BLACK AMERICA- The D2 City Council Race

 

I want to commend all the candidates who are running for political office and their desires to lead District 2 City Council.  I was asked to cover Mr. Keith A. Toney, who sought out the Black Press to advertise, and to gain an independent editorial.  No other candidate financially invested in their Council race yet with the San Antonio Observer.    We also sent a survey to all candidates in District 2, Toney was one of few campaigns that replied.   I don’t know if candidate fatigue has set in or if political candidates don’t believe that Black families don’t read our Black newspapers, but I think this mistake will cost each of them at the polls.   So now that I have provided a disclaimer, let me talk about Keith A. Toney. 

 

DIVERSITY:  The most culturally diverse district in San Antonio is District 2.   This point is underscored by the fact District 2 own the largest MLK March in the nation and in the world.   District 2 should be very proud of this fact.   According to former Councilman Toney,  “I would like to see Martin Luther King Jr. Park greatly expanded to be just like Hardenberger Park.”        Likewise, the Councilman has evolved on the Hays Street Bridge.   Toney says, “while the Hays Street Bridge is a District 2 asset, if done correctly, the land should be returned back to the community, we should design it to be the talk of the city.  I’m in favor of working with the Hays Street Bridge Restoration Group to help guide the future decisions of bring a community park where we can enjoy Fourth of July downtown fireworks, and more.”   As a part of my assignment, I met with the Hays Street Bridge group with Councilman Toney and they were pleased he was keeping the topic visible within his race.   Toney also adds, “I will also use my experience to ensure we fully understand zoning challenges, annexation, and impacts of continued gentrification.   In this race, I appreciate the great support you have given me as I have not taken money from any developers and don’t owe any special interest groups to win City Council.”   

 

A Vigil was held at the Hays Street Bridge (pictured above) in March 2018.  Photo: Youtube

 

When asked what will you do differently to mobilize your community’s diversity?    Toney replies, “I want to work with the Alamo City Black Chamber and San Antonio Hispanic Chamber to address the racial and ethnic disparities that exist in the City of San Antonio.  While the Alamo City Black Chamber is on the Eastside, the Hispanic Chamber is important as the largest ethnic demographic in our city.   I need to hear what they are saying about critical issues, especially as the city is on the top of the list for being a top Economically Segregated US City.     I also will welcome support from the Black Contractors Association of San Antonio, who I received their endorsement!!!   We have to fight for true equity!”

 

 Keith Toney points to sign stating: STOLEN VIEW, regarding the Hays St. Bridge

 

NO ROOKIE MISTAKES:   District 2 diversity also reflects a leadership challenge as there are differences that your next councilperson will have to manage.    Toney’s campaign slogan is “EXPERIENCE MATTERS!”     He says, “With the increasing truism, incarceration rates of Black and Brown young men, I will work to build a stronger relationship and more visible outreach of My Brother’s Keeper San Antonio. I believe we have more in common on most issues.    We all want to live in a safe city, and secure homes.    We all want the best future for our children and our grandchildren.” 

 

REDUCE POVERTY & CRIME:   Toney said in a recent debate, “I have a plan to reduce crime on the Eastside by engaging the community differently.   I will hold a Town Hall meeting with all nonprofit executive directors and business owners to see what WE are all willing to do, to change the rising crime trends.   I want to work with our community college partner, Alamo College District, to ensure workforce training and skills are a critical focus moving our people forward.    I will also pull first responders like police, fire, and our military at Fort Sam Houston into our community differently.”

 

When addressing poverty, Toney says, ”Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Poor People Campaign is still necessary to help our underserved.  By working with the MLK Commission and DreamWeek, I want to earmark solutions to reducing overreaching poverty.  We are the showcase for one day out of the year, and I would like to see that story changed to 365 days of the year!”        

 

JOBS & WORKFORCE:    Toney says, “I intend to call a meeting with the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF), to have them show District 2 how their tax subsidized mission is contributing to the future of our growth.   How many of you asked me how are we going to recruit the right companies to relocate to our side of town?    The short answer is work with SAEDF.    As Councilman I will continue to work with the City Manager and the over 25 departments.   I have had to standup for our contractors in District 2, to ensure they get the fair shot they deserve.  I will work with the Fair Contracting Coalition and NAACP San Antonio to ensure the City’s Diversity Action Plan goals are met to meet the needs of our marketplace. I am thankful to be endorsed by the San Antonio AFL-CIO.    We have many card carrying members in District 2.”

 

EDUCATION:  Toney remarks, “I believe we need to have more conversations about education and what we have become.   When I was the Councilman, we didn’t see charter school boom as pronounced as they are today.  I recognized as I listen to the candidates running for SAISD school board, our community may not have all the information especially as it pertains to how our education system works.   We have to bridge the gaps of uncertainty with information.   I pledge to hold frequent meetings with elected school board members to ensure I give my support to what may be needed.”

 

FAITH COMMUNITIES:  Toney states, “It is my observation that we have more churches and mosques and synagogues than any other district in San Antonio.  In my first 90 days, I will call a Town Hall to pull our faith leaders together to problem solve what they can offer to increase family productivity and district economic development.    I am thankful for the Baptist Ministers Association endorsement.”

 

In conclusion, Councilman Toney says, “I want a safe, secure and prosperous District 2.  I know you do too.   When you vote for me, I pledge to be the most responsive full-time Councilman ever.     I also will pull into my team, the most competent and capable people who know how to serve our community’s needs.”  

 

YOUR VOTE & CALL TO ACTION:  As I close this message to you, if you have time and would like to serve your community,  Keith Toney ask for you to email the Observer at contact@saobserver.com – make your subject Volunteer.    “As a part of my support with the newspaper, I would like to know who wants to serve to advance our district.   As a Veteran and Bronze Star recipient, I know that we have good people who want to make a significant difference.    I would like to know who would like to serve on one of the Boards and Commissions.   Right after we win the office, I will announce the Volunteers selected to represent our District.   We will hold each other accountable, each step of the way.”

 

 

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