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RECEIVED Tue., July 20, 2021
It was not long ago that right-wing supporters in Charlottesville, Virginia, opposed the removal of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, claiming it was an attempt to erase history. Removing commemorative statues portraying U.S. traitors as gallant heroes does not eradicate their historical significance. Instead, it dismisses the attempt to idolize these figures who, though a part of our history, are not worthy of worship. But now, Republican Texas senators decided that it's entirely ok to erase history as long as it benefits them. Senate Bill 3 is the censorship and whitewashing of our collective national history.
Here are a few lessons that the State of Texas wishes to hide:
-Women's suffrage and equal rights.
-The history of white supremacy (slavery, KKK, eugenics movement, and more) "and the ways in which it is morally wrong." (Their words, not mine.)
-The history of Native Americans
-The Indian Removal Act
-The civil rights movement
-Brown vs. The Board of Education
-Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream Speech"
-" Historical documents related to the civic accomplishments of marginalized populations" (Also their words.)
-The American labor movement
-The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendment to the U.S. Constitution
-The Chicano movement
-The Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850
-The Emancipation Proclamation
The State of Texas wants to keep our students ignorant of our past. They crossed out critical and impactful turning points in our country's history. Who's erasing history now?
As someone who has been taught in Texas public schools, teachers, I ask that you teach your students American history, both the good and the bad. I urge you to show your students' senate bill 3. Show them what their government wants to hide from them. Teach them the history that is happening right now.
Emily Loubris Beeler
RECEIVED Sat., July 17, 2021
I am reaching out on behalf of myself and the residents of Rio House Apartments concerning our dire housing situation; I’m confident the Chronicle will not only find this story newsworthy but, also, felicitous and germane to the current housing/affordability/homeless crisis.
The residents of Rio House recently discovered that the owner had died and, consequently, the new owner (former owner’s niece) has decided to sell the complex to the highest bidder. As far as we know there are no serious buyers but we have been noticing businessmen scoping out the building and taking measurements. Upon learning this unfortunate news, the residents of Rio House decided - as a group - to request a year lease at our current rate because most residents have no contract and live on a month to month basis.
This simple request to provide some basic sense of security and dignity to our residents was denied; Rio House has a very tight knit and diverse community consisting of the most vulnerable groups in society such as LGBTQIA, low income families, and the elderly. Moreover, we have residents that suffer from chronic illnesses and, at least, one resident is currently undergoing radiation treatment for breast cancer. Rio House has been a home for a colorful cast of people from all walks of life: musicians, actors, artists, writers, social workers, nurses, teachers, farmers, parents, and grandparents. Most, if not all, of the residents are working class folk who can longer afford to live in Austin once Rio House is gone due to the current housing crisis.
Furthermore, the complex itself deserves to be preserved for its long and rich history. The complex is located on historic Judges Hill and from the late Twenties to the early Fifties it was a St. David’s Hospital. Rio House deserves to be saved for its original architectural aesthetic and historic value alone.
In summary, we are requesting that the owners of Rio House offer every resident a one year lease at their current rate. Please help us in our effort to save Rio House and, by extension, the soul of Downtown Austin.
A resident of Rio House Apartments