Volume IV, 1 | May 2012
www.TODOAustin.com new website coming
Bridge2Bridge From Montopolis Bridge to 360 Bridge, Everything Austin
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(Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Travis County
Volunteer Spotlight Christy Rome grew up near Houston but ended up in Austin after taking part in legislative advocacy around financial aid during her college years at Baylor, where she earned both her Bachelors and her Masters. “I merged my love of education and politics here in Austin,” she said. Christy was until recently the Director of Intergovernmental Relations for Austin Independent School District, and will soon be the Executive Director for the Texas School Coalition, advocating for funding on behalf of school districts. Christy has been a foster parent for 3 youth and shared that her experience fostering brought her to ultimately volunteer with CASA. “The girls I fostered had a wonderful CASA volunteer, so when it was time to take a break from fostering, I knew as a volunteer I could continue to help children and families in the system.” Christy finds it incredibly rewarding to see a family reunited. “That’s the way it’s supposed to be. You want kids to be with their parents if that’s possible and if it’s best for them.” Christy has also served as a foster liaison for AISD, helping both CPS and CASA navigate the school system. When not working, fostering or volunteering, Christy loves doing work for her church, writing, photography and employing her planning personality to coordinate friends’ trips to Disney World, sharing that she gets to “vacation through others, and it’s a lot cheaper that way!”
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The 7th annual Fiestas Patrias of Austin Cinco de Mayo, Saturday-Sunday, May 5-6 at Fiesta Gardens, will be highlighted by Jimmy Gonzalez y Grupo Mazz, Gary Hobbs and a day long accordion jam fest, the Johnny Degollado Conjunto Festival, on Sunday, featuring Joel Guzman y Sarah Fox. With traditional festival food fare, children’s activities, dance performances, car show, a polka contest and more. cincodemayoaustin.com • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Tacorama, the inaugural Austin Taco Festival, from May 5-12, will raise awareness of hunger in the Latino community while celebrating Latino heritage, culture, music, art and tacos. The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center presents the kick-off with a Cinco de Mayo celebration and food drive spotlighting children’s artwork, with a town hall meeting, film screening and silent auction at Mexic-Arte Museum also scheduled. latinometro.com • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • India Fine Arts welcomes Strings Attached, a group who is enthralling audiences around the world with their graceful, emotive and expressive music. Saturday, May 19, 6 p.m. at Jones Auditorium, St. Edwards University, with Sri. R. Kumaresh - violin, Jayanthi Kumaresh – veena (called the most versatile player of the instrument today), Neyveli Narayanan – mridangam, and Trichy Krishnaswami – ghatam. austinifa.org • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • George Washington Carver Museum’s “100%” Art Exhibit is designed to represent the entire community of Austin. The project celebrates the many diverse faces who make up the wonderful fabric of the city and brings the artist, community leader, student, politician, mom and pop, civic activist, religion leader, infant and senior together in the act of art. On display through May 31 at 1165 Angelina Street. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Join the energetic fun at VIVA STREETS!, a free festival that invites you to bicycle, play, get fit, people watch, and celebrate good health. On Sunday, May 20, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., over two miles of East Sixth Street will become a car-free and tobacco-free playground for thousands of Austinites. It’s a born-in-Austin take on the Ciclovia, an international phenomenon. vivastreetsaustin.org • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The Gülen Institute, in collaboration with the Institute of Interfaith Dialog in Austin, welcomes St. Edward’s University President Dr. George Martin for a Luncheon Forum on Tuesday, May 22 at the Hilton Austin (500 E. 4th) at 11:30 a.m. Martin, who will speak on “Meeting Today’s Challenges for Higher Education,” has led St. Ed’s since 1999, focusing on making the University globally renowned by 2015. interfaithdialog.org • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • El Amistad presents 43rd Annual Fiesta Amistad, Saturday-Sunday, May 26-27, at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock (1299 Harrell Pkwy). Tickets are $5 per day (children under 12 free) for a weekend of food, and family entertainment, featuring live music by Elida Reyna, Little Joe y la Familia, Los Hermanos Farias, AJ Castillo, Jaime y los Chamacos, plus ballet folklorico, a car show, horseshoe tournament and more. elamistadclub.com • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
may --------------------------------------------------‘Twelfth Night; or What You Will’ // Zilker Hillside Theatre
Featuring music by Austin’s Naga Valli and dance choreography by Prakash Mohandas, Austin Shakespeare—now in its 28th season—welcomes young and old to a Bollywood-inspired production of one of Shakespeare’s most popular romantic comedies. “Twelfth Night” is the story of Viola, a young girl disguised as a boy servant in the fantastic world of Illyia who falls head over heels in love with her master. May 3-27, ThursdaysSundays at 8 p.m. Free. Pecan Street Festival // Sixth Street
Celebrating 34 years of community in downtown Austin, this year’s Spring Festival showcases over 600 artisans and performing artists Saturday-Sunday, May 5-6. With “Michael’s Kids Art Tent,” Wahl’s Face the Day Tour,” Beanitos Bean Chip Tent, carnival rides, face painting, petting zoo and music by Rosie Flores, Augustin Ramirez, Dana Falconberry, My Education, Ri-chus Takeover and more. Free. Jane’s Addiction // Bass Concert Hall
Great bands break rules but legends write their own. Jane’s Addiction have actually written the rule book for alternative music and culture through a combination of genre-defying classic songs and a cinematic live experience. Their songs serve as the Ten Commandments for alt rock, inspiring an entire generation of bands with Perry Farrell as one of music’s most forward-thinking and enigmatic frontmen. Saturday, May 12, 8:30 p.m.
Good Times at Güero’s
For great tunes and great rita’s! Please join us for live music on our outside jardin stage, every Thursday through Sunday. Thanks to the fans & bands who support us!!! All outdoor shows are “weather permitting” May Line-up
1412 S. Congress Avenue • Austin, Texas 78704 Open Weekdays 11am-11pm; Weekends 8am-11pm
----------------------------------------------------------------WED 5/2 LARRY MONROE RADIO SHOW (6:30) THU 5/3 THE BOB FUENTES SHOW (6:30) FRI 5/4 LOS FLAMES (6:30) SAT 5/5 CINCO DE MAYO SHOW/ LOS PINKYS (6:30) SUN 5/6 THE TEXAS TYCOONS (3:00) ----------------------------------------------------------------WED 5/9 LARRY MONROE RADIO SHOW (3:00) THU 5/10 THE FABS (6:30) FRI 5/11 LOS FLAMES with MAX BACA (6:30) SAT 5/12 PONTY BONE & THE SQUEEZETONES (6:30) SUN 3/13 MICHAEL GUERRA BAND CD RELEASE PARTY (3:00) ----------------------------------------------------------------WED 5/16 LARRY MONROE RADIO SHOW (6:30) THU 5/17 MATT SMITH’S WORLD (6:30) FRI 5/18 LOS FLAMES (6:30) SAT 5/19 JASON OLIN (6:30) SUN 5/20 MITCH WEBB & THE SWINDLES (3:00) ----------------------------------------------------------------WED 5/23 LARRY MONROE RADIO SHOW (6:30) THU 5/24 TRENT TURNER & THE MOON TOWERS (6:30) FRI 5/25 LOS FLAMES (6:30) SAT 5/26 BONNEVILLE COUNTY PINEBOX (6:30) SUN 5/27 CHICKEN STRUT (3:00) and HARRY BODINE (6:00) ----------------------------------------------------------------WED 5/30 LARRY MONROE RADIO SHOW (6:30) THU 5/31 THE SIDE SHOW FIVE (6:30)
News and notes on current affairs and issues impacting our community from advocates and business leaders of Austin.
Randy Moreno – Latino Leaders Express Anger over Violation of ‘Gentlemen’s Agreement’ // from a story by Elizabeth Pagano - In a show of support for Council Member Mike Martinez, leaders of the Austin Latino community held a press conference in April to denounce what they see as a violation of the so-called gentlemen’s agreement by white candidates running for seats currently held by minority Council Members. At the same time, they urged the city to move forward with single-member districts. “I think that I can safely say that since those years in the late 60s and early 70s, I have never seen a group of across-the-board representation of the Latino community like this here today,” said former State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos. A coalition of several dozen Latino leaders and activists were in attendance, including Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, Barrientos, former Mayor Gus Garcia and Richard Moya … Martinez spoke, saying, “The message today isn’t ‘Vote for Mike because he’s Latino.’ The message is, ‘We deserve and demand Latino representation on the City Council.’” Paul Saldaña – Latinos Will Determine Political Landscape // from Austin American-Statesman op-ed – “The estimated number of eligible Latino voters in Austin is nearly 120,000 … Of the 21 million (U.S.) Latinos who were eligible to vote in 2010, only 6.6 million actually headed to the polls. The underlying question is how to determine the strategy that will once and for all motivate Latinos to register and vote. The key, I believe, lies within our Latino youths … Introducing the concepts of grass-roots organizing, activism and leadership with a focus on voter registration and get-outthe-vote initiatives has the potential to truly motivate and effect a change in Latino voting. This approach can be successful as long as the mobilization of our communities is culturally relevant and addresses the fundamental roots of our greatest challenges, such as education and economic success.” Dan Arellano – The Real Reason to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo // On May 5, 1862 in the city of Puebla, the invading forces of Maximilliano encountered a force of determined Mexican troops led by Ignacio Zaragoza. We have all heard the story of how General Zaragoza would successfully defeat the French invaders at the Battle of Puebla, but that is only half of the story. We know now that Napoleon intended entering the United States and join the Confederates; therefore, had it not been for the Mexicans, the institution of slavery may have remained unresolved for another hundred years. 04 TODO Austin // May 2012 // TodoAustin.com
Latino Healthcare Forum News The Latino Healthcare Forum, an Austinbased nonprofit concerned with the increasing healthcare disparities among Latinos, has been approved by the State Health department as the first Central Texas school to train and certify community health workers known as “Promotores.” Promotores reach underserved Latinos in the community through their healthcare providers, the public health department and school system, as well as local physicians and employers. Locally, the new school will be called PromoSalud. Building a network of community healthcare workers will enable our local healthcare community to: (1) to create a bridge between the healthcare consumer and healthcare providers, (2) provide health education and information in a culturally appropriate manner, (3) assist Latinos in accessing and maintaining their health services, (4) to counsel and support individuals, and, (5) to advocate for the basic healthcare needs of the community. “Nationally, promotores are helping people better manage their health and successfully navigate complex healthcare systems,” said Senator Kirk Watson. “That improves people’s quality of life and reduces costs.” According to Frank Rodriguez, Vice-Chair of Central Health’s Board of Managers, “By training leaders in our communities on disease-specific or broad healthcare matters, we are able to reach more people and communicate with them in a way that is more culturally sensitive and relevant. This will be beneficial in helping people take charge of their health and to navigate the complex health and social services when they need them.”
which will focus on preventive oral health care and decreasing dental cavities and disease in the Asian population. The fair will have booths representing local general dentist’s offices, specialists and city clinics. Attendees will receive free dental screenings and be guided to dentists, specialist, and clinics, whether it be a dentist of the same ethnicity, in their neighborhood, or a dentist that accepts their insurance. Insure-A-Kid will also have a booth to help parents apply for insurance for their children. Plus a kid’s activity area with dental assistants and hygienists giving oral hygiene instructions, brushing, flossing, nutrition education, and face painting, games, dance groups, healthy snacks and more.
The Tejano Monument: To Countless Texans, It Mattered By Kathy Vale With great personal interest, I followed the circuitous journey of the Tejano Monument out of respect for all my Tejano ancestors who planted the core values of family, faith and hard work that I grew up with. Honored to be a guest of the sculptor, Armando Hinojosa, I was lucky to personally experience the dedication on March 29 with thousands who stood witness to the hard-fought successes and contributions made to this state by our ancestors. I moved to Austin from San Antonio in 1981 to attend the University of Texas. I was the eldest of four children of Bob and Theresa Vale, the second of 31 grandchildren on my father’s side and 17 grandchildren on my mother’s side. My father was the third of nine children, a MexicanAmerican born and raised in Rio Grande City, Starr County, an eighth-generation Vale, whose earliest ancestor originally came from Gottenburg, Sweden in the early 1800’s, settling in Mier, Mexico and marrying Juanita Zamorrano.
Free Asian Dental Health Fair By Shailee San Antonio during the 60’s and 70’s made for Gupta In celebration of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, the free Asian Dental Health Fair will be held on Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Lanier High School’s cafeteria. St. David’s Foundation Dental Program and the American Dental Association are presenting the fair,
fun, loving and very interesting times, surrounded by a sea of siblings and cousins inside a robust and politically-engaged Mexican-American family and larger community. I was very close to my paternal grandmother, Maria Vale. She instilled in me a deep respect and fierce pride for the stories of my pioneer Vale ancestors, especially the women
Volume IV, Number 01
Contributing Writers/Photographers/Artists – Pratima Agrawal, Mohammad Al-Bedaiwi, Heather Banks, Stefanie Behe, Padmini Bhat, Adriana Cadena, Mandeep Singh Chadha, Jennie Chen, Priscilla Cortez, Ruben Cubillos, Harmony Eichsteadt, Mark Guerra, Shailee Gupta, Mita Haldar, Jillian Hall, Mari Hernandez, Yadira Izquierdo, Fabiola Hurtado, Ryan Hutchison, Nandini Jairam, Chaille Jolink, Onur Kaya, Ryan Jordan, Manasi Joshi-Singh, Ramey Ko, Heather Lee, Julia Lee, Liz Lopez, David Marks, JoJo Marion, Cristina Parker, Monica Peña, Aleah Penn, Paul Saldaña, Marion Sanchez, Hani Saleh, Jaya Shukla, Rupal Shah, Sachin Shah, Vinit Singh, Kristina Vallejo, Kuetzpalin Vasquez, Vanessa Valdovinos, Rocio Villalobos, Joseph P.A. Villescas, Bowen Wilder, Sait Yavuz
Publisher/Editor - Gavin Lance Garcia firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director - Dave McClinton www.dmdesigninc.com Contributing Editors - Katie Walsh, Erica Stall Wiggins Senior Editors – Güner Arslan, Cindy Casares, Sonia Kotecha, Esther Reyes, Yvonne Lim Wilson Associate Editors –Layla Fry, Harish Kotecha, Alexandra M. Landeros, Callie Langford, Blake Shanley
Cover: Photos courtesy of Pachanga
and children who braved the fierce and rugged terrain of South Texas to carve a life of purpose from the wilderness, and to settle towns and to grow their homesteads and ranches, to become merchants, teachers, midwives, farmers, ranchers, pharmacists, doctors, nurses, etc. Today, I share stories with my children about how each Vale generation worked as a family to build upon the success of the previous generation and contribute to their Tejano community as a whole. No one expected or looked for handouts; there were none to be found. All of our Tejano ancestors did the work that needed to be done, humbly and without complaint—with the guiding vision of making life better for their children and grandchildren and doing their small part to contribute to the ever-expanding success of the great state of Texas. It’s a story that countless Tejano families can tell and one that resonates from the farmlands and ranches and towns of South Texas, sweeping across up in to West Texas and the Panhandle. The Tejano Monument unveiling was a singular moment in time, marking the seminal and monumental contributions of Tejanos over hundreds of years. Despite having sown the seeds and developed Texas, Mexican-Americans, or Tejanos, have too long been relegated to the margins of popular history. This is why the Tejano Monument deeply resonates with so many. Here was permanent validation—created over ten years by Armando Hinojosa, a Tejano master artist and sculptor from Laredo. It meant a bold recognition that said to Tejanos: “You Count! You Matter! You Were Here and You Are Here.” On March 29, we needed to hear and see Tejano history alive on the grounds of our State Capitol. Why? It was more than mere ceremony. To countless Texans, it mattered. TODO Austin: Multicultural Media for All of Austin. TODO Austin is a free print/online journal for all of Austin highlighting our multicultural heritage and promoting the concept of community in an ethnically diverse city. Circulation throughout Austin, from the Westside’s Pennybacker Bridge to the Eastside’s Montopolis Bridge. TODO Austin is published by Spark Awakened Publishing. © 2012 Spark Awakened Publishing. All rights reserved. The views expressed here do not represent those of Spark Awakened Publishing or of any of its associates or partners. Advertising/Submissions/Editorial: Contact@todoaustinonline.com, 512.538.4115 TODO Austin - P.O. Box 4142 - Austin, TX 78765-4142
What’s at Stake in Arizona v. United States is Bigger than ‘Papers Please’ By Cristina Parker
On April 25, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Arizona v. United States regarding the state’s infamous “papers, please” law, SB1070. The primary legal question before the court is whether Arizona can create its own immigration law instead of following federal regulations. But the moral question posed in this case is much deeper. Let’s look at the legal questions first. The court considered four provisions of SB1070 that had been blocked by a lower court. They are the “papers, please” section which allows local law enforcement to ask anyone for their immigration status, the section that allows warrantless arrests of immigrants and two sections that criminalize being undocumented.
the moral issues of discrimination and equality are hate crimes during this time was as much as a 50% what’s really at stake. increase in California and other states.
So, unlike the complicated legal questions that The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that were posed in the case, the moral question is the number of “radical right groups” in America— simple and enduring: What kind of nation are we? including hate groups, tea party groups and antiimmigrant nativist groups—increased in 2010 for This is where Arizona’s nightmare vision of America the second year in a row. cuts to the heart of who we are as a people. We are not a nation that wants to see families are ripped That’s why Texans held vigils for 72 hours across apart, or forced into hiding. We aren’t a people the state as the court heard arguments on SB1070. who believe that children should be orphaned We have seen how what happened in Arizona is so private prisons can cash in. We know that every neighborhood suffers when the trust that an attack on our national values and how deeply communities should feel for police (and vice versa) it impacted every family. And what the Supreme Court decides could either open the door for 50 is destroyed. different immigration laws for 50 different states or There is ample evidence that the Arizona vision convince Washington that our families can’t wait emboldens racists. It is no accident that anti-Latino for real reform any longer. hate crimes spiked in late 2010 and early 2011, after Arizona passed SB1070. The rise in anti-Latino The Court’s decision is expected sometime in June.
April 23, 2010: S.B. 1070 signed into law with the stated purpose of making “attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona.”
Image from the Texas Can Do Better Rally in Austin on February 22, 2011.
By Monica Peña
SaulPaul, an Austin musician with a message, has joined forces with the African American Men and Boys Harvest Foundation (AAMBHF) as shift coordinator in hopes of making an impact on at-risk youth. SaulPaul will work with youth released from Gardner Betts Juvenile Detention Center and prospective mentors, male and female, who are willing to make a difference with their lives as mentors. SaulPaul began his career in 2002, motivating and encouraging youth through his music and life changing message of how he went from “Tower to Tower.” The driving force behind SaulPaul’s passion is his life journey from growing up a foster youth, going to college, flunking out and ultimately being sent to prison in the Texas State Penitentiary. There, he decided to make better choices and after being paroled, he was admitted to the University of Texas at Austin where he graduated with honors. From prison, where his only view was of the watch guard tower, to graduation in the shadow of the famous UT clock tower. Today, he views mentorship as the key to solving social problems, especially in the area of black male leadership where African American males are seldom shown in a good light in the media. “My life was changed because of people
July 28, 2010: U.S. District Court grants a preliminary injunction finding that federal law likely pre-empts four specific provisions of the Arizona law–sections 2B, 3, 5(C), & 6. April 11, 2011: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the preliminary injunction. August 10, 2011: State of Arizona files a petition for review with the U.S. Supreme Court. December 12, 2011: U.S. Supreme Court grants certiorari, agreeing to hear the case.
What may surprise many people is that SB1070’s tendency to promote discrimination and racial profiling was not the issue before the court. However, for families, communities, people of faith and honest Americans across the country,
SaulPaul’s Message of Mentorship
July 6, 2010: U.S. Department of Justice files suit to block the implementation of S.B. 1070.
April 25, 2012: Oral arguments begin before eight of the justice of the Supreme Court. Source: Center for American Progress
who cared and now I want to be a bridge between those who care and those who are standing on the borderline between success and failure,” said SaulPaul, now in position to ensure that youth are receiving the resources as well as guidance to succeed.
CARY’s 6th Annual Distinguished Speaker Benefit By Monica Peña
The Council on At-Risk Youth (CARY) will hold their 6th annual distinguished speaker benefit dinner with school bullying and violence prevention expert, James A. Fox, Ph.D., introduced by Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo, on Tuesday, May 15, at the AT&T Conference Center. A reception with silent auction will begin at 5:30 p.m. “Providing learning opportunities like this to the Austin community is a key part of CARY’s mission to help our youth create safe schools and safe communities,” said Executive Director Adrian Moore. “And last year, CARY provided non-violence training to more than 600 Austin youth.” AAMBHF works cooperatively with local school districts and institutions of higher education to identify the barriers preventing academic achievement and to eliminate the academic achievement gap between AfricanAmerican and Caucasian students. SaulPaul can be reached at 512-428-4485 or SaulPaul@ aambharvestfoundation.org.
Fox is the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law and Public Policy at Northeastern University and co-author of “Bullying Prevention Is Crime Prevention.” As an authority on homicide, Fox has written 18 books, appeared frequently on national television programs, given numerous lectures and expert testimony, including before the
U.S. Congress, served on President Clinton’s advisory committee on school shootings and a Department of Education Expert Panel on Safe, Disciplined and Drug-Free Schools, provided briefing to Attorney General Janet Reno on trends in violence, served as a visiting fellow with the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics focusing on the measurement of homicide trends, and made a presentation for Princess Anne of Great Britain. Founded in 1999 after the Columbine tragedy, CARY intervenes in the lives of students with severe disciplinary issues who are labeled “at-risk” by their teachers and school administrators. CARY helps these disadvantaged students learn the social skills and develop the self-confidence to resist patterns of violent behavior that lead to the criminal justice system. In the ten Austin Independent School District middle and high schools with CARY programs, the average age of a CARY student is 13 years; 95% are minorities; 80% are males. More than 75% are from single parent households and more than 50% of CARY students have family members who are or have been in the penal system. For more information on the CARY or the event visit: www.councilonatriskyouth.org or call 512-451-4592. TODO Austin // May 2012 // TodoAustin.com 05
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month By Yvonne Lim Wilson
When we think of May, thoughts drift to the end of spring and plans for summer, maybe celebrating Cinco de Mayo with margaritas. But did you know that in 1992 May was designated by Congress as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month? May is the perfect time to learn more about local Asian American groups, organizations and businesses. One great event is the 5th Annual Austin Asian Occasion on Saturday, May 26 at the Long Center, Dell Hall. Enjoy various Asian dance, music from the winners of the Asian American Community Partnership’s Young Musician Festival as well as a special Master’s Concert featuring worldacclaimed musicians: Charles Yang (violin), Professor DaXun Zhang (bass), Dr. Tomoko Kashiwagi (piano) and Professor Hai Zheng (cello). Proceeds will benefit the People’s Community Clinic. For more see www.AsianAustin.com. DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL f The 14th Annual Dragon Boat
Festival, held at Festival Beach at Lady Bird Lake on April 28, saw Austin’s homegrown team, the Austin Coolers, take first place in two divisions: the Competitive Championship and the Recreational Championship. The Dell team received first place in the Recreational Consolation category.
were subjected to unfair discrimination. Ramey Ko, a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, organized the event, which was sponsored by the Austin Asian American Chamber of Commerce and Texas Asian Chamber of Commerce.
This year, 18 teams competed in the races. “The Festival has truly measured up to the expectation of this ‘Year of the Yang Water Dragon’ with more participants and more excitement,” said Amy Wong Mok, founder and CEO of the Asian American Cultural Center, which sponsored the event along with the Asian American Community Partnership. “This is the year to dream and dream BIG. We shall have a bigger vision for the Dragon Boat Festival in 2013.” Visit www.AsianAustin.com for a complete listing of winners.
ASIAN CHAMBER MERGER UPDATE f Texas Asian Chamber of Commerce and the Austin Asian American Chamber of Commerce are celebrating their official unification announcement with a proclamation and press conference followed by a light reception mixer on Friday, May 11, at Austin City Hall beginning at 4 p.m. The event will mark a major milestone for the Asian American community and the greater Austin Central Texas region in time for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The community is invited to attend and learn more about this milestone event, go to austinasianchamberlaunch.eventbrite.com or contact the chamber office at 512-407-8240.
“BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING”: CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUES IN EMPLOYMENT f Patricia Shiu, Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, visited Austin on April 12 for a community roundtable on Asian American employment and contracting issues at Satay Restaurant. Director Shiu is one of the highest ranking Asian Americans in the Obama administration. Since President Obama took office, OFCCP has recovered more than $30 million and 4,800 job offers on behalf of 50,000 workers who
Yvonne Lim Wilson is founder and publisher of Asian Austin at www.AsianAustin.com, an online news source featuring news about Asian American people, organizations and events in Austin. Contact Yvonne at email@example.com. Photos by Yvonne Lim Wilson, AsianAustin.com
At “Breaking the Glass Ceiling,” Ramey Ko, Patricia A. Shiu and Parag Mehta
Japanese dance performance
South Asian Immigrants Share Their Stories
“Oral history illuminates both the individual experience and also the historical period,” said interviewee Ali Khataw. “The archives will be housed here (at the Austin History Center) indefinitely so my grandchildren can come one day.”
By Yvonne Lim Wilson
Shanti Aggarwal, along with husband J.K. Aggarwal, shared their story about their decision to donate original photographs and personal archives. “I came to Austin in 1964. One day Esther (Chung) emailed us and we found out that we are the first Indian family to have come and stayed in Austin,” she said. “We talked to our kids about (donating original copies) and they are happy that they’ll be looked after much better.”
A reception at the Austin History Center on April 17 celebrated the first-hand stories of South Asian immigrants and their unique journeys to the United States. The event brought together individuals who participated in the University of Texas at Austin undergraduate course, “South Asian Migration to the U.S.,” in fall, 2011. Council Member Laura Morrison attended on behalf of the city and read a proclamation honoring the occasion. “I hope you will understand what this community is about and how much they give back,” said Esther Chung, Asian American Community Liaison for the Austin History Center. Under the direction of instructor Amber Abbas, students interviewed South Asian community members about their experiences immigrating to the United States. Most of the interviews and transcripts from the class will be donated to the Center for the public to access. “We’re seeking a deeper understanding of the migration experience, not only for the South Asian community but for all. I’m proud the students’ work will get to have a second life through the Austin History Center,” Abbas said. 06 TODO Austin // May 2012 // TodoAustin.com
Madeline Hsu, UT’s Center for Asian American Studies Director, noted the absence of any statues of Asian American heroes on campus, due to the fact that most people are not aware of Asian American history. The recent class project and collaboration with the city is a step towards changing that. “That’s what this project is about,” she said. “We have a place here.”
Dragon boats race down Lady Bird Lake
Elizabeth Bolton and J.K. Aggarwal
Madeline Hsu and Harish Kotecha
Ali Khataw & Amber Abbas at South Asian oral history reception
The collection is open to the public. The Austin History Center is accepting donations of any items of historical significance including photos, documents as well as oral histories. For details, contact Esther Chung at 512-974-7394, esther.chung@ austintexas.gov. You can read more about the project on Amber Abbas’s blog through the South Asian Digital Archives at www. saadigitalarchive.org
Lakshmi Vajapeyam, Bharati Desai, Esther Chung and Dhila Vaidya
Sikhism in Austin by Mandeep Singh Chadha
Singh Sabha Gurdwara of Austin (SSGA) is home to a small but growing Sikh community in the city and surrounding areas. The Gurdwara was formally established in early 2001 and registered as an independent non-profit organization in 2003. For the last ten years, SSGA has been conducting services on the first Saturday of every month in a rented church hall with the help of community volunteers. SSGA has now embarked on a mission to establish a Gurdwara building in Austin. Sikhism is the fifth largest organized religion in the world, primarily developed in 16th and 17th century India. The word “Sikh” comes from the Sanskrit root “sisya”, which means “disciple” or “learner.” The faith is based on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev ji, the founder of Sikhism, and nine successive Sikh Gurus. The followers of Sikhism are ordained to follow the Guru Granth Sahib, which is a compilation of the teachings of the Sikh Gurus, or enlightened leaders. Guru Granth Sahib includes the writings of six of the ten Sikh Gurus as well as selected works of other great saints including those of the Hindu and Muslim faiths. The text was decreed the final guru of the Sikhs by Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth guru. ----------------------------------------------
elsewhere in the world. Sikh men and some Sikh women can be identified by their practice of always wearing a turban to cover their long hair. Almost 99% of the people wearing a turban in the US today are Sikhs. To a Sikh, wearing a turban represents complete commitment to the faith. Under no circumstances should it be forcibly removed. Sikhs are easily recognized by their turban and are duty bound to offer help to anyone in need. Everyone is welcome in a Sikh Gurdwara or temple. For more information on Austin’s Sikh community, please visit the SSGA website at www. austingurdwara.org, or call (512) 222-SSGA or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guru Granth Sahib is held in the highest esteem by the Sikhs. It is perhaps the only scripture of its kind that contains not only the teachings of its own religious founders but also writings of people from other faiths. The Granth forms the central part of a Sikh place of worship called a gurdwara. The Holy Scripture is placed with great respect and dignity upon a decorated platform or throne in the main hall of the gurdwara during the day. Today, Sikhs can be found all over India and
Hudson hopes to engage members of the Turkish community in the project and receive feedback to help the students better understand Turkey and reflect their understanding of the world. The documentaries will screen in the first-floor classrooms of the Academy for Global Studies at 1715 West Cesar Chavez. Under the Ottoman Umbrella: A Conversation on the Balkans, Anatolia, and the Arab Lands ----------------------------------------------
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As-Salāmu `Alaykum Austin by Onur Kaya “Connecting Central Texas Businesses to European Markets” Texas EU Summit | May 3, 2012 The Texas EU Summit 2012 will provide small businesses, policy makers and economic development professionals with an overview of how to target trade and business expansion opportunities in Europe. The summit is Thursday, May 3 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, 1900 University Avenue, from 8 a.m.—3 p.m. The $35 fee includes breakfast, lunch, and materials. Learn more at texaseusummit.org
---------------------------------------------The opening sentence of the Sikh scriptures is only two words that reflect the base belief of all who adhere to the teachings of the religion. Ek Onkar— “Ek” is One and “Onkar” is God—”There is only one God.” The principal belief of Sikhism is faith in waheguru, the Universal God. Sikhism advocates the pursuit of salvation through disciplined, personal meditation on the name and message of God. A key distinctive feature of Sikhism is a nonanthropomorphic concept of God, to the extent that one can interpret God as the Universe itself.
about Turkey.” The students have put together a documentary for their Senior Showcase about their Turkish experience, which will screen Monday, May 21, at 6 p.m.
Book Exhibition: Sarajevo Under Siege The civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina after the break-up of Yugoslavia and the brutal conflict between Christian Serbs and Muslim Bosnians will be examined on Sunday, May 6 from noon4 p.m. at the Raindrop Turkish House (12400 Amherst). The afternoon includes a presentation from Bosnian writer, Dr. Esad Boskailo, who spent long years in six Serbian concentration camps and survived to tell his story in a book about his dramatic experiences: “Wounded I Am, But More Awake.” Also featured is Bosnian-born Ahmet M. Rahmanovic, one of the organizers of the “Thousand-days defense of Sarajevo.” Rahmanovic, who now resides in Chicago, wrote “Black Soul,” a story about the civil war which follows the trials of Hamza, a young Bosnian fighter who witnesses unspeakable atrocities and acts out of revenge in a downward spiral of almost surreal violence. The Academy for Global Studies at Austin High School presents Turkey on Film While a group of Austin High School students visited Turkey in April, those who remained dropped by the Raindrop Turkish House to sample Turkish music and cuisine and learn about its art, history, sports and traditions. The coordinator of the student group, English teacher Brian Hudson, said “We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and we learned a great deal
As if an array of purifying shloka chants, the alaap and ensuing vilambit khyal “Gajarawa baajo” in Raag Shree transformed the hall at Wells Branch Library into a divine setting. As the lilting opening phrase signaled the slow rocking tilwada beat-cycle to commence, the mood was set and the listeners were engulfed in an unstoppable two hour listening experience. Kulkarni-Patil, a new-generation Agra-Gwalior Gharana Hindustani classical vocalist blessed with a captivating voice and an amazing range across octaves, gave a powerhouse, blazing performance with her lightening taankari with the talented team of Shri. Rajiv Paranjape on harmonium and Shri. Mayank Bedekar on tabla, providing accompaniment. Manjushaji’s mature Shree rendition soared into the popular madhyalaya, “Chalo ri mai Ramsiya,” a composition by Pt. Anant Manohar Joshi and performed a brisk “Saanjh bhaee,” displaying skillful rhythmic play and effortless maneuvers to hit higher notes in the upper octave. A traditional bandish ki thumri “Dekho dekho kanhaiyya rokey” in Raag Bihag, followed by an on-demand “Mero Piya and Ghana se Ghana” in Raag Nayaki Kanada again proved her vocal prowess. She concluded her recital, with Hori “Rang daarongi main toh” and Bhairavi. ----------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------The Institute of Interfaith Dialog invites the community to the Raindrop Turkish House on Thursday, May 10, 7 p.m., for a conversation about the Ottoman Empire. Guest speakers include historian, Dr. Linda T. Darling, discussing how the empire ruled diverse lands and peoples from Serbians to Greeks, and how relationships were managed between the Abrahamic faiths of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Kala Darpan Providing Platform for Indian Classical Music by Manasi Joshi-Singh Singing phrases laden with intense nishad and the sway of komal rishabh-pancham, Smt. Manjusha Kulkarni-Patil punctuated the enigmatic aura of the dusk at the April 6 opening concert presented by Kala Darpan, a new non-profit organization promoting classical music events in Austin. ----------------------------------------------
Smt. Manjusha Kulkarni-Patil
Shri. Rajendra Teredesai
---------------------------------------------Kala Darpan is providing a platform for emerging Indian and Indian American artists as well as established professional artists, with a mission to showcase all forms of fine arts from India, reflecting its rich history and multifaceted nature. Flautist Shri. Rajendra Teredesai will perform on Saturday, May 19, with Shri. Gourishankar on tabla and an Indo-Jazz segment by Sangeet Millennium. For ticket information please visit www.kaladarpan.org. TODO Austin // May 2012 // TodoAustin.com 07
South Asian Spice By Harish Kotecha
Gujarati Samaj Picnic Gujarati Samaj of Greater Austin held their 19th Annual Family Picnic at Elizabeth Milburn Park in Cedar Park on April 21. Over 240 people attended the event to socialize, enjoy delicious ethnic Guajarati foods and games including Antakshari which was played as the sun set. Families took time out to reconnect as both children and adults enjoyed a magic show, moonwalk, housie game, sack race, water balloon toss, and of course cricket. The picnic was marked by the variety of Gujarati delicacies, from garma garam bhajiya to papad & papdi. More information on Gujarati Samaj is available at www. gujaustin.org. Nepali New Year Celebration The Austin Bhutanese Community high school and middle school students presented an inspired performance to celebrate the 2069th Nepali New Year in Austin. The colorful musical dances included a dance depicting friendship and another, a relationship between daughter and father. “Austin has about 70 immigrant/refuge families who have been resettled by Caritas and Refuge Services of Texas since 2009,” said Bishnu Sapkota, one of the community leaders. The function at Austin Event Center was well attended by the Bhutanese families, guests from schools and resettlement agencies, friends and volunteers
involved with Bhutanese families. The Nepali New Year (Navavarsha) Vikram Samvat marks the victory of emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain over Sakas in 56 BCE. Ugadi Observed in Austin
9th Annual Bollywood Bash Raises Awareness, Funds for SAHELI
Paneer Sisters, performed a show-stopping dance number to a medley of popular Bollywood songs, as the night wore on to a 2 a.m. peak that found enthusiastic dancers requesting ‘just one more song.’ Kaushlesh Biyani, a Houston based photographer, captured the night while Henna artist Megan Zvezda provided creative henna tattoos. Event organizers Selina Keilani and Tracy Thottam led the third edition of the annual fundraiser, assisted by tech-expert Arvind Raman. From its inception, the producers of Bollywood Bash have maintained their goal of building a unique Austin event that entertains while raising awareness about SAHELI. By all accounts, the goal was achieved again.
Ugadi, the New Year day for the Hindus between the rivers Godavari and Kaveri, was commemorated by the Teluga Cultural Association of Austin with song and dance performances on April 21 at C.D. Fulkes Middle School. As per the Lunar or Hindu calendar, yugadi corresponds to the first day of the first half of the Chaitra month, Chaitra Shudhdha Padyami (Chaitra Sudda Prathami), which usually comes in March or April months of the regular Gregorian calendar. The telugu community observes the day by preparing Ugadi Pachadi. The South Indian calendar follows the procedure of Salivahana era (Salivahana Saka), and counts its years starting from the year 78 AD of the Gregorian calendar. Hence the year 2000 AD marks the year 1922 of the Salivahana Saka.
Some 400 people attended the 9th annual Bollywood Bash at the Scoot Inn on April 14, raising $3,500 for SAHELI for Asian Families, a non-profit that provides assistance to Asian and other immigrant families dealing with domestic violence, sexual assault, and trafficking. The all-out dance party featured DJ Dan Singh at the turntable, mixing beats from India and around the world for an animated crowd which filled the floor. Selina Keilani, Erin Negron, and Monica Malhotra, the Flying
We Thank Our Sponsors of Pan Americana Festival 2012
Pachanga Festival was Austin’s first major Latino rock bash of its kind when it was created five years ago. A vibrant blend of Latino-created music and art, it stands today as a cultural bellwether of the community’s support for Hispanic heritage.
Pachanga is Austin looking at itself in a parabolic mirror, its sound a hyper, growing rhythm echoing the brown sound of the soon-to-be demographic majority clamoring to be heard.
The festival has changed Austin for the better and this year’s artist line-up gives the perception that the city doesn’t have to look any farther for its musical inheritance than Fiesta Gardens on Friday and Saturday, May 11-12. There’s a heavy brew of hybridizing, genre-jumping music phenomenons on the bill. “The perfect storm of Tex-Mex programming,” said Rich Garza,
Pachanga’s founder. “Los Lonely Boys, Alejandro Escovedo, Girl in a Coma and Ruben Ramos, mixed with the international stuff like Ana Tijoux, Forro in the Dark and Chico Trujillo, plus exciting stuff happening on the coasts like Outernational and La Santa Cecelia.” Then there is the outfit from Puerto Rico, Calle 13, a communal experience like no other in the hemisphere today. A band for the Age of La Raza, with an iconic sound that resurrects the souls of mestizo ancestors from the Strait of Magellan to Lady Bird Lake and beyond. UNICEF calls Calle 13 a “cultural reference for all young people throughout Latin America.” The band shattered records at the Latin American Grammy’s by sweeping nine awards in a single evening (they’ve earned a record 19 overall). Champions of the dispossessed, they’ve become a musical institution for social change on the weight of their trailblazing campaign against human trafficking and exploitation. A group of
players writing the social anthems for the twentyfirst century, Calle 13 are genuine legends in the making. Friday night, 9 p.m. To experience Pachanga is to get a feel for the “new Austin,” an authentic, creative, cross-cultural community of unrepentant, sun worshipping, outdoor festival hedonists. It is essential viewing and a music experience like no other. This year’s Pachanga lineup includes rock, alternative, Tejano, mariachi, cumbia, salsa, electronic, funk, hip-hop and indie rock with a singular theme: bronze skin is in. But as Garza reminds, “For me, it’s about creating opportunities for the acts to showcase them to a wider audience and about bringing people from all cultural backgrounds together to change stereotypes and open minds.” Tickets available at the door or go to www.pachangafest. com for up-to-the-minute news.
and lead vocalist Marisoul, whose captivating voice sings about love, loss and heartbreak. Their influences range from Miles Davis to The Beatles, Zeppelin to Janis Joplin and Mercedes Sosa to Ramon Ayala.
bassist JoJo Garza and drummer Ringo Garza, Jr. In 2003, their debut album, “Los Lonely Boys,” earned national attention with their Grammy Award winning CALLE 13 (San Juan, Puerto Rico) is noted for its single “Heaven.” Currently touring behind their latest eclectic musical style, often using unconventional CD, “Rockpango,” Los Lonely Boys continue to bring instrumentation in its music which distances the their Latin blues rock style into 2012 and beyond. group from the reggaeton genre. The band is also known for its satirical lyrics as well as social commentary about Latin American issues and culture.
photo by Marina Chavez
photo by Piper Ferguson
For their work, the group has won nineteen Latin Grammy Awards. They hold the record for the most Latin Grammy wins and have also won two Grammy Awards. -----------------------------------------------LOS LONELY BOYS (San Angelo, TX) The Tex-Mex rock groups, Los Lonely Boys, hail from San Angelo and consist of three brothers, guitarist Henry Garza,
-----------------------------------------------CHICO TRUJILLO (Valparaíso, Chile) Born as a side-project from the legendary punk-ska band La Floripondio, Chico Trujillo has quickly vaulted in popularity to become the most talked about band from the southern cone. Their initial motive was simple: blow some new life into the classic Cumbias of yesteryear. The sound is a blend of classic cumbias, boleros, and other Latin sounds, with a hint of Gypsy Balkan horns and a tinge of reggae.
ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO (Austin, TX) Alejandro Escovedo is one with his muse and his music. Over a lifetime spent traversing the bridge between words and melody, he has ranged over an emotional depth that embraces all forms of genre and presentation, a resolute voice that weathers the emotional terrain of our lives, its celebrations and despairs, landmines and blindsides and upheavals and beckoning distractions, in search for ultimate release and the healing truth of honesty. -----------------------------------------------LA SANTA CECILIA (Los Angeles, CA) La Santa Cecilia consists of guitarist Gloria Estrada, accordionist and requintero Jose Carlos, bassist Alex Bendana, percussionist Miguel Ramirez, drummer Hugo Vargas
photo by Rene Miranda
-----------------------------------------------PELIGROSA ALLSTARS (Austin, TX) Orion, Manolo Black, Pagame, Dj Dus, Hobo D, Sonora, King Louie, Quito, and vj 4th Wall comprise what is Austin’s premiere Latin dance party, Peligrosa. Sultry unpressured dancing and that dangerously fierce young woman beckon the Latin Flavor. For more than 4 years, Peligrosa has spread the message of Cumbia, Salsa, Merengue, Reggaeton, Boogaloo and a long heritage of rhythms to an unsuspecting Austin market.
TODO Austin // May 2012 // TodoAustin.com 09
Cont. on pg. 10
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FORRO IN THE DARK (New York/Brazil) Forró GUSTAVO GALINDO (Los Angeles, CA) spaghetti westerns, chicha, vintage soul and is the hip-swiveling, dancefloor-filling, rural party Gustavo Galindo’s music is a reflection of his life’s bachata, can be found on “Todos Somos Ilegales”’. music of Brazil’s northeastern states. And Forró in journey between two countries and two cultures. -----------------------------------------------the Dark is the collective of four New York-based Brazilian ex-pats—Mauro Refosco (zabumba drum and vocals) Davi Vieira (percussion and vocals) Guilherme Monteiro (guitar and vocals) and Jorge Continentino (pifano flute, sax and vocals)—who are updating this traditional sound for the 21st century. GOBI (Laredo, TX) GOBI is an electro-dance three piece that combines club shaking beats with the explosive energy of a live band. Adrenaline fueled percussion, guitar, and synths makes GOBI a band photo by Piper Ferguson that thrives on their live performance. GOBI is an Not restricted by language or genre, Gustavo’s sound experience, an entangled wonder of lyrical verses, is a combination of traditional and contemporary up tempo grooves, and ballistic drumming, that Mexican and American styles. In 2008, he released commands the crowd and leaves the dance floor his first Spanish-language EP, “La Ciudad,” catching singed. “The Late Night” EP is gaining rave revues. the attention of many. His full-length debut, “Entre la -----------------------------------------------Ciudad y el Mar,” is out now on Surco/Universal Latino, ------------------------------------------------ featuring two singles, “Te Perdí“ and “Barco de Papel.” ANA TIJOUX (Santiago, Chile) Regarded by -----------------------------------------------many as the best rapper in the Spanish language, Ana Tijoux’s career has spanned 10 years of pure hits. Starting with her groundbreaking group Makiza–which mixed socially conscious lyrics with production styles unheard of in Latin America–to collaborations that turned into worldwide hits to the voice of the Gorillaz-inspired, PATRICIA VONNE (Austin, TX) Since her self-titled #1 children’s animated hit show Pulentos, Tijoux debut album, the lovely San Antonio born and bred has always been at the forefront of her genre. singer-songwriter has built an enthusiastic following for her lyrically and stylistically multilingual sound melding a rainbow of genres and musical flavors. GIRL IN A COMA (San Antonio, TX) San Antonio’s The 2009 Grand Prize winner in the Latin category Girl In A Coma have left a permanent tattoo on the of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest for “La hearts of music lovers with their piercing songs and Huerta de San Vincente,” “Mujeres Desaparecidas” nuclear performances. They’ve blazed a singular is featured on the Amnesty International website. trail since Nina Diaz joined the band at age 13 -----------------------------------------------and have found champions and comrades along EL DUSTY (Corpus Christi, TX) DJ DUS has the way, building one of the most impassioned taken the principals of 1970’s era Jamaican sound and diverse fan bases in music. Girl in a Coma systems, a producer’s approach to developing are that rare feral band, unaffected by trends. new material and a DJ’s skill behind the turntables ------------------------------------------------ to develop a unique and inspired mix of cumbia, hip hop and reggae tracks that translates to a new -----------------------------------------------and fresh sound, best described as NU-Cumbia. CHINGO BLING (Houston, TX) As one Texas’ premier -----------------------------------------------underground rappers/entrepreneurs, Chingo Bling MANEJA BETO (Austin, TX) Indie en Español from has achieved a level of independent success that only Austin, Maneja Beto occupies the universe where Joy a few in his generation have accomplished. Dubbed Division meets up with Café Tacuba in an East Austin the Latin Russell Simmons because of his ability to cantina and riff on Eno-era Talking Heads songs. skillfully parley himself into a remarkably successful Maneja Beto’s members are a close-knit group of brand, he released “They Can’t Deport Us All” to friends and artists who are Austin politicos, teachers, rave reviews. He also continues to be a viable force BROWNOUT (Austin, TX) Brownout may well mechanics, technicians and in the latest development with the Southern and Latino hip hop community. be Grupo Fantasma’s psychedelic Latin funk little ------------------------------------------------ brother, an offshoot of the collective that regularly backs Prince, its latest incarnation, or even its alter ego. Brownout has taken Grupo Fantasma’s funk roots and blown them up. In the process they’ve taken on a life and developed a unique sound all their own. “Aguilas and Cobras” stands as testament of their one of a kind evolution. ------------------------------------------------
10 TODO Austin // May 2012 // TodoAustin.com
photo by Todd V. Wolfson
-----------------------------------------------UMANO ACHE (Laredo, TX) Umano Aché is a group of young Mexican musicians who, after being part of the local rock scene since the late 90’s, got together in 2009 to make new music. Despite border violence from the drug war, they locked themselves in the studio in October 2010 and created some awesome Latin alternative music. Their first LP, “Pa’l Mundo,” includes songs with a wide musical mix and the future looks bright for the “sextet of Laredo.” -----------------------------------------------ANTHROPOS MUSICIANS COLLECTIVE (Austin, TX) Anthropos Arts is an Austin-based nonprofit organization, 501(c)3, working primarily in the East Austin community to bring top professional musicians into Title I, low-income middle and high schools to offer free music lessons, workshops, master classes, and performance opportunities to economically disadvantaged youth. The program draws on the rich pool of very talented musicians in the “Live Music Capital of the World.” -----------------------------------------------POLITICS (Austin, TX) Politics is defined as a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The sounds are dark, riveting, and lush yet somehow vaguely familiar. The strings transition from lovely chimes to thick, aggressive leads in an instant. The rhythm section pulses like clockwork and above it all, haunting and soulful vocal expressions. Politics harmonize to create melodies that invoke longing, desire, hope, and intrigue.
Niños Rock Pachanga
photo by Lefty Ray Chapa
RUBEN RAMOS & THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION (Austin, TX) Ruben Perez Ramos now sits at the helm of a family musical legacy borne over 80 years ago. This legacy—El Legado— is set with traditional Mexican roots, was infused with the big-band sound of the 1940s, heavily influenced by blues and rock, and is now perched at the pinnacle of La Onda: Tejano. In 1999, the group received the Best Male Vocalist and Video of the Year awards at the Tejano Music Awards.
of Alex Chavez, doctoral holders with portfolios in Mexican American Studies and Cultural Studies. -----------------------------------------------DAVID GARZA (Austin, TX) Davíd Garza’s outfit Twang Twang Shaka Boom gained industry attention for Garza’s combination of pop-savvy songwriting and Robert Plant-style vocals. After leaving the group, he gigged continually and eventually signed with Lava/Atlantic, which landed him a slot on the “Great Expectations” soundtrack before releasing his major-label debut, “This Euphoria,” subsequently drawing multiple critical accolades.
photo by Ashley Noelle
OUTERNATIONAL (New York City, NY) With roots directly planted in Greenwich Village, NYC’s Outernational has assembled an arsenal of blistering future rock and roll, defiant lyrics and an infectious sense of rhythm that is reminiscent of The Clash and Rage Against The Machine. Their tightly-woven soundscapes reference hard rock, hip hop, cumbia, corridos, gypsy punk,
is a free (with a paid adult), family friendly day that inspires children to discover and learn more about Latino music, arts and culture. Saturday, May 12 within the Pachanga Latino Music Festival. Interactive Kids Festival
FREE Alison Narro Photobooth – kids can rock out at their own personal photo session Mexican Folk Art & Crafts Area • Piñata Party • Clay tamale making • Latin coloring books Floral halos • Cupcake walk • Mask making • Tie-dye t-shirt station
Kids Stage Music Workshops, Demos and Music Performances
What Gives, Neighbor?
Addressing Low Voter Turnout and Geographic Representation Austin has a problem getting out the vote in municipal elections. Since 1971, the number of citizens voting in Austin mayoral elections has remained fairly constant, but the number of registered voters increased from 93 thousand to over 450 thousand. Electoral participation is a key indicator of a healthy vibrant democracy, enfranchised voters take to the polls because they desire to have their views and ideals protected by their elected representatives. What gives? Austin is booming, decisions about the future of our city are being made today, so why aren’t our fellow Austinites at the polls in droves to elect and hold our city council accountable to our interests? There is no one answer, but many believe the three issues below are responsible for the decline in voter participation in municipal elections. Austin City Council is largely invisible from the public eye. Before every major election in
November we all are barraged with campaign ads from every direction; radio, Facebook, television, signs, phone calls. However, people running for mayor or Austin City Council are curiously absent from the bi-annual media onslaught. In 2006, voters in Austin passed a charter amendment raising the campaign contribution limit from a paltry $100 per person limit in municipal elections passed in 1997 to $350 per person. Voter turnout has plummeted since 1997 from 30% of eligible voters participating in mayoral elections to 15%, the number is worse in non-mayoral races, with participation having declined to around 7%.
for State Representative in Austin cost well over $300,000. Using basic math with State Representative campaigns as your baseline, an effective city council race would cost almost 5 times more with more people to reach, a nearly impossible goal with current limits unless a candidate has great personal wealth. This has led to Austin’s own sort of “Super PAC” solution to campaign limits, interest groups (like the Sierra Club and the West Austin Neighborhood Association) and their endorsements have become vital tools for candidates to position themselves in front of the electorate.
Limiting campaign contributions to $350 per person sounds great until you realize how little that amount is when compared with other Austin elections. With at-large districts, Austin City Council members represent over 800,000 people; Texas State Representatives represent 170,000 people. Highly contested campaigns
Could the lack of information coming from city candidates explain why Will Wynn won two elections? Is there anyone in our city named Austin S. Mayer? If so, good candidate name identification could easily defeat other microfunded candidates. Austin is the largest municipality in the United States without geographic municipal representation. This means our six city council members are elected by and are supposed to represent all of Austin. According to Austinites for Geographic Representation, West Austin is home to 10% of Austin’s population and has been home to 50.4% of all council members over the past 40 years, and to 15 of the past 17 mayors. West Austin is also home to an active voter base, turning out for municipal elections and claiming nine of the top ten most active precincts, all west of Mopac. East Austin’s issues and needs are significantly different than those of West Austin. Who can East Austin count on to represent their issues and who can they hold accountable? Since 1971, the City establishment has addressed the need for minority representation on council through an informal “gentleman’s agreement”, reserving certain seats for minorities on council. It doesn’t always work; both of Austin’s minority council members are being challenged by Caucasian candidates this election. Austin is diverse culturally, economically and politically, it is impossible for an at-large council member to be an effective advocate for all groups. With council members representing all of Austin, it is understandable that neighborhoods turning out to vote get council’s attention first. Municipal elections in Austin are held on a second Saturday every May, not in November when our state and national elections are held.
12 TODO Austin // May 2012 // TodoAustin.com
By Ryan Hutchison
Last May, Austinites cast only 32,000 ballots in three city council races. In the 2010 November 2nd election, over 176,000 Austinites voted on Proposition 1, a municipal bond proposal. Surely there is a more effective way to get Austin voters to the polls for municipal races. We can begin increasing voter participation by raising annual campaign contribution limits to $1,000 per year. This is reasonable when you consider the huge population our municipal candidates must reach out to, and is small enough to ensure no one donor entirely funds a candidate. More campaign funds will enable new candidates with the capacity to present themselves and their ideas to the electorate.
West Austin is home to 10% of Austin’s population and 50.4% of all council members over the past 40 years. Adopt a system for geographic municipal representation and expand the number of current council members to 10. This would allow Austin’s many diverse neighborhoods to have council members who are accountable to their neighbors and responsive to the unique needs of the area they represent. Align Austin municipal elections with the November state and federal election. Electoral turnout is always driven by the top of the ballot, with municipal elections aligned with hot congressional and state races, Austin’s municipal voter turnout would more than quintuple. Austin would also save over $1.5 million dollars each election by being included on the November ballot and not having separate municipal elections in May. There is no simple solution but Austin has finally begun taking action to address low voter turnout and geographic representation. Time will tell what Austin does to create a more vibrant democracy in our great city. Stay tuned to the actions at City Hall to see what happens.
CASA of Travis County Wins National Inclusion Award CASA of Travis County has increased diversity in all levels and activities of its organization by dedicating staff and resources to this strategic plan goal. For its efforts, it’s being recognized by CASA’s national body with the CASA 2012 Inclusion Award. f “We are thrilled to receive such an honor,” said Sonia Kotecha, CASA of Travis County’s community outreach liaison. “We acknowledge that our journey in becoming a more diverse and inclusive organization does not end here, we still have a long road ahead of us. This award only inspires and motivates us to continue on the path we have started.” f CASA has focused on building relationships with child welfare partners, expanded awareness in diverse communities and served on various community work groups. “I very much respect and appreciate the work (they’re) doing on the issues of diversity and inclusiveness,” said Darlene Byrne, 126th Judicial District judge. “(The organization) is working with genuine dedication not only to educate their current volunteers and staff on the critical importance of a healthy racial and ethnic identify in the children they serve but is also working to recruit a more diverse volunteer pool as well.” f The award presentation will take place at the National CASA conference in Washington, DC this coming June. National Foster Care Month
Haley an Advocate for Youth in Foster Care He Never Had By Callie Langford Dustin Haley entered the foster care system at age eight along with his sisters. His mother had severe problems with alcohol abuse, was rarely home to care for her children and was often abusive to his siblings. Haley lived in 13 different homes (almost never with his sisters) and went to 10 different schools before he aged out of the system at 18. Haley’s case is not unique, but unfortunately his current success may be. Youth who age out of foster care are at higher risk for unplanned parenthood, unemployment, welfare dependency, incarceration and homelessness. Haley focused on school, knowing that a good education would be his best chance for a bright future. Haley shared that “having a goal to go to a good college got me through all the transitions. A lot of the other kids in the homes I lived in were trouble makers, so I just went home and did my homework each day. I tried to stay away from that.”
3rd Annual Globeys Come to East Austin College Prep By Cindy Casares
On May 17, East Austin College Prep (EAPrep) will hold its third annual Globeys. The awards show honors EAPrep middle school students participating in the Globaloria video game design curriculum. Globaloria, created by a non-profit company called World Wide Workshop, teaches kids to design games that create solutions for social change. I caught up with Dr. Idit Harel Caperton, President and Founder of World Wide Workshop, while she was in town from New York City for the SITE and SXSWedu 2012 education conferences. Seated in the frenetic halls of the Austin Convention Center, she told me her impressions of her most recent visit to EAPrep where she participated in giving a tour of the school’s Globaloria program to SITE attendees. “It was a fantastic experience for us because people are always talking about how education in other countries is better,” Harel Caperton said. “There were close to 20 people who came from many nationalities, (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, Saudi Arabia, The Philippines, China and Israel to name a few), and they were all very excited about what East Austin College Prep is doing.” What it’s done is become the first charter school to integrate the Globaloria network and curriculum as a school-wide teaching and learning opportunity. Globaloria was started five years ago by World Wide Workshop to teach students how to design social issue and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) games in flash. Today, Harel Caperton says, “it’s a vibrant network with 2000 students and educators in five states and growing. East Austin College Prep is a shining star in our network.” One reason she and her team love working with EAPrep is because the school is a startup, too. “We’re all entrepreneurs together who’ve gone through the challenges of moving from an idea to a fully operating school, and maybe one day, even a chain of schools.”
His efforts worked. Haley’s studying kinesiology at the University of Texas and plans to attend grad school for physical therapy. He still uses studying “as a way to work through what’s happening in my personal life. When you age out of care you don’t have parents to go home and talk to. You have friends, but who do you go to when you have friend problems?” Now Haley’s sharing his experience as a CASA volunteer working with teens that are most likely going to age out of the system as well. He called CASA of Travis County in the summer of 2011 when he was still just 20 years old, knowing he could better manage the 30-hour training when he wasn’t in the middle of classes. Then he just had to wait for his 21st birthday last December to get started on a case. Haley never had a CASA volunteer, but knew youth who did. “I saw them hang out with their CASA. They seemed a lot happier with this person around,” recalled Haley. Even though he never had that constant adult, Haley wants to be an advocate for others. “There are kids in the system in huge need of support right now, especially those who are going to age out, and I can hopefully encourage them to get through. I know it can get better and that there are resources out there for them.” When asked how all of the years of moving home to home and school to school affected him, Haley said, “You carry different things from each placement with you. I think I probably have a better life now than I might have had living with my mom, so I don’t have any hard feelings. Some people have that hole to fill that their parents left behind, and often they continue the cycle of abuse and neglect to their own kids. That’s not going to be me, and I want to help other kids break out of it as well.” Haley has now been on his first case advocating for a teen boy for a few months and shared, “I remember how I felt while in care, so I have to make sure he knows he can talk to me about anything and that I’m there for him.” Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity to shine a light on the experiences of the more than 400,000 children and youth in the foster care system, raising awareness about the urgent needs of these young people and encourages citizens from every walk of life to get involved—as foster or adoptive parents, CASA volunteers, mentors, or employers. Learn more at www.fostercaremonth.org or get started as a CASA volunteer at www.casatravis.org.
Cindy Casares with Dr. Idit Harel Caperton, President and Founder of World Wide Workshop
According to Harel Caperton, visitors at the SITE tour were able to witness the amount of learning students can accomplish in two years by visiting Teresa Valdez’s newly inducted 6th graders and Nyssa Arcos Evans’ more seasoned 8th graders who, thanks to the Globaloria program, have been immersed every day for two school years in learning computational languages, collaboration and communication skills. “I can really see the culture being created at EAPrep compared to what I’ve seen in years past,” Harel Caperton said. “Both teachers and students are more and more comfortable. [Principal Marisol Rocha] really gets the value of this way of thinking and learning and this level of problem solving for kids who come from homes where the parents don’t fully understand the value of STEM. She sees results in the kids’ academic performance and test scores and observes their comfort and fluency with innovation and technology.” “It’s not just that they’re using computers to do worksheets,” Harel Caperton adds. “Marisol talks a lot about how they use computers to come up with their own ideas. Every time I hear her speak I get excited. As the creator of Globaloria, I work with so many principals and educators, and she rocks.” Last year, over 150 people attended the EAPrep Globeys, including teachers, partners, funders and researchers. The winners were selected by a committee of 24 judges of AMD employees based on the following categories: 1) Integration of their chosen educational topic, 2) Creativity of idea, 3) Quality of research, 4) Programming quality, 5) Overall design, and 6) Game design process. This year’s Globey’s will feature State Representative Mark Strama as keynote speaker. The show is open to the public and will be held at East Austin College Prep on May 17. TODO Austin // May 2012 // TodoAustin.com 13
The Legend of Frank Gomez Resurrection of a True Austin Music Pioneer By David Marks
You know it when you hear it: that musician whose style and technique are so much a part of their being that playing is like breathing. Frank Gomez, a mythical and magical Austin treasure, is one of those musicians. And it’s no surprise that his is a singular musical voice as it’s marked by a 40-year quest for independent, original artistry. Gomez’s name is spoken in Texas’ Latin music industry in almost reverential tones. Though an unsung artist in mainstream quarters, his reputation as a man of quiet dignity and lethal guitar licks precedes him across a circuit he helped trail-blaze. Walking a tightrope between soul, blues, Tejano, jazz, Americana & rock, Gomez’s music is full of technical quality and rich themes. His story is outsized reality. A reality nourished by hope, courage and determination to forge music like no other. To examine a life of heartbreak and ecstasy in creative solitude, with only a six-stringed instrument to nourish him. His latest release, “Soul Resurrection,” is a fluid masterpiece representative of various time frames in that personal history. Growing up on military bases on two continents, Gomez and his brothers, Joe and Danny, were playing gigs before most kids even wonder about holding an instrument. “We were in Germany, and my inspiration was Ricky Nelson, because at the end of ‘The Ozzie and Harriet Show,’ he’d play a song,” Gomez recalls. “The show was in German, but the song was in English. So I bugged my dad for about three years and got my first guitar on my 10th birthday. My dad got Joe some drums and then made my other brother, Danny, learn how to play the bass.” The Gomez Combo played on the base for the GI’s with a repertoire of three songs. “When they wanted another song, we’d play ‘When the Saints Come Marching In’ as an encore,” Frank said with a chuckle. The boys learned from professional musicians who were being drafted at the time, as their father engineered meetings with any new draftee players that came through. Peggy Lee’s guitarist was one 14 TODO Austin // May 2012 // TodoAustin.com
of those. “That’s how we learned how to play ‘Girl said they “had no business in, ‘cause our country from Ipanema’, ‘The Shadow of Your Smile’ and all wasn’t really COUNTRY. But it passed.” those songs,” recalled Gomez. “And we learned The Gomez brothers’ father—who acted as lifelong how to play James Brown and Wilson Pickett.” manager—passed away in 1993. Frank took over Being around the military not only provided the duties, and going solo, fronted several groups, opportunity, but taught discipline, as well. including Deep Heat, before forming the Frank Gomez’s band manager Liz Hernandez brags Gomez Band. On taking up managerial duties, Liz that it’s because of that upbringing that the band Hernandez was shocked to learn that none of the has never, ever been late for a gig. Gomez now band’s incarnations had recorded anything aside considers himself lucky that his father was strict from “Funky Beat,” a 45 rpm record. about practice, though at the time they didn’t enjoy leaving a good baseball game to give time Hernandez also discovered that Gomez was a to their instruments. “He made us practice an hour gifted songwriter and she guided him into the every day when we were learning ... no matter recording studio for his 2007 debut, “Under what.” The family bounced from Germany to Fort the Influence.” The album showcases Gomez’s Sill, Oklahoma and back again to Germany before versatility and moves easily between styles and briefly settling in Austin when their father went to genres. It also features a long list of guest players Vietnam. Then followed the first of four different including music icons Augie Meyers, Flaco stints in Alaska where the trio were billed as Mach 3. Jimenez, Ruben Ramos, Max Baca, David Farias, It was at a jam in 1973 that Frank met percussionist Stefani Montiel and Jerry De La Rosa. Though Gomez would shy away from the observation, it B.J. Romero, who became the “fourth brother.” takes a musical legend to know one. The band has always been a crowd-pleasing outfit which drives dancers to the floor. Gomez relates A cross-cultural music pioneer, Gomez attributes how they transitioned as a cover band through his wide tastes to the characters he encountered soul music, disco, and even country under the on his military base trek around the world. “We name of Southern Fire during the “Urban Cowboy” grew up listening to all kinds of music.” The 2011 days. “Six years we played nothing but country.” CD “Soul Resurrection” goes back to the band’s Their bread and butter were gigs on military bases roots in blues, with some soul, R&B and funk such as Ford Hood, with a mix of dives that Frank thrown in. During preparation for the recording,
Gomez was struck by a devastating personal tragedy when his daughter, Rita, was murdered in her home. “When Rita died in 2009, everything came to a halt,” explained Hernandez. “As much as he tried, he could not move forward. When he finally got back into the studio, the project took a different direction and as the song process got underway, the completion of the CD became a labor of love for everyone involved.” Gomez describes “Soul Resurrection” as “a collection of songs that is a renewal of my music, my band and my life.” He started attending 19th Street Missionary Baptist Church where he now plays on Sundays. He credits a renewed faith in god and Pastor M. C. Walker’s spiritual guidance with finding the strength to cope with the loss of his daughter. Gomez gives some hints about what he sees in the future, describing the next CD as “R&B based with Latin tendencies.” He’d also like to go back to Europe on tour. Brown Sugar, the lead singer of a soul band that Gomez once played with christened him “Big Frank” years ago, and he put the moniker on his signature red Gibson custom 335 electric guitar. “That was the best thing I ever did,” Frank said with a smile. Big Frank is a man of substance. His musical reawakening is to be celebrated, its message of hope crystal clear.
my Stassney and South 1st neighborhood five miles north to Lady Bird Lake, or three miles south to the Mary Moore Searight Park. The walk would be along narrow sidewalks with few or no pedestrians, and past ugly sprawling strip malls, asphalt parking lots and quasi-suburban tract home developments.
Chronicles of Undercover Mexican Girl:
When Walking Was Normal
By Alexandra M. Landeros
James Howard Kunstler says he wrote “The Geography of Nowhere” because he believes “a lot of people share (his) feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work.”
The nearest coffee shop is a two-mile walk away. The only things within walking distance from my house are an elementary school, a gas station, a seedy bar, a liquor store, a CVS, a few taco trailers, a cash and title loan establishment, several Tex-Mex restaurants, the H-E-B that doesn’t even carry real food anymore, a “kava” bar, and DK Sushi (which actually happens to be an excellent place for sushi). But how many times can you have sushi in a month? Out of frustration, we decided to drive to our friends’ quaint secondstory 700-square-foot flat near the ACC campus on Rio Grande, which was much closer to us than the Mueller area, accessible without having to go on the highway, and had plenty of parking options because very few people actually live in their neighborhood. Judges Hill, established in 1851, was Austin’s “original city neighborhood.” Judges Hill was the original Mueller, before it was cool to be green—back when being green, and walking, was the way of life.
I discovered the work of Kunstler several months ago, and since then I have been fascinated. Someone had finally put into words what I’d previously thought were irrational feelings about living in this modern world. In his second non-fiction book, “Home from Nowhere,” Kunstler makes the argument “that the living arrangement Americans now think of as normal is bankrupting us economically, socially, ecologically, and spiritually.”
From their place, we walked a mile and a half down to Lady Bird Lake. The stroll was dominated by classic architecture, large trees shading the wide sidewalks, and many other happy pedestrians. The Old Judges Hill Historic District website lists the social and psychological benefits of such a neighborhood: the comfort found in human scale environments, the desire to live and work in attractive surroundings, and the emotional stability gained by maintaining recognizable and walkable neighborhoods.
He continues on to say that it seemed to him that “the country was full of normal people, including plenty of intelligent ones, who were distressed by their surroundings but unable to articulate feelings.” So who is normal then? The ones who question our current car-dependent American living arrangement or the ones who feel perfectly at ease with it? Through his work, Kunstler’s intention is to “give shape to those feelings, to turn inchoate emotion into coherent thought.”
What would it take for all of the United States to rebuild itself in this manner, the way Judges Hill used to be in the early 1900s, with homes, apartment buildings, corner grocery stores, public places such as community gardens and parks, schools, schools, hospitals, carpenters, tailors, and various retailers all inter-mingling within a pedestrianfriendly neighborhood? It seems the Mueller development is headed in the right direction.
Reading and listening to Kunstler’s thoughts on sprawling suburbia and our dysfunctional cities has been a relief—someone understands me, and there are others like me. I’ve been inspired to put my emergent frustrations into my own words. This past Earth Day, just a few weeks ago, I chose not to attend the big festival at the Mueller Hangar. The thought of driving ten miles each way on I-35 (which lately is crammed with traffic on weekends) turned me off to the idea of going. Plus, then I’d have to figure out parking.
Kunstler advises young people to think hard and make good decisions about where they choose to live. I wish I’d known about him when I decided to purchase a house (or rather, sign up for a long-term mortgage) in 2004. Looking back, I am not sure that making a realestate “investment” was so worth it, especially as the economy and property values continues to plummet.
What I really wanted to do on Earth Day was to walk somewhere—after all, it was such a beautiful day! In fact, over the last several years, I’ve increasingly stopped going places that required more than five miles of driving, unless it was an out of town road trip. (My place of employment happens to be exactly that distance from my home.) If I wanted to go for a walk in the park, I’d have to walk fives miles from
By Blake Shanley
The Food Revolution? Yes! For all intents and purposes, I haven’t eaten red meat or poultry in nearly a decade, except on the special occasions I was obliged to nibble off of someone’s fork at the most incredible restaurant in the Austrian Alps. And the wee tiny bite of wild boar that a neighbor caught and shared with my wonderful hosts in a small village in France (not to sound high falutin’). My reasons for not eating “meat” (I eat fish currently, though have foregone the little swimmers in the past as well) are educated, multi-faceted, informed and heartfelt reasons and I am more than happy to discuss them with anyone anytime … maybe too happy. On a side note, I’m guilty of bombarding friends with flowing commentary on every single ingredient on the menu/in the cupboard/in the store and their health effects. I don’t eat “meat” for several reasons and I don’t miss these “meats” in the least, but I don’t necessarily think that every human on the planet should eat the way I eat, or think the way I think, or should only eat lettuce and dirt, or should only eat raw foods. I absolutely think there are modifications to the ideal diet that should occur for each person. I am intentionally and actively learning how to help determine that on a personby-person basis, and to understand the concept of balance and moderation, and eating also for the sheer enjoyment of eating. More than anything really, I want people to actively research and search out their own paths with food and with their own health. BUT there are simply some things that are inarguably not good for anyone, and those things in particular inarguably are good for everyone to learn, to know and to fully understand, and then ideally to share with those who don’t yet know.
I could have taken a Capital Metro bus to Mueller—my best option was a little over one-hour commute and one transfer each way, and lots of stops in between. But at that point, driving would be much more convenient and faster. Biking would be suicidal. Walking ten miles each way was ridiculous. The Metro Rail system is extremely limited in its route. As Kunstler says, we’ve become hostages to the current conditions of society. In my ideal world, I’d never drive and do my best to walk and take public transit—but it’s hard to live up to my ideals, given the circumstances. The Mueller area is being developed as a mixed-use urban village, employing principles of new urbanism, such as diverse housing, a major employment center, pedestrian friendly streets and viable public transit. That’s wonderful … for anyone who happens to live there. But what about the rest of Austin?
Frame of Reference
“The Food Revolution,” by John Robbins (the son of the famed Robbins of Baskin-Robbins aka 31 Flavors) does an interesting, stunning, simple, humble job of compiling decades of extensive research for us and gently placing it into a well-written, non-preachy, statistic-rich, profound read that stands as a voice of reason to anyone willing to listen for just a minute. Now I am “stuck” here, in a neighborhood where walking is impossible. Many people scoff at renting—buying a house is what successful and responsible grown-ups do. But the advantage of renting is that you’re mobile. If I could, I would love to move to a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, even it meant having a smaller house, especially now that I realize that 1100 square feet, even for two people, is way more than enough. In the meantime, for those of us not living in neighborhoods like Mueller, I guess we’ll have to continue driving everywhere.
Yes, it’s about the mass-production food industry (it ain’t pretty, I’m sorry to say) but it’s really about humanity, your health and well-being, the economy, the environment and every other incredibly relevant aspect of absolute importance in every single one of our current and future lives. It’s very, very relevant and very worth reading. Take a week and read it. If you think it was a waste of your time at the end, I will happily buy it back from you. There. You’ve been challenged! TODO Austin // May 2012 // TodoAustin.com 15
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