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EAPP Needs Your Help Now! Looking For Woolworth? Scroll Down to See More

Edwards Aquifer Protection Program (EAPP) and the Greenway Trails programs need your help!

San Antonio is fortunate to have one of the most prolific karst aquifers in the world under our feet. But, the Edwards Aquifer and its Great Springs are highly vulnerable because of their unique geology and hydrology. Has San Antonio spent what is needed to protect our primary source of water? What will passage of competing sales tax initiatives mean for the City’s efforts to protect the Edwards Aquifer?

Dr. Ron Green, member of the City of San Antonio’s Edwards Aquifer Protection Program Scientific Evaluation Team, joined Annalisa Peace, Director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, to discuss the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program, how and where the Aquifer recharges, and what is needed to protect this marvelous resource.  You can watch this discussion in its entirety here, or view selected portions below the City Council contact list to the right.

Unfortunately, our Mayor and City Council members have declined to hear this presentation and are set to vote on eliminating sales tax support for this important program without having all the facts. With the San Antonio City Council set to vote on the compromise ballot initiatives by August 17th, we have a short window of time to urge City Council to include the EAPP on the November 2020 ballot, as it has been for at least the last 15 years. If City Council representatives don’t hear from constituents regarding this proposal, the prospect that the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program and the Greenway Trails will be permanently defunded is very real.  Please reach out to your friends and allies and ask them to let City Council know that these programs are important and worthy of their support.

Our friends at the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance (GEAA) have given us a sample letter to use when contacting City Council:

Sample Letter Below

I’m writing as a concerned citizen who resides in District (Your District#).

The recent plan announced by the city to have PreK 4 SA and a shared sales tax between COSA and VIA without regard to Edwards Aquifer Protection Program is simply wrong.  To the best of my knowledge, there was no discussion or presentation to the broader city council at this last meeting by anyone representing the EAPP view point whereas there were presentations made by the other interested parties.  To leave the EAPP completely out of the discussion is unconscionable. 

Although you have declined the opportunity to be briefed on the need to continue the EAPP, you can learn what the Scientific Evaluation Team members and experts have determined by watching this presentation.

To not give the voters of San Antonio a complete range of choice regarding where to allocate COSA’s portion of the sales tax is even more egregious.  The purpose of the sales tax is to benefit the citizens of San Antonio and the citizens deserve to have a fair choice among ALL the options. 

There are some fundamental assumption flaws at play here.

  • That PreK 4 SA is unassailable. Though this is a laudable initiative, San Antonio is using sales tax dollars to supplement the deficiencies of Texas education policy and funding. PreK education is important but is a function our public education that we pay property tax dollars to support.
  • That voters are unable to choose between competing initiatives. The voters deserve an opportunity to weigh in on all the alternatives, not just the ones the City Councils wants to put forth.
  • That the choices are mutually exclusive. Why can’t we equitably split the full 1/4 cent sales tax (currently 1/8 to PreK 4 SA and 1/8 for VIA) across all important initiatives: EAPP, workforce development, VIA, and PreK 4 SA?

The irony here is that there is a simple way to successfully pursue all three initiatives.  I urge you to include the Edward Aquifer Protection Program in the proposition voters will consider in November 2020.

Respectfully,

(Your Name)
(Your Address)

Contact the Following Government Officials

Tell City Council that you support funding the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program and want to see it on the November ballot.  Find your council member here and contact them today!

Find My Council Member

EAPP Presentation by Annalisa Peace & Dr. Ron Green

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Ongoing Work to Save the Woolworth Building

See events and media coverage at Latest Woolworth Building News.

 

Color postcard looking west on Houston Street from Alamo Plaza. Woolworth Building on left.
The Woolworth Building (left), c. 1957.

About the Woolworth Building

Prominently located on Alamo Plaza across from the Alamo, the Woolworth Building stands as a visible link to an important Civil Rights achievement.  In 1960, it helped San Antonio become the site of the first peaceful, voluntary lunch counter integration of the national sit-in movement.  Learn more with this printable brochure.

Juneteenth Video March

From June 3 to June 19th, we presented an eight video series of San Antonians speaking out about the importance of preserving the Woolworth Building as part of the vital, but under-told, story of African Americans in American history.  You can support their efforts by contacting the government officials listed to the right.

Deborah Omowale Jarmon, Executive Director of the San Antonio African American Community Archive and Museum.

World Monuments Fund CEO speaks out from Alamo Plaza


Benedicte de Montlaur interview courtesy of David Arias-Rios, Jan. 31, 2020.

“World Monuments advocate touts keeping Woolworth site” – San Antonio Express-News, Jan 31.

About the World Monuments Watch List

The 2020 World Monuments Watch helps communities protect their irreplaceable sites for future generations. The Woolworth Building is one of 25 international sites (and just one of three in the U.S.) on the 2020 Watch list.

We are included in this powerful World Monuments Fund video, and have been featured in the New York Times, and on CNN.  Many thanks to Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff for his steadfast support!

However, even as we celebrate this milestone, we must stay active as preservation advocates.  None of the building’s historic designations – local, state, or national – can prevent demolition. Please: 

    • Continue to contact government officials.
    • Help share our story on social media with these tags and handles:  #WorldMonumentsFund #WMF.  Twitter and Facebook: @worldmonuments, Instagram: @worldmonumentsfund.

 

2019 Milestones

October

Woolworth Building selected as one of 25 World Monuments Watch sites for 2020! This international listing recognizes that our site combines great historical significance with contemporary social impact.

Our ofrenda for Mary Andrews, a local Civil Rights heroine, won second prize at Muertos Fest in Hemisfair.

August

The Society of Architectural Historians wrote to Gov. Greg Abbott supporting our cause. Read the letter.

The Coalition for the Woolworth Building enthusiastically welcomed the San Antonio Branch NAACP as an official affiliate.

July

View video – Conservation Society Executive Director Vincent Michael and historian Everett Fly, representing the Coalition for the Woolworth Building, discussed the importance of preserving San Antonio’s Civil Rights sites with Randy Beamer on WOAI News 4.

May

The Texas Historical Commission gave San Antonio an extra reason to celebrate May as Preservation Month.  Members voted unanimously to approve the Woolworth Building’s State Antiquities Landmark designation.  This honor not only officially recognized the building’s ties to national Civil Rights history, but granted the building an additional level of protection under the Texas Antiquities Code.

Other ways to help

Contact the Following Government Officials

Only ongoing, visible, and vocal public support for preservation may help persuade the GLO to reuse the Woolworth Building as part of the new Alamo museum.

Governor Greg Abbott
Phone: (512) 463-2000 (Main Switchboard: 8AM – 5PM)

George P. Bush, Commissioner, Texas General Land Office
Phone: 1-800-998-4GLO (4456)

Representative Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (State Culture, Recreation & Tourism Committee)
Phone: (512) 463-0708 (Capitol) or (210) 333-0245 (District Office)

Senator José Menéndez (District 26 – Downtown San Antonio)
Phone: (512) 463-0126 (Capitol) or (210) 733-6604 (District Office)

Representative Diego Bernal (District 123 – Downtown San Antonio)
Phone: (512) 463-0532 (Capitol) or (210) 308-9700 (District Office)

Representative Will Hurd (U.S. District 23 and Alamo Management Committee)
Phone: (210) 921-3130

Councilman Roberto Treviño (City of San Antonio, Council District 1 and Alamo Management Committee Chair)
Phone: (210) 207-7279

Supporters of preserving the Woolworth Building carry a banner and signs in the MLK March
The Coalition for the Woolworth Building sends a message during the 2020 MLK March.

Our Coalition

The Coalition for the Woolworth Building is a grass-roots advocacy group. We support the preservation of the Woolworth Building and want to build on its presence in Alamo Plaza to share an integrated history that includes African-Americans. Members include: San Antonio Branch NAACP; San Antonio African American Community Archives and Museum; San Antonio for Growth on the East Side; Esperanza Peace and Justice Center; Westside Preservation Alliance; National Institute of Mexican American History of Civil Rights; concerned historians, civic leaders, and community members; and The Conservation Society of San Antonio.

Group photo of Woolworth Watch Day attendess.
Watch Day attendees come together to support the Woolworth Building on Feb. 1, 2020.

 

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