Senator Uresti's team attended town halls sponsored by District Attorney Nicholas "Nico" LaHood throughout San Antonio. These Town Halls focus on public safety and have been a good space to hear the concerns from Senate District 19 constituents on public safety issues. Through the town halls, the Senator's team also met new potential Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF) members and partners and connected interested individuals with initiatives the BRTF is spearheading and with CASA.
Senator Uresti's team noted that a main concern in Southwest San Antonio and the Southside is the lack of afterschool activities available to children, meaning that kids whose parents are working may be bored and more likely to get into trouble. Unfortunately, the lack of youth recreation centers in Southwest San Antonio and the Southside makes it hard for parents to find affordable after school activities for their kids. Senator Uresti is already considering how he can work with the City of San Antonio to ensure that constituent's needs are met, by increasing the number of afterschool programs available.
Furthermore, residents of Senate District 19 are concerned about domestic violence and prostitution. Advocates are working with law enforcement to determine the best process for reporting domestic violence that protects and meets the needs of the individual, but there is still work to be done. Child abuse is a form of domestic violence and individuals experiencing domestic violence must feel safe not only while reporting, but throughout the process. Community members also expressed concern about prostitution and potential sex trafficking on the Southside.
The BRTF continues to work on issues of domestic violence, child abuse, and human trafficking. The BRTF's work includes educating the public, forming a community-based mentorship program for new parents, and working with the Alamo Area Coalition Against Trafficking (AACAT), to prevent and prosecute human trafficking while serving current victims.
On the human trafficking and domestic violence fronts, there are a couple of great new resources and potential partnerships that are forming. One is a new video from the Office of the Attorney General on human trafficking. You can access that video here. Additionally, there is an exciting new potential partnership between the BRTF and Angel Eyes, a San Antonio organization that supports domestic violence survivors and works with abusers in San Antonio. Stay tuned for more!