The City of San Antonio has stolen 1,000 jobs from many qualified African-American applicants; Bexar County 500 jobs
Back in February 2018 the SA Observer published a blockbuster story that was provided by a citizen that didn’t want fanfare or any attention. The person was very passionate about “why are Black people collectively treated so poorly?" and showed us disparity in hiring, promotions, and retention of African-Americans with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County. Our story showed a major problem with how the 7th largest city in the US treats its’ Black citizens. It is our opinion, the City of San Antonio, stole 1,000 JOBS from qualified Black people based on the laws surrounding Affirmative Action. (Full story at saobserver.com)
Civil Rights Attorney Tess House made a statement that is true,
"Each person who feels unlawful discrimination has occurred in their employment with the City may qualify for legal redress. The City should exercise due diligence in addressing these concerns voiced by citizens and taxpayers alike. Our San Antonio economy depends on our citizens being able to have access to gainful employment without restraint. Considering that San Antonio prides itself in being a welcoming community of all cultures, why has San Antonio failed to provide equal opportunity for African Americans to be employed with the City? By neglecting to provide increased opportunities for African Americans in positions of influence with the City, the City becomes complicit in engaging in discrimination against its own people. The City is stronger when all citizens have an equal opportunity to prosper."
The SA Observer's Chairman of the Editorial Board, Christopher Herring, attended the City's Affirmative Action Committee meeting, a group of citizens charged to oversee the Human Resources Department. Herring was somewhat optimistic the committee was going to make progress into the allegations presented in our cover story. At the same time Bexar County also was accused of having 500 jobs that went to other groups thus making African American hiring in the City and County reflect the minimum populations of African Americans. Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert Jr asked more about the issue to Bexar County's HR department. City Councilman William "Cruz" Shaw did the same... Neither one of these leaders are the County Judge or the Mayor....
They should. Neighboring counties and cities like Austin, Texas have much better job hiring rates almost doubling the population of African Americans listed in the last Census. How can two cities have different results? How can one be so anemic and the other be much more inclusive of Black people only sixty miles up the I-35?
As an update, our city and county elected officials said "we requested the numbers". To date or 6 months later, we have not seen any reports or a counter arguments to our story. Also when asked, many of the public officials address the concern as a diversity issue versus a shut out of Black people issue. Black people who read our newspaper do not care about diversity when they are the ones not called for interviews or hired for jobs in a majority Hispanic community. For the County Manager or City Manager to not own the problem is really bad - an update is still appropriate. Six months is a very long time to not report back to the very Black citizens you ask to vote for you. Black people deserve jobs. The pattern of turning away qualified candidates makes it hard to impossible to build trust moving forward.
In 1968, five years after Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “I Have a Dream” speech, he addressed the issue of joblessness and economic deprivation. He would say, "We are going to bring the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. We are going to bring those who have known long years of hurt and neglect…. We are coming to ask America to be true to the huge promissory note that it signed years ago.”
The year now is 2018, San Antonio was labeled as on of America's Most Segregated Cities in the US... we proved the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has been disregarded, and today we ask what are we doing about this major problem? Mayor Ron Nirenberg has posted a job for Chief Equity Officer for the City of San Antonio. Maybe, just maybe the Mayor and his City Manager should hire someone Black and qualified to address this fundamental issue of the African American in the 7th largest city! While we have the largest MLK March in the nation and probably the world, what are we able to do to shed the truth and the light that will free our Black citizens? OR are we making Hays Street Bridge decisions to further to push gentrification to force Blacks to neighboring cities that will release the city and county of their responsibility.
Mayor Nirenberg, we are asking that you be true to the huge promise you made on election night, 'A City For All (to include Blacks)'.