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Aug. 26, 2020

Austin Housing Coalition Meeting of Members and Friends original pdf

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Human Rights Commission Community Interest Announcement Austin Housing Coalition Meeting of Members and Friends Wednesday, August 26, 2020 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Via Videoconference Registration required: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMtf-CgrT0uGNcCE9z-9whb21dNP_DPgiUm A quorum of commission members may be present. No action will be taken. For more information, please contact the commission’s staff liaison, Jonathan Babiak, at (512) 974-3203 or by email at Jonathan.Babiak@austintexas.gov.

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Aug. 24, 2020

Location: Via Videoconferencing original pdf

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Regular Meeting of the Human Rights Commission August 24, 2020 Human Rights Commission to be held August 24, 2020 with Social Distancing Modifications Public comment will be allowed via telephone; no in-person input will be allowed. All speakers must register in advance (Sunday, August 23, 2020 by Noon). All public comment will occur at the beginning of the meeting. To speak remotely at the August 24, 2020 Human Rights Commission Meeting, residents must: •Call or email the board liaison at (512) 974-3276 or jonathan.babiak@austintexas.gov no later than noon, Sunday, August 23, 2020 (the day before the meeting). The information required is the speaker name, item number(s) they wish to speak on, whether they are for/against/neutral, and a telephone number or email address. •Once a request to speak has been called in or emailed to the board liaison, residents will receive either an email or phone call providing the telephone number to call on the day of the scheduled meeting. •Speakers must call in at least 15 minutes prior to meeting start in order to speak, late callers will not be accepted and will not be able to speak. •Speakers will be placed in a queue until their time to speak. •Handouts or other information may be emailed to jonathan.babiak@austintexas.gov by Noon the day before the scheduled meeting. This information will be provided to Board and Commission members in advance of the meeting. •If this meeting is broadcast live, residents may watch the meeting here: http://www.austintexas.gov/page/watch- atxn-live 1 HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION Monday, August 24, 2020 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. VIA VIDEOCONFERENCING CURRENT COMMISSION MEMBERS: Sareta Davis, Chair Jamarr Brown, Vice Chair Jared Breckenridge Garry Brown Kristian Caballero Isabel Casas Idona Griffith Maram Museitif Courtney Santana Alicia Weigel Nathan White AGENDA CALL TO ORDER 1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES Regular Meeting. 2. NEW BUSINESS a. Consider approval of the minutes from the Human Rights Commission’s July 29, 2020 a. Discussion and possible action on recommendation to Require the Mayor of Austin Appoint a Democratically Elected Chief of Police. (White/Caballero/Weigel) 3. OLD BUSINESS a. Commissioners will report on and discuss the status of the Commission’s key priority areas of concern for 2020-2021, including plans and strategies for meeting those key priority areas of concern: i. Institutional Equity ii. Environment & Land Use iii. Health Access & Nutrition iv. Autonomy & Human Rights ADJOURNMENT The City of Austin is committed to compliance with the …

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Aug. 24, 2020

HRC 20200824-002a Democratic Reform Policing DRAFT original pdf

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DRAFT COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION Human Rights Commission Recommendation Number 20200824‐002a: Recommendation to Require the Mayor of Austin Appoint a Democratically Elected Chief of Police WHEREAS, the current structure of policing has been well‐documented to be a problematic and racist institution which was initially organized as slave patrols; and, WHEREAS, One of the most common feedback comments this commission is offered by the community is the restructuring of policing and community safety; and, WHEREAS, The City Council of Austin has recently reallocated funds for the police in an effort to redress community needs; and, WHEREAS, The current Chief of Police is complicit in the violation of Austin Residents’ Human Rights according to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Articles 18, 19, 20); and, WHEREAS, The right to freely chosen leadership is enshrined in Article 21 of The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and, WHEREAS, There is no logical, sound argument made to justify that the federal executor of laws is democratically elected and the local executor is not; and, WHEREAS, Austin Police Department, like many others, has a known reputation for unfair and racially biased practices, which has been verified by a recent report demonstrating for a number of years the only people the police killed were Black or Brown; and, WHEREAS, The current appointment process lends a distorted amount of power to representatives. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Human Rights Commission recommends the Austin City Council pass an ordinance with the effect of committing the Mayor of Austin to appoint a Chief of Police that has won a local election for that position, either through a formal special‐called election, or an informal, city‐funded and administered process. Date of Approval: _____________________________ Record of the vote: Attest: _____________________________________________ (Staff or board member can sign)

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Aug. 24, 2020

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July 29, 2020

Location: Via Videoconferencing original pdf

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Regular Meeting of the Human Rights Commission July 29, 2020 Human Rights Commission to be held July 29, 2020 with Social Distancing Modifications Public comment will be allowed via telephone; no in-person input will be allowed. All speakers must register in advance (Tuesday, July 28, 2020 by Noon). All public comment will occur at the beginning of the meeting. To speak remotely at the July 29, 2020 Human Rights Commission Meeting, residents must: •Call or email the board liaison at (512) 974-3276 or jonathan.babiak@austintexas.gov no later than noon, (the day before the meeting). The information required is the speaker name, item number(s) they wish to speak on, whether they are for/against/neutral, and a telephone number or email address. •Once a request to speak has been called in or emailed to the board liaison, residents will receive either an email or phone call providing the telephone number to call on the day of the scheduled meeting. •Speakers must call in at least 15 minutes prior to meeting start in order to speak, late callers will not be accepted and will not be able to speak. •Speakers will be placed in a queue until their time to speak. •Handouts or other information may be emailed to jonathan.babiak@austintexas.gov by Noon the day before the scheduled meeting. This information will be provided to Board and Commission members in advance of the meeting. •If this meeting is broadcast live, residents may watch the meeting here: http://www.austintexas.gov/page/watch- atxn-live 1 HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION Wednesday, July 29, 2020 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. VIA VIDEOCONFERENCING CURRENT COMMISSION MEMBERS: Sareta Davis, Chair Jamarr Brown, Vice Chair Jared Breckenridge Garry Brown Kristian Caballero Isabel Casas Idona Griffith Maram Museitif Courtney Santana Alicia Weigel Nathan White AGENDA CALL TO ORDER 1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES Regular Meeting. 2. NEW BUSINESS a. Consider approval of the minutes from the Human Rights Commission’s June 22, 2020 a. Discussion and possible action on Formal Condemnation and Call for Investigation of Violation of Austin Police Department Policy, and Recommendation to Amend and Ensure Enforcement of Austin Police Department's Policy re Requesting an Officer of a Given Sex or Gender. (Weigel/White) b. Discussion and possible action on a recommendation to City Council to establish the Juneteenth holiday as a City holiday each year beginning in 2021. (Davis/Brown, J.) 3. OLD BUSINESS a. Discussion and possible action on a Recommendation to Address Under-banking by Allowing City Libraries to …

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July 29, 2020

HRC 20200729-002b Juneteenth Official Holiday DRAFT original pdf

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DRAFT HRC 20200729-002b DECLARATION NO. WHEREAS, On June 19th, 1865 Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War was over and that enslaved Africans and African descendants were now free; and, WHEREAS, the following year, June 19 became “Juneteenth,” and was marked with celebrations and political rallies across the State of Texas; and, WHEREAS, news of the end of slavery did not reach the State of Texas and other Southwestern States until months after the conclusion of the Civil War, more than two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863; and, WHEREAS, in East Austin, freed persons pooled resources together to purchase Emancipation Park to celebrate, which is located at present-day Rosewood Courts; and, WHEREAS, as a result of anti-Black bigotry and racism, the Juneteenth holiday has been historically held in obscurity; and, WHEREAS, Texas House Bill 1016, which passed in the 66th Legislature Regular Session declared June 19th, “Emancipation Day in Texas,” a legal state holiday effective starting in 1980; and, WHEREAS, recently, multiple municipalities have begun to acknowledge Juneteenth and commemorate it as a formal holiday; and, WHEREAS, bipartisan bills in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives propose to establish Juneteenth as a federal holiday; and, WHEREAS, The City of Austin is committed to challenging and undoing anti-Black racism and systemic racialized inequality; and, WHEREAS, The City of Austin is committed to condemning Austin's history as a participant in American chattel slavery; and, WHEREAS, Black Lives Matter, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY OF AUSTIN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: The 19th day of June of each year beginning in the year 2021, shall be known in the City of Austin as ‘Juneteenth’ to memorialize the end of chattel slavery in the United States and to celebrate the Africans and African descendants who survived an inhumane economic system and thrived as American citizens. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: The Human Rights Commission supports City Council in directing the City Manager to analyze and present several options for amending the City of Austin's Personnel Policies to establish Juneteenth as a paid holiday or other benefit for City employees, to begin in June 2021. Analysis should include detailed and comprehensive evaluations of costs and budget impacts, including personnel costs. Consideration should be given to the value to City employees of …

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July 29, 2020

HRC 20200729-003a Allow Libraries to Perform Limited Financial Services DRAFT original pdf

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COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION Human Rights Commission Recommendation Number 20200729-003a: Recommendation to Address Under-banking by Allowing City Libraries to Perform Limited Financial Services WHEREAS, Under-banking is a serious detriment to working people’s ability to build and grow wealth; and, WHEREAS, Online banking services and digital commerce are becoming increasingly ubiquitous; and, WHEREAS, The inability to participate in digital commerce can directly impact one’s quality of life, financial and employment prospects; thus negatively impacting one’s access to human rights; and, WHEREAS, Public institutions, such as the United States Postal Service, have previously provided limited banking services to the public; and, WHEREAS, The entrance of a public enterprise with more affordable rates stimulates competition in the private sector; and, WHEREAS, The definition of what public libraries are able to lend to the public has previously been expanded (i.e. DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, etc.); and, WHEREAS, Libraries are currently, in effect, depositories of a kind; and, WHEREAS, Exclusion from banking services has been a studied and documented symptom of institutional racism and sexism; and, WHEREAS, The right to Social Security is guaranteed by the 22nd Article of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights; and, WHEREAS, We are now facing unprecedented financial consequences due to COVID-19; and, WHEREAS, It is in the public interest to create a department within a publicly trusted institution dedicated to the financial success and prosperity of all Austin residents. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Human Rights Commission recommends the Austin City Council to investigate ways to charter the Austin Library System as a state bank to provide basic, free-to-access, financial services to include but not limited to: fee-free ATM services, checking and savings accounts with online access, debit card services, fee-free overdraft protection, etc.

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July 29, 2020

20200729-002b: Juneteenth Holiday original pdf

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COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION Human Rights Commission Recommendation Number 20200729-002b: Juneteenth Holiday WHEREAS, On June 19th, 1865 Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the Civil War was over and that enslaved Africans and African descendants were now free; and, WHEREAS, the following year, June 19 became “Juneteenth,” and was marked with celebrations and political rallies across the State of Texas; and, WHEREAS, news of the end of slavery did not reach the State of Texas and other Southwestern States until months after the conclusion of the Civil War, more than two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863; and, WHEREAS, in East Austin, freed persons pooled resources together to purchase Emancipation Park to celebrate, which is located at present-day Rosewood Courts; and, WHEREAS, as a result of anti-Black bigotry and racism, the Juneteenth holiday has been historically held in obscurity; and, WHEREAS, Texas House Bill 1016, which passed in the 66th Legislature Regular Session declared June 19th, “Emancipation Day in Texas,” a legal state holiday effective starting in 1980; and, WHEREAS, recently, multiple municipalities have begun to acknowledge Juneteenth and commemorate it as a formal holiday; and, WHEREAS, bipartisan bills in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives propose to establish Juneteenth as a federal holiday; and, WHEREAS, The City of Austin is committed to challenging and undoing anti-Black racism and systemic racialized inequality; and,

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July 29, 2020

20200729-003a: Allow Libraries to Perform Limited Financial Services original pdf

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COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION Human Rights Commission Recommendation Number 20200729-003a: Recommendation to Address Under-banking by Allowing City Libraries to Perform Limited Financial Services WHEREAS, Under-banking is a serious detriment to working people’s ability to build and grow wealth; and, WHEREAS, Online banking services and digital commerce are becoming increasingly ubiquitous; and, WHEREAS, The inability to participate in digital commerce can directly impact one’s quality of life, financial and employment prospects; thus negatively impacting one’s access to human rights; and, WHEREAS, Public institutions, such as the United States Postal Service, have previously provided limited banking services to the public; and, WHEREAS, The entrance of a public enterprise with more affordable rates stimulates competition in the private sector; and, WHEREAS, The definition of what public libraries are able to lend to the public has previously been expanded (i.e. DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, etc.); and, WHEREAS, Libraries are currently, in effect, depositories of a kind; and, WHEREAS, Exclusion from banking services has been a studied and documented symptom of institutional racism and sexism; and, WHEREAS, The right to Social Security is guaranteed by the 22nd Article of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights; and, WHEREAS, We are now facing unprecedented financial consequences due to COVID-19; and, WHEREAS, It is in the public interest to create a department within a publicly trusted institution dedicated to the financial success and prosperity of all Austin residents.

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June 22, 2020

Location: Via Videoconferencing original pdf

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Regular Meeting of the Human Rights Commission June 22, 2020 Human Rights Commission to be held June 22, 2020 with Social Distancing Modifications Public comment will be allowed via telephone; no in-person input will be allowed. All speakers must register in advance (Sunday, June 21, 2020 by Noon). All public comment will occur at the beginning of the meeting. To speak remotely at the June 22, 2020 Human Rights Commission Meeting, residents must: •Call or email the board liaison at (512) 974-3276 or jonathan.babiak@austintexas.gov no later than noon, (the day before the meeting). The information required is the speaker name, item number(s) they wish to speak on, whether they are for/against/neutral, and a telephone number or email address. •Once a request to speak has been called in or emailed to the board liaison, residents will receive either an email or phone call providing the telephone number to call on the day of the scheduled meeting. •Speakers must call in at least 15 minutes prior to meeting start in order to speak, late callers will not be accepted and will not be able to speak. •Speakers will be placed in a queue until their time to speak. •Handouts or other information may be emailed to jonathan.babiak@austintexas.gov by Noon the day before the scheduled meeting. This information will be provided to Board and Commission members in advance of the meeting. •If this meeting is broadcast live, residents may watch the meeting here: http://www.austintexas.gov/page/watch- atxn-live 1 HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION Monday, June 22, 2020 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. VIA VIDEOCONFERENCING CURRENT COMMISSION MEMBERS: Sareta Davis, Chair Jamarr Brown, Vice Chair Jared Breckenridge Garry Brown Kristian Caballero Isabel Casas Idona Griffith Maram Museitif Courtney Santana Alicia Weigel Nathan White AGENDA CALL TO ORDER 1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES Regular Meeting. Special Called Meeting. 2. NEW BUSINESS a. Consider approval of the minutes from the Human Rights Commission’s May 18, 2020 b. Consider approval of the minutes from the Human Rights Commission’s June 5, 2020 a. Discussion and possible action regarding Complaints Sent to the Austin Police Department from the Office Of Police Oversight. (Davis/Brown, J./Breckenridge/Santana) Farah Muscadin, Director, Office of Police Oversight, City of Austin b. Discussion and possible action on Recommendation Number (20200622-002a) Human Rights Commission Recommendation to Defund the Police. (White/Davis/Brown, J./Breckenridge/Casas) c. Discussion and possible action in regards to the city's plan and next steps for Oakwood Cemetery. (Caballero/Breckenridge/Davis) Kim McKnight, MSHP, …

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June 22, 2020

HRC 20200622-002a OPO Complaints DRAFT original pdf

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1 BOARD/COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION Human Rights Commission Recommendation Number 20200622-002a: Office of Police Oversight Complaints WHEREAS, the City of Austin Police Department (hereinafter APD) exists to serve the community of Austin, Texas; and WHEREAS, The City of Austin’s Office of Police Oversight’s mission is to provide impartial oversight of the Austin Police Department’s conduct, practices, and policies to enhance accountability, inform the public to increase transparency, and create sustainable partnerships throughout the community; and WHEREAS, The City of Austin Office of Police Oversight exists to promote an atmosphere of earned trust between the community and the Austin Police Department; and WHEREAS, The City of Austin Office of Police Oversight makes recommendations to the City Manager and to APD about individual incidents and investigations, as well as broader policy recommendations, and investigated, and resolved; and Internal Affairs Division; and WHEREAS, the City of Austin’s Office of Police Oversight was created in order to ensure community concerns and/or complaints about potential police misconduct are heard, WHEREAS, It has been has reported in the media that community complaints are vetted by OPO and when sent to the APD they do not lead to an automatic investigation by the APD WHEREAS, complaints are vetted by the Office of Police Oversight, sent to APD are not immediately investigated by APD Internal Affairs, but instead are re-reviewed by APD Internal Affairs staff, resulting in less than 1/3 of complaints sent by OPO since January 2020 being investigated by APD Internal Affairs; and WHEREAS, when community members who have demonstrated courage in bringing forth their complaint of misconduct they should at the very least receive procedural justice for their complaint. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Mayor and City Council compel City Manager Spencer Cronk to direct APD Chief Brian Manley to initiate automatic investigations of vetted complaints received from the Office of Police Oversight. Chief Manley shall be directed to treat external formal complaints from the Office of Police Oversight in the same manner as APD handles internal complaints. Furthermore, Chief Manley shall be directed that it be compulsory that complaints received by APD from the Office of Police Oversight be sent to APD Internal Affairs for investigation and action. Date of Approval: _____________________________ Record of the vote: Attest: _____________________________________________ (Staff or board member can sign) 2

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June 22, 2020

HRC 20200622-002b Defund the Police DRAFT original pdf

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BOARD/COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION Human Rights Commission Recommendation Number 20200622-002b: De-fund the Police WHEREAS, Officers in The Austin Police Department have repeatedly used excessive force on camera without repercussions; and, WHEREAS, The murder of Mike Ramos by Officer Christopher Taylor is apparent via video evidence when viewed by an unbiased observer; and, WHEREAS, Austin Police Department has a widespread reputation of being more likely to use excessive force than Texas' other large jurisdictions; and, WHEREAS, in the City of Austin Human Rights Community Budget forum, citizens of Austin provided the most consistent feedback this commission has received regarding budgetary concerns and implored us to express to City Council that the Austin Police Department budget should be reduced; and APD funding should be re-directed to Black and Brown communities that have faced brutal trauma from centuries of systemic racism from the police and other institutions; and, WHEREAS, on April 29th, 2019, the Human Rights Commission unanimously voted to send recommendation number 20190429-003b: Fiscal Year 2020 Budget to City Council, and this recommendation in part recommended the City of Austin law enforcement strategy be refocused from traditional policing and criminalization, which has led in the past to over policing in minority communities, toward a greater reliance on diversionary, preventative, and rehabilitation programs. We also indicated this focus should include but not be limited to the diversion of funds into such programs that curb crime before it happens; and, WHEREAS, on April 29th, 2019, the Human Rights Commission unanimously voted to send recommendation number 20190429-003b: Fiscal Year 2020 Budget to City Council, and this recommendation in part recommended the City of Austin deeply analyze the number of victims services counselors, mental health officers and other staff associated with the diversion of activity that is criminal on the surface, to evaluate whether more funds should be allocated to fund these positions. A deeper analysis than requiring a certain number of police officers per year citizen is required; and, WHEREAS, On May 30th and 31st, 2020, Austin Police Department committed a war crime by utilizing tear gas, a substance banned by The Geneva Convention; and, WHEREAS, On those same evenings, APD fired on clearly marked medical professionals, violating the near-century old standard of Medical Neutrality according to the Geneva Convention; and, WHEREAS, The causation of police presence leading to lower crime rates has never been academically proven; and, WHEREAS, The Chief of Police, Brian Manley, has repeatedly …

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June 22, 2020

HRC 20200622-002c Oakwood Archeology Presentation original pdf

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Austin Parks and Recreation Department Oakwood Cemetery Archeological Investigation and Findings Briefing to Boards and Commissions Kim McKnight, MSHP, AICP Program Manager Historic Preservation and Heritage Tourism Austin Parks and Recreation Department Oakwood Cemetery • Established in 1839, Oakwood Cemetery is Austin’s oldest municipal cemetery • 40 acres in size with more than 23,000 burials • Receives approximately 40 burials a year; Lots sold out by early 20th century • Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Official Texas Historic Cemetery, and a City of Austin Historic Landmark • One of five municipal cemeteries managed by the Parks and Recreation Department Segregated section for People of Color • Entire cemetery relatively informal until 1859, when the mayor designated three sections, including a section for people of color • Approximately 1,200 people were buried in the section designated for people of color between 1859-1880 • Burials include: • Jacob Fontaine (1808-1898) - Political and civic leader, newspaper publisher and established numerous churches throughout Travis County, including the St. John Regular Missionary Baptist Association • Laurine Cecil (L.C) Anderson (1853-1938) - Longtime principal of L.C. Anderson High School; First president of the Colored Teachers Association and president of Prairie View University, the first state-supported Texas college for African Americans • Dr. Everett Givens (1888-1962) - Though recognized as an excellent dentist, is better known for efforts to gain equal privileges, rights, and opportunities for African American citizens of Austin • This section of the cemetery also holds the remains of those of Hispanic and European descent and within or overlapping this section are “stranger grounds” and “pauper grounds” Reverend Jacob Fontaine Oakwood Cemetery Chapel • Built in 1914, the Oakwood Cemetery Mortuary Chapel was designed by Austin architect Charles Page and hosted non-denominational memorial services and temporary interments; Used as office by 1940s • 2015 Historic Cemeteries Master Plan calls for better interpretation of cemetery history including section for People of Color • Master Plan also recommends Chapel be programmed as community space and visitor center • Project Components: Structural stabilization of foundation; drainage improvement; ADA improvements; Rehabilitation of single-occupant restroom; Full architectural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing rehabilitation Antiquities Permit #7709 • Archeological firm, Hicks and Company, hired to ensure compliance with all requirements and regulations • Antiquities Permit obtained from Texas Historical Commission • Archeological monitoring throughout course of project • Documentation of all cultural resources • Procedures in place …

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June 22, 2020

HRC 20200622-002c Oakwood Memos original pdf

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M E M O R A N D U M TO: FROM: Human Rights Commission Kimberly McNeeley, CPRP Director, Austin Parks and Recreation Department June 18, 2020 DATE: SUBJECT: Oakwood Cemetery Academic Partnership for DNA testing The purpose of this memo is to notify City Council that the Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is in the early stages of exploring an academic partnership to conduct DNA testing of human remains exhumed at Oakwood Cemetery in 2017. As you may recall the remains were discovered during the Oakwood chapel restoration project and date from the mid to late 1800s. A May 14, 2020 memo to City Council provided a project update regarding recent reports from the archeological and bio-archeological analysis as well as community engagement and educational outreach activities. Since May 14th PARD entered into discussions with Dr. Deborah Bolnick, Associate Professor, University of Connecticut, about how the field of anthropological genetics may be applied to the Oakwood Cemetery archeological investigation. Dr. Bolnick is an anthropological geneticist and biological anthropologist who explores how forces, historical events, and social inequalities shape human genomic and epigenomic diversity, as well as human biology more broadly. While discussions are in the early stages, PARD is interested to learn if Dr. Bolnick’s research can shed more light on the lives of the 36 individuals who were discovered during the restoration of the 1914 Oakwood Chapel. Should the partnership move forward, the city would incur no costs associated with the research or analysis. The extraction and analysis of DNA from the remains offers a unique opportunity to learn more about the identities, familial connections, and life experiences of the exhumed people. DNA analysis may make it possible to shed light on (1) the genetic ancestry and genetic sex of each individual, (2) the individual’s diet and experience with disease, (3) experiences of stress and trauma and the way those lived experiences may have become embodied, (4) patterns of genetic variation and relatedness among these individuals, and (5) relatedness between individuals buried at the Oakwood Cemetery and individuals alive today. If the preservation of the DNA in the Oakwood Cemetery remains is sufficient to permit these analyses, living individuals who think they may have a familial connection may be able to submit a saliva sample to the Bolnick lab for DNA analysis, allowing relatedness to be assessed. All genetic data would be considered in conjunction with osteological, …

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June 22, 2020

HRC 20200622-002c Oakwood Report original pdf

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Archeological Monitoring and Exhumations City of Austin’s Oakwood Cemetery Chapel Restoration Project Travis County, Texas April 2020 Public Distribution Copy This report contains sensitive images. ARCHEOLOGICAL MONITORING AND EXHUMATIONS FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN’S OAKWOOD CEMETERY CHAPEL RESTORATION PROJECT TRAVIS COUNTY, TEXAS VOLUME I Public Distribution Copy Texas Antiquities Permit No. 7709 Hicks & Company Archeology Series #298 Submitted to: City of Austin Principal Investigator: Josh Haefner, M.A. Written by: Josh Haefner, M.A. Brittany McClain, M.A. Debra Desarmeaux Gregg Cestaro, M.A. April 2020 Hicks & Company Environmental/Archeological Consultants Abstract Abstract Between November 2016 and January 2018, Hicks & Company Environmental/Archeological Consultants (Hicks & Company) performed archeological monitoring and excavations at the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel prior to planned restoration efforts there by the City of Austin (the City). The Oakwood Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a Historic Texas Cemetery and a City of Austin Historic Landmark. As the City is a political subdivision of the State of Texas, the project is subject to the Antiquities Code of Texas (ACT) (Texas Natural Resource Code, Title 9, Chapter 191), which requires state agencies and political subdivisions of the state to notify the Texas Historical Commission (THC) of ground-disturbing activity on public land and work affecting state-owned historic buildings. The law also established the designation of State Antiquities Landmarks (SAL), which may be applied to historic buildings and archeological sites. The accompanying Rules of Practice and Procedure for the ACT are subsumed under Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 13, Chapter 26. Cemeteries are specifically addressed under TAC, Title 13, Chapter 22. In addition to the ACT, burials and cemeteries in Texas are also protected under the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 711. Investigations were conducted under Texas Antiquities Permit No. 7709 issued to Principal Investigator Josh Haefner. Together with the Texas Historical Commission and the City of Austin, Hicks & Company developed a plan for monitoring the chapel restoration work to avoid unnecessary impacts to graves anticipated to be encountered below the chapel, as well as outside and adjacent to the chapel. The monitoring of various construction activities between November 2016 and January 2018 resulted in the discovery of 59 unmarked graves of individuals who died in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century (including several infants) and a series of archeological excavations to exhume 37 of those graves from the chapel’s interior. Only 37 …

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June 22, 2020

HRC 20200622-003a Allow Libraries to Perform Limited Financial Services DRAFT original pdf

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COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION Human Rights Commission Recommendation Number 20200622-003a: Recommendation to Address Under-banking by Allowing City Libraries to Perform Limited Financial Services WHEREAS, Under-banking is a serious detriment to working people’s ability to build and grow wealth; and, WHEREAS, Online banking services and digital commerce are becoming increasingly ubiquitous; and, WHEREAS, The inability to participate in digital commerce can directly impact one’s quality of life, financial and employment prospects; thus negatively impacting one’s access to human rights; and, WHEREAS, Public institutions, such as the United States Postal Service, have previously provided limited banking services to the public; and, WHEREAS, The entrance of a public enterprise with more affordable rates stimulates competition in the private sector; and, WHEREAS, The definition of what public libraries are able to lend to the public has previously been expanded (i.e. DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, etc.); and, WHEREAS, Libraries are currently, in effect, depositories of a kind; and, WHEREAS, Exclusion from banking services has been a studied and documented symptom of institutional racism and sexism; and, WHEREAS, The right to Social Security is guaranteed by the 22nd Article of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights; and, WHEREAS, We are now facing unprecedented financial consequences due to COVID-19; and, WHEREAS, It is in the public interest to create a department within a publicly trusted institution dedicated to the financial success and prosperity of all Austin residents. NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Human Rights Commission recommends the Austin City Council to investigate ways to charter the Austin Library System as a state bank to provide basic, free-to-access, financial services to include but not limited to: fee-free ATM services, checking and savings accounts with online access, debit card services, fee-free overdraft protection, etc.

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June 22, 2020

20200622-002a: Office of Police Oversight Complaints original pdf

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1 BOARD/COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION Human Rights Commission Recommendation Number 20200622-002a: Office of Police Oversight Complaints WHEREAS, the City of Austin Police Department (hereinafter APD) exists to serve the community of Austin, Texas; and WHEREAS, The City of Austin’s Office of Police Oversight’s mission is to provide impartial oversight of the Austin Police Department’s conduct, practices, and policies to enhance accountability, inform the public to increase transparency, and create sustainable partnerships throughout the community; and WHEREAS, The City of Austin Office of Police Oversight exists to promote an atmosphere of earned trust between the community and the Austin Police Department; and WHEREAS, The City of Austin Office of Police Oversight makes recommendations to the City Manager and to APD about individual incidents and investigations, as well as broader policy recommendations, and investigated, and resolved; and Internal Affairs Division; and WHEREAS, the City of Austin’s Office of Police Oversight was created in order to ensure community concerns and/or complaints about potential police misconduct are heard, WHEREAS, It has been has reported in the media that community complaints are vetted by OPO and when sent to the APD they do not lead to an automatic investigation by the APD WHEREAS, complaints are vetted by the Office of Police Oversight, sent to APD are not immediately investigated by APD Internal Affairs, but instead are re-reviewed by APD Internal

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June 22, 2020

20200622-002b: Reallocate Funding From APD original pdf

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BOARD/COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION Human Rights Commission Recommendation Number 20200622-002b: Reallocate funding from the Austin Police Department WHEREAS, Officers in The Austin Police Department have repeatedly used excessive force on camera without repercussions; and, WHEREAS, The murder of Mike Ramos by Officer Christopher Taylor is apparent via video evidence when viewed by an unbiased observer; and, WHEREAS, Austin Police Department has a widespread reputation of being more likely to use excessive force than Texas' other large jurisdictions; and, WHEREAS, in the City of Austin Human Rights Community Budget forum, citizens of Austin provided the most consistent feedback this commission has received regarding budgetary concerns and implored us to express to City Council that the Austin Police Department budget should be reduced; and APD funding should be re-directed to Black and Brown communities that have faced brutal trauma from centuries of systemic racism from the police and other institutions; and, WHEREAS, on April 29th, 2019, the Human Rights Commission unanimously voted to send recommendation number 20190429-003b: Fiscal Year 2020 Budget to City Council, and this recommendation in part recommended the City of Austin law enforcement strategy be refocused from traditional policing and criminalization, which has led in the past to over policing in minority communities, toward a greater reliance on diversionary, preventative, and rehabilitation programs. We also indicated this focus should include but not be limited to the diversion of funds into such programs that curb crime before it happens; and, WHEREAS, on April 29th, 2019, the Human Rights Commission unanimously voted to send recommendation number 20190429-003b: Fiscal Year 2020 Budget to City Council, and this recommendation in part recommended the City of Austin deeply analyze the number of victims services counselors, mental health officers and other staff associated with the diversion of activity that is criminal on the surface, to evaluate whether more funds should be allocated to fund these positions. A deeper analysis than requiring a certain number of police officers per year citizen is required; and,

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June 22, 2020

Meeting Audio original link

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June 22, 2020

Approved Minutes original pdf

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REGULAR MEETING MONDAY, June 22, 2020 HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION MINUTES The Human Rights Commission convened in a regular meeting on Monday, June 22, 2020 via teleconference in Austin, Texas. Chair Sareta Davis called the Board Meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. Board Members in Attendance: Chair Davis, Vice Chair Jamarr Brown, Commissioner Breckenridge, Commissioner Garry Brown, Commissioner Caballero, Commissioner Casas, Commissioner Griffith, Commissioner Museitif, Commissioner Santana, Commissioner Weigel, and Commissioner White. Staff in Attendance: Monika Arvelo, Assistant Director, Human Resources Department (HRD); Jonathan Babiak, Human Resources Coordinator, HRD 1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES a. The minutes from the regular meeting of May 18, 2020 were approved on a vote of 9-0: Chair Davis motion, Vice Chair Jamarr Brown second. Voting in favor were Chair Davis, Vice Chair Jamarr Brown, Commissioner Breckenridge, Commissioner Caballero, Commissioner Casas, Commissioner Griffith, Commissioner Santana, Commissioner Weigel, and Commissioner White. Commissioner Garry Brown and Commissioner Museitif were absent. b. The minutes from the special called meeting of June 5, 2020 were approved on a vote of 9-0: Chair Davis motion, Commissioner Santana second. Voting in favor were Chair Davis, Vice Chair Jamarr Brown, Commissioner Breckenridge, Commissioner Caballero, Commissioner Casas, Commissioner Griffith, Commissioner Santana, Commissioner Weigel, and Commissioner White. Commissioner Garry Brown and Commissioner Museitif were absent. 2. NEW BUSINESS a. Discussion and possible action regarding Complaints Sent to the Austin Police Department from the Office Of Police Oversight. (Davis/Brown, J./Breckenridge/Santana) Farah Muscadin, Director, Office of Police Oversight, City of Austin Farah Muscadin addressed the Commission and answered questions from the Commission. The Commission discussed this item. Chair Davis moved for adoption, Commissioner White second. The recommendation was approved on a vote of 11-0. b. Discussion and possible action on Recommendation Number (20200622-002a) Human Rights Commission Recommendation to Defund the Police. (White/Davis/Brown, J./Breckenridge/Casas) 1 The Commission discussed this item. Chair Davis moved for adoption, Commissioner Casas second. The recommendation was approved on a vote of 11-0. c. Discussion and possible action in regards to the city's plan and next steps for Oakwood Cemetery. (Caballero/Breckenridge/Davis) Kim McKnight, MSHP, AICP, Program Manager, Historic Preservation and Heritage Tourism, City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department Kim McKnight addressed the Commission and answered questions from the Commission. The Commission discussed this item. The Commission took no action on this item. d. Limited Discussion and possible action to have Commissioners establish goals and objectives for 2020-21, including plans and strategies for meeting those …

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