Call to Action – April 4th

What: MLK Memorial March Commemorating 39th Anniversary of King Assassination

Who: Citizen Activists involved with the, Austin NAACP, Black Press, Interreligious Ministries, PODER, Labor and Peace

Why: A demonstration and demand that human issues like universal health care, racial justice, immigration, peace, employment and educational priorities be addressed.

When: April 4, 2007

11:30 a.m. Assemble at City Hall 2nd/Lavaca
11:45 a.m. Prayer Vigil
12:00 noon March North on Lavaca to 5th St., east on 5th to Congress Ave. and Congress Ave. to the Capital
12:30 p.m. Capital Program with speakers, music, spoken word
1:15 p.m. Program End, Begin Lobbying Campaign of Legislators Inside

Contacts: Akwasi Evans [499-8713-NOKOA 699-1048-cell]
Nelson Linder [482-3300-Linder Insurance 476-6230-NAACP]

“Address Our Issues”
By Akwasi Evans

As the Texas Legislature debates the allocation of $150 billion in our tax dollars, the citizens have yet to see any substantial proposals to improve the quality of life of the people paying the taxes, most especially the working poor and people of color. On April 4, 2007, a group of Austinites led by people of color will assemble at Austin’s City Hall at 11:30 a.m. in preparation for a march to the Capital.

April 4, 2007, marks the 39th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King was killed in Memphis, Tennessee that faithful day after leading a march in force city leaders to address the quality of life of the city’s sanitation workers. Many of us who are old enough to remember can probably still envision scenes of the proud Black men marching through downtown Memphis carrying signs that simply said “I Am A Man”.

The men working in Memphis where doing the city’s dirtiest work and being disrespect for their contribution. They wanted respect. They wanted decent pay. They wanted safer and more humane working conditions. They organized. They invited Dr. King in. America’s martyr for peace sacrificed his life for their dignity and they attained it.

There are many people living in Austin whose dignity and quality of life are dismal. We have tens of thousands without adequate health care here in Austin. We have thousands upon thousands of homeless and thousands more of jobless. We have African Americans and Latinos claiming discrimination without justification all day, everyday. We have families concerned about being torn asunder by immigration reform and we have baby’s mamas and baby’s daddy’s bad mouthing each other in the streets because neither can adequately take care of their children. And let’s not forget the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the toll they are taking upon our consciousness and economy. Hundreds of millions of dollars wasted, tens of thousands of innocent civilians slaughtered. Countless soldiers and civilians scarred for life by the experience. Where is the discussion of these issues in our legislature?

We have issues of vital importance, issues of life and death, in this state and in this city that are not being addressed by those elected to help us resolve our issues. Evidence shows that elected officials generally address issues that are pressed upon them and issues that attract potentially embarrassing media attention. So the question becomes why aren’t the suffering pressing their issues upon their representatives? Why isn’t the media asking about health care for all citizens, disparate treatment of African Americans in hiring, sentencing, and executing, or workplace discrimination against women.

These and other issues will be pressed on Wednesday as leaders of Austin NAACP, Black Media, educators, health care advocates, labor rights activists and others march to the state capital to demand that the legislature address our issues and tell us which issues of concern to citizens are being addressed.

For more information contact: Akwasi Evans 499-8713 or 699-1048.

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