. Awesome thank you so much, Courtney. we'll talk to you soon. uh-huh Talk to you soon! bye, jimmy! Wow that was that was pretty amazing to see, to bring some music onto the show. Courtney is such an unbelievable person I am so thankful to have her friendship.
Candidate for Congress TX-31 Dr. Christine Eady Mann
So our last guest for the show, another amazing person who has also been on the campaign trail for a couple of go rounds, and a physician which i think is a perfect guest to bring on on this show and our last guest for this edition, this 21st episode, the amazing Dr. Christine Eadie Mann! Hello, Dr. Mann! Hi how are you? I am great, I am doing fine, how are you holding up during this crisis? It's challenging, I'm pretty tired. You know I'm fielding questions all day at work about what is happening with this health crisis and then fielding questions in my personal time from friends and family members and Facebook acquaintances, and I'm thrilled to be able to provide information to people. It's pretty non-stop, though People are rightly concerned, and they want answers, and I'm answering people as quickly as I can. Tell us a little bit more about the Medical practice that you have? So I am a family practice doctor, been in practice for a little over 20 years. I'm in Cedar Park, and I've been there for 11. I'm at Northwest Diagnostic Clinic. We are an independent clinic, so I'm not associated with Baylor Scott & White, or Austin Diagnostic, or any of those groups. So we have our own clinic that we have five providers, three physicians, and two physician assistants, and then all the support staff. Have you have you been getting a lot of inbound calls? People concerned about having contracted the virus or different symptoms? I'm very curious, because as policymakers, we've directed the public not to just show up at the emergency room and to call their their own doctors. How are you experiencing that as part of this crisis? It's been a non-stop stream of questions. my office made the decision to do testing. I am the designated coronavirus tester in the office. so if we have an opportunity to test someone, I'm the person that does it. We have had our first positive test - that was one that I did yesterday and got the results today. So we we have a steady stream of questions and a steady stream of people who we are trying to provide services for. That's that's… thank you for everything that you and your staff are doing. You know, a lot of folks are working from home some folks, many folks have lost their jobs, but then there are the folks who are on frontlines in this crisis, like you and your staff and and a few other industries, like you know grocery store folks my boyfriend works for H-E-B so I worry about how this impacts all of the folks who have no choice but to continue their interaction with the public, and how that creates other vectors for transmission. I wanted to talk a little bit about transmission, and then I want to hear about your campaign for Congress. I'm gonna try and bring up a chart that Mayor Adler has been sharing… let's see if I can do it Well it didn't appear anymore I'm trying… I've got time! yeah if I do my entire screen, I think it might explode. Anyway, so we'll figure that technology piece out later, but there's a chart that talks about percent of social distancing and the curve, right? This is a curve question: The curve spikes really really high if we did nothing. it's still spikes if we do a lot but not everything. and then there's this 90% social distancing curve. Talk a little bit about, from the medical community's perspective, what what does flatten the curve mean? Sure, so the first thing I like to clarify with people when we're talking about flattening the curve is that it doesn't mean that no one is going to get coronavirus. there is going to be some time frame where between 20% and 50% of Americans are going to contract the virus, and have some degree of illness from it. and so how we manage the spike in that inevitability will make it better or worse in terms of people being able to get the care that they need should they need hospitalization, and intubation, ventilators, and so forth So if you do some measures, you're going to slow it enough where we might be able to keep everybody safe and keep up with a ventilator needs. If you don't slow it at all, we are going to overrun our hospitals and our healthcare providers- We're seeing that in New York City. As part of my work, I am connected to physicians across the country and we have chat rooms, and messenger groups, when we are talking about how strikingly bad it is in some places in this country, and what those healthcare workers are going through right now trying to save patients. And so when we are flattening this curve, what we are trying to do is not stop the virus -that's not going to happen -we are trying to slow down the spread of it, so that when people need a ventilator, it's available to them. And right now unfortunately, there is no nationwide directive to do it all the same, and so we are getting piecemeal pieces done ad hoc by different communities, and different states, and different municipalities. And to use a real-world world example, Governor Abbott has said that people traveling by plane from certain states cannot come into Texas. The patient that I was referring to drove from another state where there was a high incidence. So you know, we're not doing all the things that we really could be doing or should be doing to make that that part of that curve that's very flat happen. I was able to bring the curve up. This is the chart that Mayor Adler and others are sharing. Folks may have seen this on social media. This this is the curve and these are the options. That blue bar that runs across the bottom there is hospital capacity. If we can stay within that capacity, we will get through this as a community. If we exceed it, it's going to be almost unimaginable what we're going to face. I did a video on flatten the curve on my website Christineforcongress.com website. We have a youtube link, and you can see all the videos that I have made about coronavirus, all the things that we're seeing in the medical community, all the information that I can pass to people, that it's different than what comes out of the policy side. It really talks about what doctors are talking, about what we're communicating about behind the scenes. Thank you for continuing to provide those resources, and again thanks for all of your work on the frontlines. In addition to being physician, you are also a candidate for Congress. This must be a very interesting time to be running for Congress. Tell us how you're experiencing that. So it's very interesting, because, as you well know, running a campaign requires a lot of resources, and it's at a time when people are terrified for their lives, they're terrified about their loved ones, and so people's attention is diverted. It is not on political campaigns right now, and so we are, you know, making sure that we are communicating with our constituents and with our voters through social media, through email, and we are trying to keep connected to people. We've updated our website with information about not just coronavirus, but on my commitment to make sure that when I am elected that people don't ever have to worry about health care coverage ever again. So we are we are taking this very seriously, and quite frankly there's been years of public policy that has not paid attention to the importance of science and research, and having scientists who understand healthcare, who understand climate change, who understand the things that need to be used in policymaking, and because of that we don't have enough people in legislative bodies who have done the kind of work that I have done that would help them make the right policy decisions. I can say pretty clearly I'm probably the only one on the program today who has intubated a patient and seen what that looks like when someone is in respiratory distress, and how horrific that can be, and how that should be what's informing policy, that if we cannot provide those services for people, it is terrible. I'm asking policymakers who are already in office to trust us, to trust those of us who have helped those patients before, who have seen those patients struggle, have seen those patients die, please trust us, that this is critical, that the policies reflect the actual need of what we are going to have to have to face this crisis. Thank you Dr. Mann again thank you for all of the work you're doing on the front lines of this crisis, and good luck in your campaign for Congress. As folks some folks have known the primary runoff that you are in was scheduled for May; it has been postponed. Do you know the dates off the top of your head? I imagine you might. Yes! July 14 Folks who are 65 and older or who are affected, who have medical crisis or disability, can still apply for ballot by mail? Absolutely there is a push to try and have a more an easier time getting vote by mail for more people, people for example who are immunocompromised and really shouldn't be at a polling station. We're trying really hard to expand the options for Vote by mail. Thank you so much Dr. Mann, good luck, stay safe, and keep everyone healthy, yeah, thank you so much for joining us. All right bye-bye! Well, I think that was a pretty successful attempt at getting some guests onto the show. I want to thank Representative Bucy, and Courtney Santana, and Dr. Mann for joining us on the program today. Please share and like this video It is simulcast on YouTube and Facebook, so subscribe to our to my youtube channel, and go to ATXD6.org to keep up to date on all of the work we're doing for District 6 during this crisis. Thanks for watching, and we will bring you another episode next week. We don't know who the guests are yet, but we are we are going to start reaching out to folks. A I have one commenter To bring up Thanks, Patrick! In the future, when folks comment, I can actually pull the comments up, and have folks talk about them. Thank You, Patrick for watching, and everyone else who watched the livestream today, we will see you all next week! KEEP SAFE. STAY HOME!
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