Members: Karen Bissett, Winston Chapman, Julia Foree, Monica Guzmán, Lisa Hinely, Colin MacDougal, Vanessa MacDougal, Daniela Nuñez, Larry Reagan, Tina Sanchez, Rodney Thrailkill
Guests: Jenny Black, Eric Byrd, Joseph Cain, Lisa Carraway, Greg Casar, Neesha Davé, Rachel Castignoli, Tere del Castillo, Caro DuBois, Ricardo Garay, Angelica Garcia, Sobe Gomez-Chou, Mark Grayson, Nick Hudson, Tandera Louie, Kevin Owens, Seneca Savoie, Meme Styles
The meeting was announced in english and in spanish through individual and group email as well as social media. Northgate-area apartment managers and I35-corridor apartment residents received a hand-delivered written invitation. APD was asked not to attend.
Most attendees were bilingual english/spanish. At the beginning of the meeting, attendees agreed to continue in english.
The meeting began with individual introductions. Most attendees shared an organizational affiliation, or where and how long they have lived in the North Lamar/Rundberg area. Some mentioned concerns about violent crime, or that an intervention to reduce crime would cause another sort of harm.
The discussion was framed as how to have less serious violent crime. That is, not how police or the criminal justice system should respond after the violence, but taking action ahead of time, so that the violence never happens.
As participants shared possible solutions related to some aspect of serious violent crime, a common theme of supporting community-based and peer connection emerged:
– Some residents urged more simple personal interaction with neighbors
– Paraprofessionals and program structures such as community health workers to connect family violence resources
– Community-based peer coaches
Participants also proposed mobile delivery of preventative actions by professionals other than law enforcement, such as health screening vans, social worker patrols, and emergency mental health response.
Related topics were raised:
– Unsafe pedestrian experiences, especially for high school and middle school students on their way to school, resulting from poor infrastructure as well as harassing behaviours.
– Language barriers and varying cultural expectations of domestic safety
– Limited access to health care providers
A program model subgroup is researching and connecting with other groups in Austin. The desired timeline is to identify a model for study or pilot funding in the City’s 2019-20 budget.
The meeting time ended before we considered the need for regular tracking from APD on serious violent crime rate in North Lamar/Rundberg neighborhoods.