May 4th through May 10th, 2015
Basic work of maintaining the garden has continued this week, watering and nurturing the new seedlings, and transplanting former potted plants into a new bed. We had been working to solarize the bed, but decided that with the beneficial nematode application, it would be better to use the space and see if it can be productive this season.
In the meantime, I have been very busy off site, with an assortment of volunteer activities.
Austin City Council Testimony
Austin City council was considering the appointment of activist Antonio Buehler of Peaceful Streets to the Public Safety Committee for the city. The committee is charged with over-site and directional suggestions for the public safety units of the city, including police and fire services.
Buehler was a controversial nomination because of the work he has done to promote the filming of police activity in Austin, which has often led him into conflict with the force. I was asked to speak to the council by Texans for Accountable Government, with whom I agree that having a representative like Antonio Buehler on the committee would be beneficial to public safety, offering greater transparency and opening up the committee for debate and exploration of the harder questions.
Ultimately, the city council did not agree with the twenty some people who showed up in support of Mr. Buehler and actually avoided weighing in on the question entirely by eliminating Mr Buehler for consideration over a residence technicality which they have regularly waved for other committee members. The only person who spoke against the nomination, by the way, was the head of the police union.
The end result for myself was a general feeling of frustration with the machination of city politics, but also a realization that Councilmen Don Zimmerman, who nominated Buehler, did manage to get the issue of police accountability into the news, and I am certain whomever he ultimately does place as his representative on the committee will be equally interested in accountability, but less contentious, and therefore perhaps better able to accomplish change.
Student’s For Liberty LGBT Conference
On Saturday, I spent the day downtown at Students for Liberty first annual LGBT Conference. I was there supporting my friends and fellow activists in the Libertarian Party and members of Outright Libertarians.
It was a pretty nice conference with a decent turnout, and I expect that as the conference continues through the years, it will be quite a success. The keynote speaker was Houston Mayor Annise D. Parker. Also the first lesbian couple to marry in Texas came and spoke about their journey, and there were very interesting panels on the millennial generation and religion, etc. I look forward to seeing where the conference goes from here.