'Point Austin' Missed Point

RECEIVED Tue., March 15, 2011

Dear Editor,
    Re: “Point Austin: Expiation Day” [News, March 11]: It's a miracle. Michael King addressed race. The problem is, he did it by name-calling those who name-called those who name-called (Randi Shade, Mike Martinez, and Lee Leffingwell). With his tired, shoot-the-messenger tactic, he has become a full-fledged partner in City Hall’s crime of avoiding reality.
    Akwasi Evans, at NokoaNewspaper.com, laid it out: The city has spent a mere $700,000 in accordance with the African-American Quality of Life initiative to date, which was supposed to be a contract for investment in our dwindling black population. While it went from 10% to 8%, we invested less than $10/head (spending nothing in the past two years)!
    Besides avoiding race issues, King misses the point on the open meetings/open records issue. It's not what e-mails have come out; it's what emails have been hidden via private accounts, which the Texas attorney general says are subject to the Texas Public Information Act. See TheAustinBulldog.org for more.
    King avoids the failures of City Council by instead spending valuable space criticizing the name-game by community leaders (but not council), and then, of course, joins in himself. The NAACP-Austin letter, and the follow-up letter from several community organizations stating they "stand behind the NAACP-Austin," both relayed it’s not the name-calling so much as what it represents. It's clear that some city leaders don't value us and we measure this not in their words, but their deeds – or lack thereof.
    Better Austin Today's report card (printed three issues ago) shows to what degree our council members have the community's interests or the developer/police union's interests at heart. It's no coincidence that the three council name-callers have the worst voting record with respect to community interests.
    As we ask with our current city leaders: Is "Point Austin" fixable or replaceable?
Debbie Russell
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