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[00:00:03]

2021.

I NOW CALL THIS

[CALL TO ORDER]

MEETING OF THE CITY'S WINTER STORM TASKFORCE TO ORDER I AM THE CHAIRS TO RITA DAVIS.

OUR VICE VICE-CHAIR IS BECKY AUSTIN.

SO OUR FIRST ITEM OF

[1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – April 11, 2021]

BUSINESS THIS EVENING, BEFORE WE, UH, EXPLAIN WHAT WE INTEND TO DO IN OUR VARIOUS LISTENING SESSIONS, LISTENING SESSIONS IS APPROVAL OF OUR PRIOR MEETING MINUTES.

AUSTIN.

I'LL MAKE A MOTION TO APPROVE THE MINUTES APART, APRIL 11TH MEETING.

THANK YOU.

DOES ANYONE NEED TIME TO REVIEW THE MINUTES MORE? ANYONE OPPOSED TO ADOPTING OUR MINUTES FROM OUR LAST MEETING? IT WAS APRIL 11, 2021.

ALL IN FAVOR, PLEASE SAY AYE.

AND RAISE YOUR HAND.

HOPEFULLY YOUR CAMERAS ARE ON.

AYE.

AYE.

AYE.

AYE.

OKAY.

OUR MEETING MINUTES FROM OUR APRIL 11, 2021 MEETING ARE ADOPTED UNANIMOUSLY.

NOW I'M GOING TO GO BACK TO CITIZENS COMMUNICATION.

UM, DO WE HAVE SPEAKERS SIGNED UP CITY STAFF? WE DO NOT.

OKAY, THANK YOU.

DO WE HAVE SPEAKERS IN QUEUE THAT WILL BE JOINING OUR MEETING DURING THE LISTENING SESSION? YES.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

OUR ITEMS FOR PRESENTATION, DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ITEM ONE APPROVAL OF OUR MINUTES ITEM TO NEW BUSINESS, I WILL WELCOME IT AND GIVE THE

[2. a. Welcome and purpose of the Listening Session by Chair Sareta Davis and Vice Chair Rebecca Austin.]

PURPOSE OF OUR LISTENING SESSIONS.

AND, UM, BECKY MAY SPEAK AS WELL.

SO I WANT TO WELCOME EVERYONE AND ESPECIALLY THE CITIZENS WHO JOINED US THIS EVENING, WHO ARE WAITING TO SPEAK THE PURPOSE OF THE WINTER STORM TASKFORCE, UM, IS TO RECEIVE CITIZEN COMMENTS AND COMMUNICATION FROM ALL CITY DISTRICTS SO THAT WE CAN COMPILE AND PREPARE A REPORT WITH RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CITY COUNCIL TO REVIEW AND INCLUDE IN THEIR ASSESSMENT OF WHAT OUR FUTURE, UH, TASK FORCE OR WINTER STORM, IF NOT CATASTROPHE CITY PLANS SHOULD BE.

UM, AS WE ALL SAW DURING THE STORM IN FEBRUARY, 2021, THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO PLAN IN PLACE WHATSOEVER.

UM, NOT EVEN IF EMERGENCY SERVICES FAILED, ET CETERA.

THERE, THERE JUST WAS NO PLANNING AND I'M ABSOLUTELY THANKFUL FOR THE NONPROFIT AND PRIVATE CITIZENS IN AUSTIN WHO ENGAGED IN AND REALLY SAVED A LOT OF LIVES AND, AND HELPED, UM, RIDE THE STORM IF YOU WILL, UNTIL OUR ELECTRICAL GRID WAS BACK UP AND, UH, CLEAN, RUNNING WATER WAS AVAILABLE AND WE STILL KNOW THAT AND WE STILL KNOW THERE ARE CITIZENS, UM, WITHOUT GAS, WATER AND ELECTRICITY EVEN TODAY.

SO I WELCOME YOU ALL.

I WANT TO, UH, ALLOW, UH, SOME TIME FOR OUR CITY EQUITY OFFICE REPRESENTATIVES TO SPEAK.

WE HAVE WITH US KELLY COLEMAN AND AMANDA YASSO.

KELLY, WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY A FEW WORDS? YES.

UM, THANK YOU, UH, CHAIRPERSON.

UM, I JUST WANT TO SHARE THAT WE REALLY APPRECIATE YOU ALL MAKING THE SPACE TO HEAR FROM DIRECTLY IMPACTED COMMUNITY AND THAT, UM, IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER, RIGHT? THAT, UM, THAT SOME PEOPLE WERE MORE IMPACTED THAN OTHERS BY THIS STORM.

AND, AND WHILE WE TALK ABOUT, UM, SORT OF HOW THIS STORM WAS A, UH, A FOOT OF OPPRESSION ON SOME COMMUNITIES THAT OTHERS COMMUTE, OTHER COMMUNITIES MAY HAVE, I'M SORRY, Y'ALL GOT KIDS.

UM, SOME COMMUNITIES MAY HAVE BENEFITED IN OTHER WAYS.

UM, BUT THAT, BUT THAT AS A COMMUNITY, WE REALLY SAW PEOPLE SHOW UP FOR EACH OTHER AND I MEAN COME TOGETHER IN WAYS THAT WE HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

AND SO TO ALSO, UM, TO BRING THAT TO THE SPACE TOO.

AND, UM, WE JUST, WE APPRECIATE, UH, BEING ABLE TO, TO HEAR FROM FOLKS AND, AND ALSO THAT WE'RE GOING TO TRY AND MAKE THIS PROCESS, UM, OPEN IT UP SOME WITH THE, WITH THE TASKFORCE'S HELP AND THE CHAIR AND THE VICE CHAIR, UM, WITH THE HELP FROM Y'ALL TO SORT OF OPEN THIS UP SO THAT IT'S, IT FEELS MORE COMMUNITY DIRECTED AND CENTERED.

SO THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF SOMETHING THAT COULD BE REALLY POSITIVE.

AND THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, AMANDA.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY A FEW WORDS? HEY, GOOD EVENING EVERYBODY.

[00:05:01]

UM, I ALSO, UH, ECHO EVERYTHING THAT, UM, KAREN DAVIS AND KELLY JUST JUST SAID, BUT ALSO TO RECOGNIZE THAT FOLKS ON THIS, UM, ALL RIGHT NOW ON THIS TASK FORCE WHERE WE'RE OUT THERE, UM, EVERY DAY AND NIGHT, UM, SUPPORTING, SUPPORTING PEOPLE WHERE THE CITY FAILED TO DO SO.

AND SO I'M GLAD THAT THIS IS HAPPENING.

UM, I THINK IT'S, UH, IT'S GOOD IN THAT.

UM, WE, WE HAVE, THE CITY HAS HIRED HAGGERTY CONSULTING AS WELL TO DO, UM, TO KIND OF GIVE A RESPONSE, UM, LIKE AN AFTERMATH RESPONSE AFTER THAT RESPONSE, UM, REALLY IDENTIFY I DON'T, WHICH YOU ALL ARE DOING TOO.

SO I THINK THE TWO EFFORTS TOGETHER, UM, COINCIDED, WELL, THE TIMING IS GOOD.

UM, BUT THIS IS A LOT OF TRAUMA AND IT'S ONGOING TRAUMA.

AND SO, UM, I THINK WE, THE EQUITY OFFICE WOULD LOVE TO SUPPORT THIS TASK FORCE AS MUCH AS WE CAN.

UM, AND, AND THINKING ABOUT FORMAT AND FORUM, UM, AND WHAT IT CAN LOOK LIKE TO REALLY REACH OUR MOST NEGATIVELY IMPACTED BOATS, UM, AND HOW WE CAN DO THAT, UH, WITHIN, YOU KNOW, A CITY, A CITY STRUCTURE.

UM, AND SO, YEAH, THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING US, UM, AND FORWARD TO, TO HEARING FROM RESIDENTS AND FROM YOU ALL.

THANK YOU, AMANDA TCF STAFF.

COULD YOU PLEASE DISPLAY OUR AGENDA AGAIN? YES, MA'AM.

THANK YOU.

BEFORE WE MOVE INTO, UM, ITEM TO BE NEW BUSINESS AND BEGIN AREN'T LISTENING SESSION, I JUST WANT TO PULL THE TASKFORCE MINT, UH, MEMBERS.

WE CAN EXPERIMENT TONIGHT WITH, UM, TAKING A VOTE ON WHETHER OR NOT WE WANT TO SUSPEND ROBERT'S RULES OF ORDER.

UM, I THINK IT MIGHT FACILITATE A BETTER ACTIVE FLOW BETWEEN TASKFORCE MEMBERS, UM, AND OTHER INDIVIDUALS PRESENT IN TERMS OF CITIZEN COMMUNICATION AND, AND PROVIDING FEEDBACK.

SO, UM, I'M GOING TO MOTION THAT WE SUSPEND ROBERT'S RULES OF ORDER JUST FOR THE PORTION OF OUR ITEM TO BE NEW BUSINESS LISTENING SESSION.

DO I HAVE A SECOND CONNOR? OKAY.

UM, THANK YOU, KATHERINE GONZALEZ SECOND.

AND DO WE HAVE ANY DISCUSSION? DOES ANYONE HAVE ANYTHING TO OFFER IN FAVOR OF, OR, OR NOT IN FAVOR OF, OF THIS? I APOLOGIZE, COMMISSIONER CONNOR, UM, AS QUALITY OF LIFE, UH, THE QUALITY OF LIFE, THE LGBTQ QUALITY OF LIFE COMMISSION HAS LONG SUSPENDED ROBERT'S RULES, UM, AND FEEL VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT, UH, THE ABILITY TO REMOVE THAT EXTRA LAYER THAT IS NOT NECESSARY, ESPECIALLY IN THIS SITUATION WHERE PEOPLE ARE TELLING THEIR STORIES.

AND I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE ALL OF THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY SENT IN STORIES AND THE ONES THAT WE WILL HEAR TONIGHT, UH, BECAUSE WE CAN DO BETTER.

AND THAT'S WHAT WE OWE ONE ANOTHER.

SO THANK YOU CHAIR FOR BRINGING THAT UP.

I WAS GOING TO ASK ANYWAY, THANK YOU, CATHERINE AND TASKFORCE MEMBER CONNOR.

DID YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY? NO.

I JUST WANT TO SAY THANK YOU FOR DOING SO AS WELL.

OKAY.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

IS THERE ANYONE OPPOSED TO SUSPENDING ROBERT'S RULES OF ORDER FOR THE PURPOSES OF ITEM TO BE OUR LISTENING? ANYONE ABSTAINING? OKAY.

ALL IN FAVOR, PLEASE SAY AYE.

AND RAISE YOUR HAND AND UNMUTE WHEN, SAY AYE.

AYE.

AYE.

AYE.

OKAY.

SOUNDS LIKE WE'VE UNANIMOUSLY VOTED TO SUSPEND OUR USE OF ROBERT'S RULES OF ORDER FOR THE PURPOSES OF ITEMS TO BE NEW BUSINESS.

UM, I KNOW WE HAVE SOME INTERPRETERS PRESENT.

IS THERE ANY WAY YOU WOULD LIKE US TO NAVIGATE IN TERMS OF WHETHER OR NOT IT'S DISRUPTIVE FOR ANYONE TO HAVE THEIR CAMERAS ON WHEN THEY'RE NOT SPEAKING, ET CETERA? I'LL TAKE COMMENT FROM YOU NOW.

OKAY.

HEARING NONE, UH, TASKFORCE AND YES, YES, YES.

UM, I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE HAVING ASL INTERPRETERS HERE TONIGHT AS A PROFOUNDLY HARD OF HEARING PERSON.

UM, I THINK I MAY REQUEST THAT WE DO THIS FOR ALL OF OUR COMMISSION MEETINGS, UH, THAT ASIDE, UM, I FEEL LIKE EVERYTHING IS

[00:10:01]

WORKING WELL RIGHT NOW.

I WILL CHIME IN IF THERE'S AN ISSUE, IF THAT'S OKAY.

THANK YOU.

UM, RIGHT NOW I HAVE BOTH INTERPRETERS PINNED TO THE SCREEN.

OKAY.

AND THAT WAS MY PRIMARY CONCERN WITH ASL.

IS THAT, IS IT DISRUPTIVE TO HAVE OTHER CAMERAS ON WHEN, WHEN THEY'RE THEY ARE SIGNING, BUT PLEASE, UH, GIVE ME A NOD IF YOU THINK IT'S DISRUPTIVE AT ALL.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

OKAY.

SO ITEM TWO, B OUR LISTENING SESSION.

I FIRST WANT TO WELCOME COUNCIL MEMBER ELLIS THIS EVENING.

UM, I'D LIKE TO GIVE HER, UH, SOME TIME TO, TO SAY A FEW WORDS.

COUNCIL MEMBER ELLIS.

ARE YOU PRESENT? I AM.

CAN YOU HEAR ME OKAY? YES, WE CAN.

THAT YOU HAD BEFORE.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

I I'VE PREPARED A COUPLE OF NOTES FROM OUR EXPERIENCE IN DISTRICT DATE.

I KNOW THERE WERE, UM, A HANDFUL OF CONSTITUENTS WHO WANTED TO BE ABLE TO JOIN IN THESE SESSIONS AND WERE NOT ABLE.

AND SO I WANTED TO OFFER MY AND MY STAFF'S EXPERIENCE.

UM, AND HOPEFULLY YOU'LL BE ABLE TO HEAR MORE FROM DISTRICT EIGHT RESIDENTS DIRECTLY IN THE FUTURE.

UM, THANK YOU, CHAIR, VICE CHAIR AND TASK FORCE MEMBERS FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK TONIGHT.

I THANK YOU FOR VOLUNTEERING YOUR TIME TO EXAMINE WHAT HAPPENED DURING WHICH A STORM URI, AND TO ASSESS HOW WE CAN BECOME MORE RESILIENT AS A COMMUNITY IN THE FUTURE I'M CITY COUNCIL, WOMAN, PAIGE ELLIS, AND I REPRESENT DISTRICT EIGHT, SOUTHWEST AUSTIN.

I'D LIKE TO SHARE THE STORY OF WHAT WE EXPERIENCED AS A DISTRICT.

AS TEMPERATURES BEGAN TO DROP ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11TH AND THROUGH VALENTINE'S DAY THAT SUNDAY PEOPLE LOST POWER, BOTH DUE TO DOWNED POWER LINES AND SUPPOSEDLY ROLLING BLACKOUTS REQUIRED BY ARCHIVE.

THE BLACKOUTS BECAME ANYTHING BUT ROLLING AND AUSTIN ENERGY WAS UNABLE TO PREDICT WHEN POWER WOULD COME BACK ON TUESDAY, THE 16TH EVENTS STARTED TO DOMINO AT 9:00 AM.

THERE WAS A WATERLINE BREAK NEAR THE FELLOW NEAR THE WILDFLOWER CENTER THAT WAS GUSHING WATER FOR MORE THAN 24 HOURS BY 8:30 PM IN THE MERIDIAN NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR SH 45, SOUTHWEST AND HIGHWAY 1826 REPORTED WATER OUTAGES.

THAT ZIP CODE IS SEVEN EIGHT SEVEN THREE NINE, BECAUSE OF THE WAY OUR WATER SYSTEM IS BUILT.

MY DISTRICT WAS THE FIRST TO LOSE WATER AND THE LAST TO HAVE IT COME BACK ON.

MEANWHILE, OFTEN WATER WAS TWEETING ON TUESDAY EVENING THAT THERE WERE NO PLANS, WATER OUTAGES.

THERE WAS NO NEED TO BOIL WATER.

SUPPLY WAS NORMAL AND TREATMENT PLANTS WERE WORKING WELL.

THE NEXT MORNING, FEBRUARY 17TH, WE STARTED TO SEE MORE NEIGHBORHOODS GO OFFLINE AND AUSTIN WATER GAVE COUNCIL A HEADS UP THAT THEY'D BE ISSUING A BOIL WATER NOTICE FOR SOUTHWEST AUSTIN.

THEY ASSURED US THAT THEY DID NOT INTEND TO EXTEND THE BOIL WATER NOTICE CITYWIDE, BUT URGED WATER CONSERVATION ACROSS THE CITY.

AT THIS POINT, THE UTILITY SHARED WITH COUNCIL THAT THEY THOUGHT THE LOW PRESSURE IN WATER LOSS WAS DUE TO FROZEN PIPES.

RESIDENTS DRIPPING THEIR FAUCETS AND WATER MAIN BREAKS.

MY STAFF STARTED TO BECOME INCREASINGLY ALARMED AND URGE THE UTILITY TO COMMUNICATE CLEARLY WHAT WAS HAPPENING WITH THE SYSTEM LATER ON WEDNESDAY, COUNCIL LEARNS THAT THE ORIC WATER PLANT IN THE NORTHWEST PART OF MY DISTRICT HAD LOST POWER AND WAS OFFLINE.

NO ESTIMATE ON WHEN IT WOULD COME BACK, AUSTIN WATER THEN ISSUED A CITYWIDE, BOIL WATER NOTICE.

MEANWHILE, MY TEAM AND I STARTED TO REACH OUT TO VARIOUS IS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE CITY TO TRY TO PROCURE DRINKING WATER FOR OUR CONSTITUENTS.

ANTICIPATING SEVERAL DAYS WITHOUT WATER, THE ROADS WERE ICY AND PEOPLE COULD NOT MOVE AROUND.

BY THURSDAY MORNING, I HAD WORKED MY CONTACT AS 10 PALLETS OF WATER FROM A BAR OWNER IN TOWN.

I ALSO WORKED CLOSELY WITH CONSTABLE STACY SUITS AND REPRESENTATIVE DONNA HOWARD TO ACQUIRE MORE WATER FROM OTHER SOURCES.

MEANWHILE, MY TEAM WAS WORKING WITH THE CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE TO FIND OUT IF AND WHEN WATER DISTRIBUTION SITES WOULD BE UP AND RUNNING.

WE LEARNED THEY WERE WORKING WITH FEMA AND WATER WOULD ARRIVE ON FRIDAY WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT WATER WOULDN'T BE AVAILABLE FOR ANOTHER DAY OR TWO THROUGH THE CITY.

MY PARTNER AND I GOT IN OUR TRUCK AND TOOK BOTTLED WATER TO CIRCLE C MERIDIAN AND OTHER NEIGHBORS IN THE SOUTHERN MOST PARTS OF MY DISTRICT.

THE ROADS WERE TREACHEROUS, BUT FOLKS HAD NO ACCESS TO WATER AT ALL MY TEAM.

AND I USE TWITTER AND FACEBOOK TO TRACK OUTAGES ACROSS THE DISTRICT.

WE ENCOURAGED RESIDENTS TO LET US KNOW IF THEY HAD LOST POWER AND WHERE THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS WERE.

WE SPENT THE NEXT THREE DAYS DISTRIBUTING WATER TO NEIGHBORS AND APARTMENT COMPLEXES ACROSS THE DISTRICT.

APARTMENT COMPLEXES WERE HIT PARTICULARLY HARD.

WE LEARNED FROM WIDESPREAD BROKEN PIPES.

WE LEARNED OF WIDESPREAD BROKEN PIPES RESULTING IN TENANTS HAVING NO ACCESS TO WATER.

WE WORKED WITH PROPERTY MANAGERS TO DETERMINE THEIR NEEDS.

AND THEN WE DELIVERED WATER OURSELVES.

WE ALSO WORKED WITH THE AUSTIN FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION TO HAVE TRUCKS DELIVER WATER CUBES, TO COMPLEXES, OR TO PUT A TAP ON THE HYDRANTS NEARBY.

[00:15:01]

THE WEATHER STARTED TO WARM UP BY THE WEEKEND AND ROADS HAD THOUGHT, BUT WATER OUTAGES WERE STILL EXTREME.

MEANWHILE, THE CITY MANAGER'S OFFICE INFORMED US THAT THEIR PLANNED WATER DISTRIBUTION SITES WOULD NOT BE UP AND RUNNING UNTIL SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21ST, THEY HAD PLANNED SITES IN EACH COUNCIL DISTRICT.

AT THIS POINT, MOST OF MY DISTRICT HAD NO WATER FOR ALMOST A WEEK.

THE CITY'S DISTRIBUTION SITE IN DISTRICT DATE WAS AT ACC PINNACLE CAMPUS.

THEY FINALLY HAD A HUGE SUPPLY OF BOTTLED WATER AVAILABLE AND CARS WERE BACKED UP FOR WHAT SEEMS LIKE MILES TO PICK UP THEIR ALLOTTED ONE CASE PER CAR, MY TEAM, AND I CONTINUED TO DELIVER WATER TO NEIGHBORHOODS AND COMPLEXES.

WE SPENT SUNDAY, MONDAY AND TUESDAY GETTING WATER TO EFFECTED APARTMENT COMPLEXES, WE'D CONNECT PROPERTY MANAGERS TO THE FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION.

WHEN WE VISITED EACH COMPLEX, WE SAW EXTENSIVE WATER DAMAGE AND GUTTED OFFICES DUE TO BURST PIPES AND FLOODING PLUMBERS COULD NOT KEEP UP WITH THE OVERWHELMING NEED FOR REPAIRS.

THE BOIL WATER NOTICE WAS LIFTED ON FEBRUARY 23RD AND MOST NEIGHBORHOODS WERE BACK ONLINE, BUT MANY OF MY APARTMENTS WHILE THEIR CONSTITUENTS WERE STILL WITHOUT WATER AT ALL, THERE ARE STILL SOME APARTMENTS TO THIS DAY THAT DON'T HAVE RUNNING WATER BY WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH.

MY TEAM AND I HAD WORKED AROUND THE CLOCK AND WERE TOTALLY EXHAUSTED.

WE CONTINUED TO CONNECT THOSE IN NEED TO RESOURCES.

WE COULD AND URGED FOLKS TO CONTACT THREE, ONE, ONE AS THE CITY HAD ENHANCED THEIR RESPONSE SYSTEM FOR STORM RELATED ISSUES.

WE ALSO WORKED YET A SHOWER AND LAUNDRY STATION SET UP IN THE DISTRICT WHEN IT WAS ALL SAID AND DONE MY TEAM.

AND I HAD DELIVERED THOUSANDS OF CASES OF WATER TO OVER 20 APARTMENT COMPLEXES AND HOSTED POP-UP WATER DISTRIBUTION SITES IN OVER A DOZEN NEIGHBORHOODS IN SOUTHWEST AUSTIN.

I RESPECTFULLY ASK THAT THE TASK FORCE INCLUDE RECOMMENDATIONS SUCH AS CONTINGENCY PLANS FOR POTABLE AND NON-POTABLE WATER DISTRIBUTION AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS LANDING PAGE, INCLUDING INFORMATION ON HOW TO PREPARE IN CASE YOU ARE WITHOUT WATER OR POWER FOR DAYS, AVAILABILITY OF NECESSITIES LIKE DIAPERS AND FORMULA IN THE RESILIENCE HUBS YET TO BE IMPLEMENTED, IDENTIFY CHARGING STATIONS FOR PHONES AND COMPUTERS AND OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES.

SO THAT NEARBY RESIDENTS HAVE ACCESS TO THE INFORMATION THE CITY AND OTHERS ARE PUTTING OUT AND COORDINATION BETWEEN FLEET SERVICES AND TXDOT FOR ROAD CLEARING.

EVEN INTO THE EXTREMITIES OF THE CITY.

AS TECH STOCK WAS CLEARING MANY OF THE HIGHWAYS IN MY DISTRICT AND ALL ACROSS THE CITY.

THERE WERE SOME PORTIONS DOWN IN SOUTHWEST AUSTIN THAT NEVER GOT THE ROAD CLEAR AND WHERE I STAYED OVER FOR A VERY LONG TIME.

I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE YOUR WILLINGNESS TO HEAR FROM ME TONIGHT AND MORE FROM DISTRICT EIGHT RESIDENTS, AS YOU PREPARE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND FOR LETTING ME SPEAK TO YOU TODAY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, COUNCIL MEMBER ELLIS FOR YOUR COMMENTS.

WE VERY MUCH APPRECIATE IT.

THANK YOU FOR ATTENDING.

AND, UM, HOPEFULLY YOU CAN SIT IN ON FUTURE LISTENING SESSIONS AS WELL.

AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR, YOUR OFFER OF SOLUTIONS AS WELL AS PERSONAL STORIES AS TO WHAT WENT ON IN YOUR DISTRICT IN PARTICULAR.

THANK YOU.

THANKS CITY STAFF.

WOULD YOU PLEASE DISPLAY OUR AGENDA AGAIN? THANK YOU.

ITEM

[2. b. Listening Session – community members and organizational representatives provide testimony on their experiences during and in that aftermath of Winter Storm Uri.]

TWO, BEING NEW BUSINESS LISTENING SESSION, COMMUNITY MEMBERS AND ORGANIZATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES PROVIDE TESTIMONY ON THEIR EXPERIENCES DURING AN, IN THE AFTERMATH OF WINTER STORM FURRY SPONSORED BY MYSELF AND JEFFREY CLEMENS.

SO CITY STAFF WHO IS FIRST IN QUEUE TO SPEAK, UM, IF THE, IF ALL THE LISTENERS CAN HEAR ME NOW, UM, YOU'LL BE FREE TO SPEAK AS LONG AS I'M ABLE TO GIVE YOU, UM, WE'RE, WE'RE GOING TO START THERE.

SO NO ONE'S CURRENTLY LIMITED TO THREE OR FIVE MINUTES.

UM, AND IF YOU'RE COMFORTABLE, WE MAY HAVE QUESTIONS OR FEEDBACK FOR YOU.

OKAY.

SO CHAIR DAVIS, I WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW, WE HAVE FOUR SPEAKERS IN QUEUE AND THE FIRST SPEAKER IS AMY NOAH.

AMY.

NO, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US.

AND YOU HAVE THE FLOOR.

WE'RE READY TO HEAR YOUR COMMENTS.

PLEASE BEGIN.

GOOD AFTERNOON.

MY NAME IS AMY NOEL.

UM, AND I AM BOTH SPEAKING TO YOU AS A RESIDENT OF DISTRICT SEVEN, AS WELL AS THE CHAIR OF THE ECONOMIC PROSPERITY COMMISSION.

UM, I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR TAKING THIS TIME AND BEING BRAVE TO LISTEN.

THIS STORM CHALLENGED ALL OF US IN A LOT OF DIFFERENT WAYS.

AND IN THE PAST YEAR, PAST 18 MONTHS, I HAVE HAD THE VERY UNIQUE TITLE OF CHAIR OF THE ECONOMIC PROSPERITY COMMISSION DURING A PANDEMIC DURING EXTREME WEATHER, DURING SOCIAL UNREST.

AND THEN DURING A STORM THAT KILLED

[00:20:01]

MY NEIGHBORS THAT KILLED YOUR NEIGHBORS, THAT KILLED CHILDREN, A STORM THAT I AM NOW ON DAY 70 OF NOT HAVING DRINKABLE WATER OR COOKING WATER IN MY OWN HOME.

AND THAT IS A HARD BRAND TO MANAGE.

I'M GOING TO ASK YOU AS MY FELLOW COMMISSIONERS, THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE STEPPED UP JUST AS ORDINARY CITIZENS AND VOLUNTEERS, BUT WILLING TO DO THIS WORK, I AM GOING TO ASK YOU TO BE LOUD.

I AM ASKING YOU TO BE BRAVE.

YOU GUYS ARE ALREADY REBELS.

YOU TOSSED OUT ROBERT'S RULES, WHICH IS TECHNICALLY BECAUSE YOU AGREED TO IT WITHIN ROBERT'S RULES.

AND I'M GOING TO ASK YOU TO EXTEND YOURSELVES FURTHER, BECAUSE I FEEL AS AN INDIVIDUAL, I WAS MORE PREPARED FOR THIS STORM THAN JUST ABOUT ANYONE POSSIBLY COULD.

I GREW UP IN THE NORTHEAST, I MOVED TO AUSTIN FROM CHICAGO.

WE BROUGHT EVERYTHING.

SO I HAVE A FULL HOUSE OF WINTER GEAR.

WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE THAT MOST OF OUR NEIGHBORS DON'T WHY WOULD THEY? THE FIRST THING I NOTICED WAS THERE WERE NO CHILDREN OUTSIDE, EXCEPT FOR MY OWN, BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE THAT WINTER GEAR.

WHEN I SAY I WAS PREPARED BETTER THAN MOST, I HAVE A COUPLE OF KEY PARAMETERS THAT WORK IN MY FAVOR, DIGITAL LITERACY AND ACCESS 100% REMOTE WORK AND THE ABILITY TO BUY GROCERIES WITH AN INCIDENT.

AND I'LL EXPLAIN TO YOU WHY I CITE THOSE THREE THINGS SPECIFICALLY.

IF WE RECALL THE STORM CAME NOT TOO LONG AFTER THE SUPERBOWL, BECAUSE OF THE SUPER BOWL, I MADE IT A POINT TO STOCK UP BECAUSE THE STORM I WAS EXPECTING WAS MAYBE A SPIKE IN COVID INFECTION.

AND BECAUSE I HAVE DIGITAL ACCESS AND WE REMOTE WORKER, I WAS ABLE TO STOCK UP AND I WAS PLANNING TO RIDE OUT THAT STORE.

I WENT TO SAM'S CLUB IN OUR DISTRICT AND I DID A CAR PICKUP.

AND WHILE DRIVING ALONG ONE 83 SOUTHBOUND, I NOTICED THE ICE HAD JUST STARTED TO FORM ON THE TREES.

THE SKY HAD JUST TURNED AND I NOTICED EVERY UNDERPASS WAS STILL OCCUPIED.

EVERY TENT STILL UP.

WHEN WE LOOK AT THE PLANNING THAT WE'RE MAKING.

AND WHEN WE LOOK AT THE CONCERNS OF OUR CITY, WE KNOW WEATHER AND HOMELESSNESS ARE TWO OF THOSE TOP ISSUES.

AND AS THE WINTER TASKFORCE FOR YOU, THOSE THINGS ARE INTRINSICALLY TIED BECAUSE IN OTHER CITIES, WHEN THIS HAPPENED, THERE IS AN ACTIVE, INTENTIONAL AND ADVANCED PLAN TO CLEAR THE STREETS OF THE HOMELESS POPULATION FOR THEIR OWN PROTECTION.

AND IF WE DIDN'T DO THAT, THEN HOW DARE WE PASS A RESOLUTION TO DO IT.

NOW, I AM ALSO GOING TO ASK YOU TO RECOGNIZE THAT EVERY SINGLE DAY WE FACE A CITY WITH GREATER AND GREATER DISPARITY, THIS DORM HAS FINANCIALLY IMPACTED MY FAMILY BY MY BEST CALCULATIONS.

WE'RE AT ABOUT $8,000 IN AND THAT'S WITHOUT ANY PROPERTY DAMAGE THAT'S WITHOUT OUR MAKING THE EFFORTS, BECAUSE WE ARE RENTERS TO WINTERIZE THIS PROPERTY.

THAT'S WITHOUT US NEEDING TO COVER ANY MAJOR MEDICAL EXPENSES AND THAT'S US WITH FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT.

AND THAT IS NOT SOMETHING A LOT OF MY NEIGHBORS CAN SAY, BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW HOW DEVASTATING THIS PAST YEAR HAS BEEN FOR MANY PEOPLE'S INDIVIDUAL WORKING SITUATION.

THE THIRD AND FINAL THING I'M GOING TO ASK YOU TO BE BRAVE ABOUT IS AUSTIN IS VERY MUCH A CITY OF AFFLUENT.

AUSTIN ALSO HAS MANY PROPERTY VALUES THAT ARE VERY HIGH AND WITHIN YOUR PROGRAMMING AND YOUR RECOMMENDATION, PLEASE BALANCE THE VALUES OF THE PROPERTIES AND THE INCOME OF THEIR OWNERS.

OUR CITY HAS A ROBUST WINTERIZATION PROGRAM AND REPAIR THAT DOES NOT GO ABOVE A PROPERTY VALUE OF $330,000.

IF YOU BOUGHT A HOUSE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, 10 TO 12 YEARS AGO, THE LAST TIME WE HAD ONE OF THESE STORMS,

[00:25:02]

YOU MIGHT'VE PAID $170,000.

AND IF YOUR INCOME HAS NOT CHANGED, BUT YOU ARE NOW NOT ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THAT PROGRAM BECAUSE OF THAT PROPERTY VALUE, THAT IS NOT A FUNCTIONING PROGRAM.

AND FINALLY, I'M GOING TO CALL YOUR ATTENTION TO THE RESOLUTION, OUR COMMISSION PATH AT OUR FEBRUARY MEETING RESOLUTION TUESDAY, I'M SORRY, OUR MARCH MEETING RESOLUTION TWO ZERO TWO ONE OF THREE ONE SEVEN ZERO ZERO TWO B.

THIS WAS SPECIFIC TO THE STORM WITHIN OUR RESEARCH.

A COUPLE OF THE KEY THINGS THAT WE NOTED THAT YOU CAN DIRECTLY IMPACT, BUT THE WORD HOLD IN OUR EXTREME WEATHER PLANNING.

AS OF RIGHT NOW, THAT IS NOT A PART OF THE EXTREME WEATHER PLAN.

THE CITY HAS EARMARKED $67.8 MILLION IN 2021 TO ADDRESS THE CHALLENGES RELATED TO HOMELESSNESS, INCLUDING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RAPID REHOUSING EMERGENCY CENTER, SHELTERS, PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING, SOCIAL, PHYSICAL, AND BEHAVIORAL SERVICES, FOOD AND ACCESS.

PLEASE USE A SIMILAR FRAMEWORK AND REMEMBER THAT POPULATION AS WELL AS YOU MOVE FORWARD IN THAT STRUCTURE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME.

AND I JUST WANT TO LET YOU KNOW, I'M PROUD OF MYSELF FOR MAKING IT THROUGH THIS WITHOUT CRYING, BECAUSE I WAS TRAUMATIZED.

THEN I AM TRAUMATIZED NOW AND I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

THAT WAS AMY NOELLE CHAIR OF OUR ECONOMIC PROSPERITY COMMISSION.

UM, I ECHO YOUR SENTIMENTS WITH REGARD TO YOUR TRAUMA, UM, AND I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE, UH, YOUR REMARKS AND, AND WHAT YOU HAD TO OFFER US IN TERMS OF THE ORGANIZATION OF HOW WE CAN GO FORWARD, UM, AND SUBMIT OUR REPORT TO CITY COUNCIL.

THANK YOU, CITY STAFF, WHO IS NEXT, THE NEXT SPEAKER IS KIRK SHOOTER.

OKAY.

THANK YOU, KIRK.

YOU HAVE THE FLOOR, PLEASE BEGIN.

HI THERE.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

AND, UM, WOW.

I HAVE TO FOLLOW THAT.

UM, THAT WAS AMAZING.

UM, I'M HERE, UM, AS A CHAIR OF THE ASIAN AMERICAN QUALITY OF LIFE COMMISSION, AND I DID WANT TO SHARE SOME OF THE INFORMATION THAT, UM, THAT, UH, I, AND SOME OF OUR OTHER COMMISSIONERS HAVE GATHERED AND EXPERIENCED, UM, IN, IN WORKING WITH, UH, AND, AND COMMUNICATING WITH OUR COMMUNITY.

BUT, YOU KNOW, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO REPRESENT, UH, THIS DIVERSE COMMUNITY, UM, YOU KNOW, WITH JUST ONE VOICE.

UM, AND I DID WANT TO HONE IN ON KIND OF ONE SPECIFIC, UH, THEME THAT WE ENCOUNTERED, UH, THROUGH A LOT OF THIS AND, UM, FOCUSING IN ON THE LACK OF A TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION, UM, UH, AROUND, UH, THE CITY'S EMERGENCY, UH, COMMUNICATION.

AND, YOU KNOW, I THINK SOMETIMES WE AS COMMISSIONERS FEEL LIKE, OH, IT'S KIND OF A BROKEN RECORD.

WE'RE ALWAYS, UH, TALKING TO PEOPLE ABOUT, DO YOU HAVE TRANSLATED MATERIALS? DO YOU, ARE YOU PROVIDING INTERPRETERS? UM, ARE YOU COLLECTING DEMOGRAPHICS ON THE ASIAN COMMUNITY? WELL, UM, I FEEL LIKE AFTER THIS EXPERIENCE, UH, YOU KNOW, IT'S, IT'S KIND OF PROVING AGAIN HOW IMPORTANT, UH, THIS IS, ESPECIALLY FOR, UH, THESE MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES, UH, THAT HAVE MEMBERS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY.

AND, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT, UM, YOU KNOW, THERE HAS TO BE A LITTLE BIT OF UNDERSTANDING THAT THIS WAS, YOU KNOW, AN UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION, UH, THIS, UH, WEATHER STORM DURING A PANDEMIC.

WE HAD A LOT OF OUR CITY STAFF AT HOME WITHOUT POWER.

AND, UM, AND SO IT WAS LIKE CRAZY TRYING TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THESE PEOPLE WHO WERE IN THEIR HOMES, UM, AND LACKING ABILITY TO COMMUNICATE.

BUT I THINK IT DOES EMPHASIZE THE FACT THAT THERE ARE SOME PROACTIVE THINGS THAT THE CITY CAN AND SHOULD BE DOING AROUND EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS AND THAT THERE ARE, UM, MATERIALS THAT, THAT, UH, YOU KNOW, LIKE AROUND BOIL WATER NOTICES AROUND WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO ACCESS NINE ONE ONE WHEN YOU'RE, UM, A PERSON WITH LINGUAL LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY, UM, THAT THE CITY COULD HAVE AND SHOULD HAVE PREPARED IN ADVANCE.

UM, BUT LET ME TELL YOU WHAT HAPPENED.

UM,

[00:30:01]

THE COMMUNITY, THE ASIAN-AMERICAN COMMUNITY DID GET TOGETHER DID RECOGNIZE THAT, UH, THESE TYPES OF EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS THAT WERE BEING PRODUCED BY THE CITY NEEDED TO BE QUICKLY TRANSLATED, UH, WITH THE COORDINATION OF, UH, COUNCIL MEMBER KOSSAR'S OFFICE, A TEAM WAS PULLED TOGETHER AND THEY BEGAN TRANSLATING, UH, THE COMMUNICATIONS THAT WERE COMING OUT OF THE CITY INTO MULTIPLE ASIAN LANGUAGES.

UH, BUT, UH, YOU KNOW, UNFORTUNATELY WITH THE TIMING OF EVERYTHING, A LOT OF THESE WORK, YOU KNOW, IT TAKES TIME TO, UH, TO TRANSLATE THESE MATERIALS AND THEN PUT THEM ONLINE.

AND, YOU KNOW, THESE WERE SHOWING UP, I THINK BY THURSDAY OR FRIDAY OF THAT WEEK, YOU KNOW, WHEN, UH, THE WORST OF THE, THE INITIAL PART WAS KIND OF WINDING DOWN AND PEOPLE, AND SOME PEOPLE WERE GETTING POWER AND WATER BACK.

AND SO, UH, IN AN EFFORT TO, UH, KIND OF PUSH THE CITY TO PRODUCE THESE KINDS OF MATERIALS OF THE ASIAN AMERICAN QUALITY OF LIFE COMMISSION HAS, UM, PUT FORTH AS OUR BUDGET RECOMMENDS MONDAY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2022, UH, SOME ADDITIONAL FUNDING, UH, FIRST FOR THE, UH, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE AND THE AMOUNT OF A HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS, UH, AS A POOL OF FUNDS THAT CAN BE USED BY DIFFERENT CITY DEPARTMENTS.

AND THEN SECOND, UH, ANOTHER $100,000, ESPECIALLY FOR COMMUNICATION AROUND, UH, EMERGENCIES.

UM, WE DON'T WANT TO BE IN A SITUATION AGAIN WHERE, UH, THIS LACK THAT THIS LACK OF TRANSLATED MATERIALS, UH, TAKE FIVE, SIX DAYS TO GET OUT TO THE COMMUNITY.

UH, WE THINK THIS IS IMPORTANT AND, UH, WE THINK THAT THE, UH, TYPES OF MATERIALS SHOULD BE MADE AVAILABLE.

UM, AND, UH, THAT IS MY RECOMMENDATION, AND IT'S MY HOPE THAT, UH, THROUGH OUR RECOMMENDATION AND THE WORK OF THIS, UH, TASK FORCE THAT, UH, WE CAN GET, UH, THIS TYPE OF WORK DONE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THANK YOU, KIRK.

UM, I HAVE A QUESTION WHEN YOU TALKED ABOUT, UM, IN TERMS OF, UH, IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU WERE DESCRIBING, UH, A PLAN TO HAVE AN EMERGENCY DISPATCH IN PLACE IN THE EVENT.

THERE'S ANOTHER NATURAL CATASTROPHE OR, OR A CATASTROPHE, OTHERWISE, IS THAT, IS THAT WHAT YOU MEAN? NO.

UM, REALLY, UM, IT'S ABOUT HAVING, UH, SO, SO ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED WAS, UM, YOU KNOW, THE CITY WAS PUTTING OUT MATERIAL AROUND THE BOIL WATER, NOTICE ABOUT WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, UH, TO TURN YOUR, YOU KNOW, UH, GAS OFF OR WHATEVER, OR YOUR, YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE WITHOUT, UM, AND A LOT OF THIS STUFF WAS NOT TRANSLATED.

I THINK THAT THE BOIL WATER NOTICE WE SAW SPANISH VIETNAMESE AND ARABIC IS WHAT IS WHAT I SAW.

UM, BUT WE THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, THERE'S, THERE'S A LOT OF OCCASIONS WITH, UH, FLOODS AND EVERYTHING WHEN FULL WATER NOTICES COME INTO PLAY AND THAT THESE COULD BE DONE PROACTIVELY AND THEN JUST BE PULLED OUT AS THEY'RE NEEDED.

UM, AND SO, YOU KNOW, I'M NOT, I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT HAVING A, I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU WERE REFERRING TO, BUT MAYBE HAVING A TASK FORCE OR SOMETHING THAT CAN BE ACTIVATED, BUT NO, JUST BEING A PART OF THE REGULAR VERSION OF RESPONSE IN PROVIDING THESE MATERIALS TO THE COMMUNITY.

UH, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT, UM, WE TALKED WITH, UH, ONE OF OUR COMMUNITY NONPROFITS, ARCHIE, UH, YOU KNOW, THEY'RE OUT IN THE COMMUNITY, HELPING THESE, UH, LIMITED ENGLISH, PROFICIENT SPEAKERS, ACCESS HEALTH SERVICES.

UH, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THEY ENCOUNTERED IS THAT PEOPLE DON'T CALL NINE 11 BECAUSE THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO INTERACT WITH SCIENCE.

AND SO THESE TYPES OF GUIDES CAN BE PROVIDED ABOUT HOW TO, UH, HOW TO INTERACT, UH, WHEN REQUESTING EMERGENCY SERVICES, THAT WOULD BE VERY HELPFUL TO HAVE.

OKAY, THANK YOU.

YES.

YES.

COULD YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT WHAT KINDS OF MEDIA OR WHAT MODES OF COMMUNICATION ARE MOST EFFECTIVE WITH THE COMMUNITIES YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT? I KNOW THAT, UM, I MEAN, I THINK THAT PRINTED MATERIALS, WHETHER THAT'S ONLINE OR, YOU KNOW, PLACED IN, YOU KNOW, OUR COMMUNITY CENTER OR THE AARC THAT, THAT ANY AMERICAN RESOURCE CENTER, UH, BEING PROVIDED TO, UM, FOLKS LIKE ARCHIE THAT ARE OUT THERE IN THE COMMUNITY, UM, I THINK WOULD BE THE MOST HELPFUL, UM, YOU

[00:35:01]

KNOW, ONE THING IS THAT A LOT OF INFORMATION WAS BEING PASSED AROUND WINTER, BUT I'M NOT SURE THAT PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO WIFI OR, OR EVEN ABLE TO LIKE, CHARGE THEIR PHONE.

SO I, I'M NOT SURE HOW, HOW SOCIAL, HOW EFFECTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA WAS.

UM, I THINK IT WAS, YOU KNOW, GETTING THAT INFORMATION OUT THERE, UM, AND, YOU KNOW, EVEN PUTTING IT ON THE WEBSITE, I'M NOT SURE HOW EFFECTIVE THAT IS, THAT THAT'S WHY I THINK THAT THIS MATERIAL SHOULD BE PREPARED IN ADVANCE AND, AND OUT THERE IN THE COMMUNITY BEFORE A SITUATION LIKE THIS HAPPENS, WE CAN'T HEAR YOU, UH, TESTERS OVER HOUSTON.

SORRY.

UM, I SAID TELEVISION MIGHT BE ANOTHER OUTLET, BUT IF PEOPLE DON'T HAVE POWER, THAT'S NOT GOING TO BE TOO USEFUL EITHER.

I MEAN, THE SITUATION WAS UNIQUE IN THAT REALLY KIND OF ALL OF OUR BOATS COMMUNICATION THAT WE RELY ON.

WE'RE JUST ALL KIND OF TAKEN OUT AT ONCE.

YEAH.

THANK YOU.

AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR INFORMATION AND YOUR SUGGESTIONS.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME TODAY.

I APPRECIATE IT.

THANK YOU, KURT.

DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE QUESTIONS FOR KIRK BEFORE HE DROPS OFF? OKAY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

UM, WHO IS OUR NEXT SPEAKER CITY STAFF? ANA I GITA.

THANK YOU, MS. YOU HAVE THE FLOOR WHENEVER YOU WOULD LIKE TO BEGIN.

THANK YOU.

CAN YOU HEAR ME? YES, WE CAN HEAR YOU JUST FINE.

GREAT, AWESOME.

UM, GOOD AFTERNOON.

THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH YOU.

MY NAME IS ANN AND I'M A LONG-TERM RESIDENT OF DISTRICT TWO, AND OF COURSE I'M SPEAKING REGARDING THE WINTER STORM AND THE IMPACT IT HAD ON ME AND MY NEIGHBORS.

I ALSO TRULY HOPE YOUR WORK WILL RESULT IN AN OPERATIONAL AND ACTIONABLE OUTCOME, NOT JUST THE WORK OF ANOTHER CITY TASK FORCE, FULL STACK DOCUMENT GETS FILED AWAY AND FORGOTTEN.

UM, FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, THE EXPERIENCE THAT WE HAD, YOU KNOW, FIRST OF ALL, THE LACK OF THE URGENCY OF THE SITUATION, THE LACK OF NOTICE, NO ALERT WAS SENT OUT.

I REMEMBER JIM SPENCER STATING DURING HIS, IN THE WEATHER REPORT ON FRIDAY NIGHT THAT PEOPLE SHOULD GET READY FOR A BAD STORM.

THAT MEANT TO ME THAT THE CD SHOULD AFFECT BEING ENGAGED.

AT THAT POINT, WE DIDN'T GET ANY OF THAT PREPARATION AND THE PROPOSED ROTATION OUTAGES SOBER.

UM, WE WERE EXPECTING, WE QUICKLY REALIZED THAT THEY WERE NOT TRUE.

UH, AND THEN OF COURSE, DUE TO THE LOSS OF POWER, MANY OF US IN OUR AREA HAD TO CHARGE OUR CELL PHONES IN THE CARS, AND OF COURSE BEING US AND SOMETIMES BEING IN THE CAR, YOU KNOW, DURING THAT TIME WAS WARMER THAN BEING IN THE HOUSE.

BUT WE QUICKLY REALIZED DON'T TALK ON THE PHONE USE TEXTS.

SO WE HAD TO ESTABLISH, YOU KNOW, FIGURE OUT THOSE STRATEGIES, JUST SO THAT WE COULD STAY IN COMMUNICATION WITH EACH OTHER IN I'M GOING TO BE DATING MYSELF, BECAUSE WHEN I GIVE YOU THE OTHER OPTION THAT WE USE IS, UH, WE QUICKLY ESTABLISHED A TELEPHONE TREE NETWORK.

SO, UM, I WOULD CALL, I WOULD BE PRIMARILY THE FIRST PERSON THAT WOULD CALL PEOPLE.

THEN THEY WOULD, THEN THEY WOULD CHECK ON THEIR NEIGHBORS.

BUT WE DID THAT, YOU KNOW, EARLY IN THE MORNING JUST TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE MADE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT.

UM, AND, YOU KNOW, JUST TO CHECK IN ON EACH OTHER.

AND WE ALSO REALIZED THAT BECAUSE THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE COULD NOT GET TO US.

WE REALLY PANICKED WHEN ONE OF THE NEIGHBORS WHO WAS AN OLDER, UH, RESIDENT FAIL AND HIT HER HIT.

AND WE WERE IN PANIC MODE BECAUSE WE KNEW THAT WHEN SHE WAS IN TROUBLE, BUT SHE MADE IT OKAY.

UH, WHEN HE COMES TO MULTIMEDIA, WHEN PEOPLE ARE SAYING, USE FACEBOOK, USE TWITTER, YOU KNOW, FIRST OF ALL, YOU DON'T HAVE ANY INTERNET FORGET IT, THAT DOESN'T WORK.

UM, AND A LOT OF RESIDENTS THAT ONCE THAT I WAS COMMUNICATING WITH ALL THE HEAD WAS THE PLAIN CELL PHONE.

IT WAS NOT EVEN AN IPHONE.

SO LANGUAGE WAS A BARRIER AND, AND, UM, MULTIMEDIA MODE, UM, ACCESS, YOU KNOW, DON'T TAKE THAT FOR GRANTED.

A LOT OF PEOPLE STILL RELY ON SNAIL MAIL.

AND, UM, SO THERE'S GOTTA BE ANOTHER WAY TO GET AROUND TO THEM.

WE AS RESIDENTS, WE FIGURED OUT WHO WERE THE MOST VULNERABLE.

WE KNOW WHO'S GOT THE LANGUAGE BARRIERS WHO DOESN'T HAVE A MULTIMEDIA ACCESS AND THE ELDERLY, THOSE THAT ARE ADMITTED THAT HAVE MEDICAL NEEDS, THOSE THAT NEEDED SERVICES FOR MEALS ON WHEELS.

SO WE FIGURED OUT HOW TO HELP EACH OTHER STAY, YOU KNOW, STAY IN TOUCH WITH EACH OTHER.

THE OTHER THING WE ALSO HAD TO QUICKLY REALIZE IS WHICH ONE OF US HAD WOKE WE'LL GRAB VEHICLES SO THAT THEY COULD GET SOMEBODY TO, UM, A SAFER LOCATION OR IN ONE OF OUR NEIGHBORS, YOU KNOW, GET LIKE A GROCERY RUN FOR US.

SO THAT MEANS THOSE THAT NEEDED WATER.

HE COULD GET SOME FOR US.

UM,

[00:40:01]

WE WERE FORTUNATE IN THE SENSE THAT BECAUSE OF COVID-19, ONE OF OUR NEIGHBORS HAD SET UP A, WHAT WE CALL THE COMMUNITY FRIDGE KIND OF LIKE A LITTLE REFRIGERATOR WITH A PANTRY THAT SHE HAD STARTED STOCKING UP WITH, UH, FOOD.

UM, AND SHE HAD DONE THIS LIKE MAYBE A COUPLE OF MONTHS PRIOR, SO QUICKLY, THE FOOD RAN OUT AND WE WERE SCRAMBLING TO KEEP THAT STOCKED UP SO THAT PEOPLE WOULD HAVE FOOD AND WATER.

ONCE THEY RAN OUT OF FOOD AND WATER DURING THE STORM AND THE BOIL WATER NOTICE, I WISH PEOPLE KNEW IN OUR AREA, SOME OF US, MOST OF US HAVE NATURAL GAS WHERE WE COULD BOIL WATER.

FOR THOSE, I KNEW THAT WERE RELYING, HAD ONLY ELECTRICITY.

THEY WERE TOTALLY OUT OF LUCK.

SO IT WOULD BE HELPFUL IF MAYBE THE CITY TRACK THE GRID OF THE PEOPLE THAT DON'T HAVE, YOU KNOW, ACCESS TO GUESTS TO BOIL WATER SO THAT THEN THEY WOULD KNOW TO PRIORITIZE THOSE AREAS FOR THE PURPOSE OF WATER.

UM, SITTING AT THE SHELTER, THE SHELTER THAT WAS SET UP WITH MENDEZ MIDDLE SCHOOL, IT WAS DISORGANIZED AND THE IT CALLS FOR GREAT IMPROVEMENT.

I HOPE Y'ALL WILL LOOK AT HOW THOSE EMERGENCY SHELTERS ARE SET UP.

HOW THERE, YOU KNOW, WHO'S IN CHARGE, YOU KNOW, WHO MAKES THE CALL AND SO FORTH.

A LOT OF KUDOS TO, UM, HER CONSTABLE GEORGE MORALES, WHO, YOU KNOW, TO REALLY HELP US WITH THAT.

UM, SO WE NEEDED HELP.

AND THE OTHER CONCERN IS PEOPLE WERE NOT GOING TO THOSE SHELTERS BECAUSE THEY WERE AFRAID THAT THEY WOULD GET EXPOSED TO THE VIRUS.

THOSE THAT DID, SOME OF THEM DID GET EXPOSED TO THE VIRUS.

SO I KNOW THERE WERE REPERCUSSIONS BECAUSE OF THAT MANY OF US, BECAUSE IN OUR AREA WE HAVE, UM, FLASH FLOODING.

SOME OF US DO HAVE EMERGENCY KITS, NEVER THOUGHT TO HAVE A WINTERIZED VERSION OF AN EMERGENCY KIT.

SO IF THIS IS WHAT'S GOING TO CONTINUE TO HAPPEN, THEN WE NEED TO UPDATE THOSE KIDS AND GET THEM TO, TO THOSE RESIDENTS IF WE NEED THEM, THE THINGS THAT I NEED.

UM, I NOW HOPE Y'ALL WILL ACKNOWLEDGE IN, IN THIS SITS UP FOUNDATION IS THE TASK FORCE NEEDS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THERE WAS LOSS OF LIFE.

THE TASKFORCE ALSO NEEDS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THERE WAS AN ECONOMIC IMPACT BECAUSE OF THE FAILURE OF THE, YOU KNOW, OF THIS MEAT BECAUSE OF THIS, THIS STORM, UM, FOR BOTH RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES AND FOR US, WHAT WAS IT? WASN'T ONLY SAD, BUT IT WAS MOSTLY INFURIATING BECAUSE THIS WAS PREVENTABLE.

THERE'S, YOU KNOW, THERE'S BEEN A CALL PRIOR RESOLUTIONS, YOU KNOW, A CALL FOR HAVING RESILIENCY, HUBS ESTABLISHED, AND THAT HAS SAT SOMEWHERE AND NO ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN.

SO THAT'S WHY I'M HOPING THAT THIS TIME SOMEBODY WILL ACTUALLY LISTEN AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

UM, ALSO, YOU KNOW, THERE'S, YOU KNOW, I USED TO, I WAS, UH, I'VE SERVED ON THE FLOOD MITIGATION TASK FORCE.

SOME HOPING SOME LESSONS ARE LEARNED FROM THAT.

UM, THE QUESTION THAT I HAD, AND THIS IS WHERE I WAS REALLY FURIOUS IS WHERE WAS THE EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER, WHO WAS IN CHARGE, WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AT THE COMMAND STATION WHEN SOMETHING LIKE THIS IS HAPPENING, WHO'S REPRESENTING THOSE, YOU KNOW, THAT ARE IN CHARGE OF THE CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SCENE, ESPECIALLY WATER, ELECTRICITY, GUESTS, PUBLIC SAFETY, YOU KNOW, UM, I HOPE THAT THERE'S A NAZI ACCOMPANY AND I'M HOPING THAT'S PART OF YOUR CHARGE THAT THERE'S GOING TO BE AN AUTOPSY OF WHAT HAPPENED, WHAT WENT WRONG, WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO? AND WHERE WERE THE FAILURES WHO WAS ACCOUNTABLE, WHO NEEDS TO BE TRAINED IF THERE, EVEN THAT NEEDS TO BE HAPPENING IN WHERE IS THE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT WE, BECAUSE OF FLOODING ISSUES, WE'VE LEARNED TO HELP EACH OTHER AND QUICKLY KICK IN, BUT THIS WAS A TOTALLY NEW, UM, EXPERIENCE THAT WE STILL WOULDN'T DID NOT HAVE.

UM, WE'RE NOT PREPARED FOR.

UM, THERE'S ONLY SO MUCH THAT THE PUBLIC SECTOR CAN DO.

THIS WOULD BE A CUP TO IDENTIFY WHO IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR CAN HELP US.

SO YOU'VE GOT THE CITY BUILDINGS, YOU KNOW, THE REC CENTERS, YOU KNOW, THOSE COMMUNITY BUILDINGS.

I MEAN, THERE'S SCHOOLS THAT COUNTY IN, UM, YOU KNOW, FIND OUT WHERE THOSE RELATIONSHIPS NEED TO BE BUILT WITH THOSE AGENCIES IN COLLABORATE AND WHERE THERE'S GAPS IDENTIFY, PULLING THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

THAT'S WHERE, WHO FROM THE GROCERY STORES CAN BE HAPPY.

AND RESTAURANTS, THERE WAS A GURU THAT CAME TO OUR RESCUE AND PROVIDED FOOD AND ALSO, UM, PORTABLE WATER.

AND THAT WAS SO APPRECIATIVE.

UM, THE OTHER THING THAT I WOULD STRONGLY RECOMMEND IS, YOU KNOW, UM, EDUCATING THE COMMUNITY, UH, SIMILAR TO WHAT THE PREVIOUS SPEAKER WAS TALKING TO, UM, YOU KNOW, HAVE THOSE, YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY GETS A UTILITY BILL.

UH, MAYBE SOME OF THAT INFORMATION IN A MULTI-LINGUAL MODE CAN BE DISTRIBUTED TO THE, YOU KNOW, THE COMMUNITY SO THAT THEY CAN GIVE SOME INFORMATION THAT COULD BE ONE MEANS OF

[00:45:01]

RELATING GETTING, GETTING THAT INFORMATION OUT.

THE OTHER THING IS WHENEVER THIS, UM, YOU KNOW, THE EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER, THEY SHOULD BE CONDUCTING DRILLS AND THEY NEED TO TAKE CORRECTIVE ACTIONS FROM THE LESSONS LEARNED FROM THOSE DRILLS.

SO FOR EXAMPLE, THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, THEY WORK ON EMERGENCY WATER, RESCUES, SIMILAR STRATEGY, YOU KNOW, SOMETHING LIKE THIS, THE EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER SHOULD DETERMINE WHERE THOSE DRILLS NEED TO BE DONE.

UM, IN, FROM OUR COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE, WE LEARNED TO SET UP A MINI NEIGHBORHOOD, GRILL, AGREE ON THEM FOR A NEIGHBORHOOD GRID.

AND, UM, FROM THAT PERSPECTIVE, MAYBE THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE CAN LOOK AT DOING CITYWIDE RESIDENTS, THEY KNOW THEIR NEIGHBORS AND THEY CAN, IF THEY DIDN'T, THEY DO NOW, UM, AND MAYBE UTILIZE THAT.

SO, UM, OUR THERE'S A GROUP OF US IN DEPTH, SPRINGFIELD, COMMUNITY LEADERS THAT WE, BECAUSE OF THIS LESSON LEARNED WHERE WE'VE NOW AGREED TO START MEETING ON A MONTHLY BASIS AND TALKING ABOUT WHAT WE CAN AFFORD RESOURCES WE HAVE AND HOW WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER TO MINIMIZE, YOU KNOW, THE, THE CA CATASTROPHE OF SUCH A DISASTER.

SO I WOULD ENCOURAGE YOU ALL TO DO THAT.

UM, I ALSO REALLY APPRECIATE IT, THE CITY, UM, MANY OF US LOST FOOD BECAUSE OF THE REFRIGERATORS, YOU KNOW, NOT GOING, NOT HAVING ELECTRICITY.

WE HAD LOTS OF GOOD.

SO I APPRECIATED THE CITY, UM, PREPARING FOR THE ADDITIONAL TRASH PICKUP SO THAT THEY NEEDED TO DO.

AND I REALLY ALSO APPRECIATE, UM, THE ELECTED OFFICIALS AND CITY STAFF THAT REALLY STEPPED UP IN SPITE OF THEIR OWN PERSONAL CRISIS DURING THE WINTER STORM.

SO THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT THEY HAD, THEY WERE GOING THROUGH THEIR OWN EMERGENCY CRISIS, BUT THEY STILL WERE WITH US, UM, ESPECIALLY FOR US WATERSHED PROTECTION DEPARTMENT.

UM, I APPRECIATE THE POLICE, FIRE AND EMS, AND THEY WERE OUT THERE REGARDLESS.

AND THOSE ARE, IF THOSE INDIVIDUALS ARE TRUE PUBLIC SERVANTS.

AND I THANK YOU ALSO FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COMMUNITY IN THIS NEW ROLE.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU, MR. .

I HOPE HE CAN STAY FOR ANY QUESTIONS OR, OR JUST COMMENT, UH, BASED ON WHAT YOU HAD TO SHARE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR STORY, BOTH PERSONAL AND JUST GIVING US SOME AMAZING AND GREAT IDEAS, UH, TO TRY TO HAVE THE CITY IMPLEMENT IN THE FUTURE EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN.

ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS FROM MAKE SURE YOU'RE NOT ON MUTE IF YOU'RE TRYING TO SPEAK YES.

TASKFORCE MEMBER CLEMENS, PLEASE.

YES.

AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR, UM, TESTIMONY TONIGHT.

UM, I THINK THAT IT WAS VERY HELPFUL, UM, AND HIGHLIGHTING SOME OF HOW THE COMMUNITY CAME TOGETHER TO WORK ON THESE ISSUES.

UM, I WAS JUST CURIOUS ABOUT THAT, UM, DISORGANIZATION AT THE SHELTER, UM, WHAT SHELTER, UM, WHERE DID YOU GO TO, TO GET HELP AND WHAT WILL, WHAT WERE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT YOU SAW? NOPE, I D I PERSONALLY DID NOT GO TO THE SHELTER ONLY BECAUSE OF MY FEAR OF GETTING EXPOSED TO COVID.

SO I JUST STAYED COLD IN MY HOME.

UM, THE, OF THOSE THAT DID GO, UM, I, THERE WAS SOME MISCOMMUNICATION.

I BELIEVE PEOPLE SHOWED UP THINKING THAT THEY COULD STAY OVERNIGHT AND THAT WAS NOT THE CASE.

SO THEN THEY HAD RETURNED BACK HOME, WHICH MADE IT DANGEROUS BECAUSE THEN THEY HAD TO GET BACK ON THE STREETS, WHICH WERE NOT DRIVABLE.

UM, THE OTHER THING IS, YOU KNOW, THINGS THAT I'VE HEARD IS, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE THAT WERE DROPPED OFF, THEY HAD NO, THERE WAS NO GUIDANCE AS TO WHERE IN THE SHELTER THEY COULD GO.

YOU KNOW, SO BECAUSE OF COVID, YOU KNOW, DO YOU CREATE A BUBBLE FOR EACH PERSON OR HOW, SO PEOPLE JUST KIND OF LIKE HUDDLED TOGETHER AS MUCH AS SPECIFIC THEY COULD.

UM, THEN THERE WAS THE, YOU KNOW, I DON'T KNOW WHERE THE HOMELESS POPULATION, BUT, YOU KNOW, FOR THOSE RESIDENTS, YOU KNOW, THOSE INDIVIDUALS WERE PUT, UH, COMPARED TO OTHERS.

THE OTHER THING THAT I DID, UH, I LEARNED BECAUSE I HAVE MY PRIOR WORK IS I ASKED THE QUESTION IF ANYBODY HAS A SERIOUS, UM, CRIMINAL HISTORY.

AND SO FOR EXAMPLE, SOMEBODY WITH A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HISTORY, THAT'S THE INDIAN HISTORY.

THOSE, THOSE INDIVIDUALS IN THIS TYPE OF EMERGENCY SHOULD NOT BE GOING TO A SHELTER.

THEY SHOULD BE GOING SOMEWHERE WHERE THEY ARE.

THERE'S NO POTENTIAL FOR THEM TO COME INTO CONTACT WITH THEIR VICTIMS OR PUT THE COMMUNITY, UM, YOU KNOW, SAFETY AT RISK.

SO, UM, THAT'S ONE THING.

UM, THE OTHER THING IS HOW WERE THEY GETTING FOOD, IF YOU KNOW, UM, HOW WERE THEY GETTING WATER? THOSE ARE, THOSE ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT I HEARD OF PEOPLE THAT WERE BRINGING THEIR OWN FOOD TO THE SHELTER THAT WERE VOLUNTEER, SEPARATE BRINGING SOME OF THEIR OWN FOOD, BECAUSE THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH FOOD FOR THOSE THAT WERE SHOWING UP AT THE SHELTER.

SO I CAN DEFINITELY PUT YOU INTO CONTACT WITH, UM, SOME PEOPLE THAT HAD FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE THAT THEY DID, UM, GO.

AND,

[00:50:01]

UM, UH, AND I WILL ACTUALLY LET THEM KNOW THAT I BELIEVE YOU'RE GOING TO BE HAVING FEATURE MEETINGS.

I WILL SPECIFICALLY REACH OUT TO ONE INDIVIDUAL AND ASK HER TO SIGN UP AND SPEAK BEFORE YOU, THANK YOU SO MUCH, ANNA.

UM, AND THEN ALONG THOSE SAME LINES, I REALLY WOULD APPRECIATE IT.

YOU, UM, UH, REACH OUT TO, I SUPPOSE, PATRICIA, UM, TO HELP US CONNECT.

UM, I AM ALSO CURIOUS ABOUT THAT MINI ENERGY THAT YOU SAID THAT YOU ALL ESTABLISHED, UM, REALLY INTERESTING AND SOMETHING LIKE, UH, WE SHOULD LOOK INTO IT.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

GET THAT WORK FOR US.

UM, YEAH, WE KNOW W W WE WERE, WE WERE A NEIGHBORHOOD THAT HAS PARTICIPATED IN THE NATIONAL NIGHT OUT, SO WE KNEW, UM, SO THAT'S THE SAME CONCEPT THAT WE USED BASICALLY.

GOTCHA.

ALL RIGHT.

WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH, ANNA.

CERTAINLY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

ARE THERE OTHER COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS FROM MISS ? YEAH.

TASK FORCE MEMBER, UH, MANUAL HUMANITAS MR. GARY, UH, YOU MENTIONED, OF COURSE OF YOUR DISTRICT WOULD DO A MULTIPLE FLOODS.

UH, I WORKED FOR THE CONSTABLE'S OFFICE AND RESPONDED TO THOSE FLOODS.

AND YOU MENTIONED, UH, THE CONSTABLE'S OFFICE WAS THERE AGAIN, I THINK WE HEARD FROM, UH, A COUNCIL MEMBER, UH, THE CONSTABLE FOR THEIR DISTRICT WAS HEAVILY INVOLVED.

CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF THE INFORMATION THAT THE CONSTABLE'S OFFICE ASSISTANT WITH? UH, IT SOUNDS LIKE, YOU KNOW, CONSTABLES OFFICES ARE VERY ACTIVE IN THE DISTRICTS.

THEY HELP OUT EVEN WITHIN THE CITY.

YES.

WELL, OUR COUNCIL AND GEORGE MORALES, HE'S VERY FAMILIAR WITH MANY COMMUNITY LEADERS.

UM, AND HE'S DONE THIS BEFORE.

SO, UM, SITTING UP THAT EMERGENCY SHELTER AT THE REC CENTER, OR EVEN AT THE SCHOOL, HE'S HAD THAT PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE.

SO BRINGING THAT EXPERIENCE, UM, YOU KNOW, KNOWING WHO THOSE INDIVIDUALS ARE HELPS.

UH, SO, UM, WE JUST, YOU KNOW, FOR ME, ONCE I HEARD THAT THE PROBLEM I HEARD ABOUT THE PROBLEM, BUT THEN WHEN I FOUND OUT THAT GEORGE WAS INVOLVED FROM ME, THEN I KNEW ALL I NEEDED TO DO WAS STEP BACK BECAUSE I KNEW HE WAS TAKING OVER AND NEEDED ME TO DO WELL.

HE KNEW WHAT TO DO.

UM, SO THAT'S THE BEST THAT I CAN DO.

UM, I CAN, AGAIN, PROBABLY ASK THOSE THAT WERE THERE TO GIVE Y'ALL SOME OF WHAT, WHAT, MORE OF WHAT HE DID.

UM, YOU KNOW, IN REGARDS TO FIGURING OUT THE SAFETY PIECE, YOU KNOW, FOUR PEOPLE COULD, YOU KNOW, SITUATE THEMSELVES.

THE CRITICAL THING THAT NEEDED TO HAPPEN WAS HAND COMMUNICATING WITH THE SCHOOL OFFICIALS TO MAKE SURE HE, YOU KNOW, AS FAR AS ACCESS TO THE BUILDING, THAT WAS ANOTHER FACTOR THAT NEEDED TO BE, UM, FIGURED OUT, BUT HE KNEW ALL OF THAT.

SO I'M SORRY, I'M KIND OF LIMITED ON WHAT MY, YOU KNOW, FIRSTHAND EXPERIENCE.

I DIDN'T HAVE ANY, BUT, UM, I JUST HEARD, YOU KNOW, WHAT HE DID, AND ALSO WE WERE JUST VERY, VERY APPRECIATIVE OF WHAT HE DID FOR US.

THANK YOU, MR. GARY, CERTAINLY ANY OTHER COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS AT THIS TIME I'D LIKE TO, UM, RECOGNIZE THAT, NOT REALIZE AT FIRST THAT, UH, THE DIRECTOR OF OUR CITY'S EQUITY OFFICE, BRIAN GNOSIS HERE.

BRIAN, WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY A FEW WORDS OR DO YOU HAVE ANY COMMENT BASED ON WHAT YOU'VE HEARD SO FAR? YOU MENTIONED A DAY, THIS THANK YOU.

UM, NO WORDS, BUT THIS REALLY WANTED TO THANK ALL OF, UH, OUR COMMUNITY MEMBERS FOR COMING OUT TONIGHT AND TELLING THEIR STORIES AND, UM, RELIVING WHAT WAS REALLY A TRAUMATIC TIME FOR MANY OF US.

AND THEN ALSO FOR US TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE STILL HAVE OFF THE NIGHT, UH, WHO WAS STILL STRUGGLING FROM THE AFTERMATH OF THIS DAWN AS WELL.

AND I APPRECIATE YOU ALL AS COMMISSIONERS FOR REALLY TAKING THE LEAD, UM, TO REALLY DO THESE LISTENING SESSIONS AND REALLY HEAR FROM THE COMMUNITY.

I THINK THAT THE INPUT THAT WE ARE HEARING, UH, SHOULD BE REALLY VALUABLE, AND I HOPE THAT IT'S WELL RECEIVED FROM OUR EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER.

UH, BECAUSE AS I THINK ABOUT THIS, I JUST CONSTANTLY KEEP THINKING THAT, UM, I DON'T WANT TO EVER HAVE A PEER AGAIN, IN THIS SITUATION AND, UH, EVERYTHING THAT WE CAN DO IN THE INTERIM THAT IN THE EVENT THAT SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPENS AGAIN, WE'RE JUST NOT HERE IN THIS PLACE AT THIS TIME.

AGAIN, I THINK IS, IS REALLY WHAT THE WORK IS AHEAD, BUT JUST WANTED TO SAY THANK YOU ALL, UH, FOR THE NIGHT.

AND WE'RE DEFINITELY LISTENING AND TAKING THIS FEEDBACK UNTIL ALL THE DIFFERENT WORK GROUPS THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE A PART OF IS WE REALLY TRY TO REVAMP AND HOW WE RESPOND TO THIS AND PLAN BETTER AS A CITY.

SO THANK YOU GUYS.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

OKAY.

I BELIEVE WE'RE READY TO MOVE ON TO, UH, THE LAST TURN.

YES.

COOL.

I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE THERE THERE'S ONE MORE SPEAKER.

I THINK YOU WERE GETTING

[00:55:01]

INTO THAT THOUGH.

YES.

OKAY.

SO WE, WE ARE READY FOR OUR, OUR LAST SPEAKER, UM, WHO IS OUR LAST SPEAKER? JEFFREY.

OKAY.

MR. MESSER, YOU HAVE THE FLOOR, PLEASE BEGIN.

THANK YOU.

CAN Y'ALL HEAR ME? YES.

SO MY NAME IS JEFF.

UH, I LIVE IN PFLUGERVILLE, UH, TONIGHT I'M SPEAKING AS AN INDIVIDUAL, BUT DURING THE CRISIS, I WAS ON THE LEADERSHIP TEAM OF A GROUP CALLED AUSTIN NEEDS WATER.

UM, IF I GO OVER TIME, IT'S TOO LONG TONIGHT.

I HOPE THE COMMITTEE WILL ALLOW ME TO CONTINUE BECAUSE WHAT I HAVE TO SAY, MAYBE THE SINGLE MOST CRITICAL THING THAT Y'ALL NEED TO HEAR, UM, AFTER ALL TODAY'S WATER ACTUALLY DID THE JOB, UM, OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE.

AND WE DID IT WELL ALSO MEETS WATER WAS STARTED BY PEOPLE WORKING IN THE OFFICE TO FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION AND THE UNION OF PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZERS.

THEY STARTED A TEMPORARY WARMING SHELTER AT CAMERON ROAD IN ONE AT 83.

THESE CARRYING PEOPLE USE THEIR PERSONAL VEHICLES TO SHUTTLE OUR HOUSELESS, HUMAN FRIENDS, OVER ICY ROADS TO THE SHELTER.

AS WITH MOST OF THE VOLUNTEERS, I'M GOING TO TELL YOU ABOUT THEY DIDN'T SLEEP MUCH OR AT ALL, I THINK IT WAS A THURSDAY OR FRIDAY WHEN THE ROADS THOUGHTS ENOUGH OR FOR TRAVEL THAT MANY OF US JOINED THE UPO AND THE AFA AND THEIR EFFORTS, WHICH BY THAT TIME HAD PIVOTED IN A MAJOR WAY TO PROVIDING DRINKING WATER TO THIRSTY AUSTINITES.

AUSTIN NEEDS WATER TURNED INTO AN ORGANIZATION THAT WAS CAPABLE OF DISTRIBUTED 10,000 BOTTLES OF WATER A DAY.

AND OVER THE ENTIRE CRISIS, LITERALLY DISTRIBUTED HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DRINKING GALLONS OF DRINKING WATER VIA 275 GALLON TOTES CARRIED ON THE BACK OF VOLUNTEERS, PICKUP TRUCKS.

WE EVENTUALLY TOOK OVER THE ENTIRE BOTTLE WATER DISTRIBUTION FOR THE CITY OF AUSTIN NATIONAL LEVEL.

NON-PROFITS CONTACTED US TO SAY THEY HAD NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE WHAT WE HAD DONE.

THERE WERE THREE KEYS TO OUR ACCESS SUCCESS.

THE FIRST ONE WAS VOLUNTEERS.

THE SECOND WAS DRINKABLE WATER GIVEN TO US BY LOCAL BREWERIES AND EVENTUALLY TAP OUR WATER FROM FIRE HYDRANTS AND THIRD, OUR OWN PERSONAL WALLETS.

SO OUR VOLUNTEERS JUST, WHO ARE THESE VOLUNTEERS WHERE THEY, THE RED CROSS OR EXPERIENCED DISASTER WORKERS? NO, THERE WERE MUCH MALIGNED.

SO-CALLED LEFT THIS UNIT UNIONIST PEOPLE WHO ARE STATE LEVEL POLITICIANS WOULD HAVE YOU BELIEVE ARE RIDING IN ARCHIVIST.

THEY WERE SCIENTISTS, GARDENERS, RETIRED MILLIONAIRES, AND THE VERY POOR ONE HARD WORKING MAN, I SAW SHOW UP EVERY DAY AT THE LONG CENTER WAS SLEEPING IN HIS CAR BECAUSE HE COULDN'T AFFORD A HOTEL ROOM.

I CAN'T POSSIBLY LIST ALL THE PEOPLE WHO HELPED US NOR TELL THEIR STORIES.

AND IN FACT, THERE ARE SO MANY, I'M TALKING ABOUT A COUPLE OF GROUPS HERE, BUT THERE ARE SO MANY MORE THAT WERE OUT THERE.

AND PLEASE UNDERSTAND.

UM, WHEN I TALK, I'M SPEAKING FROM MY PERSPECTIVE AND WHAT I SAW, WE WEREN'T SKILLED IN EMERGENCY MANUAL MANAGEMENT IN DISASTER RECOVERY.

UM, IN ANYTHING LIKE THAT, THE ONLY REAL QUALIFICATIONS THAT WE HAD WERE WE HAD TIME AND WE CARED.

SO DRINKABLE WATER, THE LOCAL BREWERY SCENE LITERALLY SAVED LIVES.

THEY OPENED UP THEIR SHOPS AND STOP PRODUCTION DIVERTING THE BOILED SANITIZE WATER TO FILL OUR 275 GALLON TOTES.

AUSTIN NEEDS WATER VOLUNTEER PICKUP DRIVERS WOULD GRAB AN EMPTY TOTE FROM US.

DRIVE TO A BREWERY, BUILD THE 275 GALLON TOTES FIVE GALLONS AT A TIME WITH BUCKETS, THEN GO SIT AT A LOCATION, WAITING FOR THIRSTY AUSTINITES I SAY AUSTINITES, BUT I ALSO REMEMBER US HELPING PEOPLE IN GEORGETOWN ROUND ROCK WALKERVILLE AND ELGON EVENTUALLY PARTS OF THE CITY'S WATER SUPPLY BECAME DRINKABLE.

AT WHICH POINT WE FILLED THE TOTES FROM FIRE HYDRANTS.

THE THIRD KEY TO OUR SUCCESS WAS OUR OWN PERSONAL WALLETS.

AND YES, YOU HEARD THAT, RIGHT? WE DID ALL OF THIS WITHOUT A DIME FROM THE CITY OF AUSTIN, STATE OF TEXAS OR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

SEVERAL OF US EMPTIED OUT OUR CHECKING ACCOUNTS, THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.

AND, UM, I DID THE FINANCES FOR A WHILE AND I WOULD, I WOULD EASILY SAY $10,000 SPENT BY OUR VOLUNTEERS BEFORE WE ABLE TO GIVE MONEY BACK TO ANY OF THEM.

THE VENDOR OF THE IBC CONTAINERS SOLD 30 OF THEM TO US ON CREDIT BUSINESSES HELPED KNOWING THAT WE DIDN'T IMMEDIATELY HAVE THE FUNDS ON HAND.

NONE OF US SAVED UP FOR THIS.

NONE OF THIS, NONE OF US HAD THE FORESIGHT.

NONE OF US HAD A COMMISSION TO STUDY UP BEFOREHAND, CERTAINLY NOT THE CITY, BUT REMEMBER THE MALIGNED EVIL ARNETT.

AND ARCUS A GROUP OF ANARCHIST NAMED AUSTIN MUTUAL AID SOCIETY ALSO KNOWN AS AMA.

[01:00:01]

AND IT'S A TERM WHOSE ROOTS ARE, AND MARK'S COMMUNISM GAVE US A $20,000 GRANT, $20,000.

ANOTHER LOCAL GROUP PLEDGED $5,000.

WHAT, WHAT, WHAT, WHAT WAS MISSING FROM THE CITY'S RESPONSE? UM, AND, AND WHAT DO WE REALLY NEED TO PLAN FOR IN THE FUTURE? IN THE INTEREST OF TIME, I'VE NOT GONE INTO SPECIFICS OF HOW WE GOT THE ONE ON THE THIRSTY.

YES.

ALSO MEANS WATER DID THAT JOB TOO.

WE WENT OUT AND FOUND WHO NEEDED WATER.

THOSE DETAILS ARE NOT IMPORTANT.

WE DID NOTHING SPECIAL.

THE CITY OF AUSTIN, TRAVIS COUNTY, STATE OF TEXAS, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ALL HAD THE CAPABILITY TO DO WHAT WAS DONE BY AUSTIN NEEDS WATER.

THEY ONLY LACKED ONE THING.

THEY LACKED CARING AND THEY LACK THE WILL TO DO THE JOB.

IT WAS INCREDIBLY UNBELIEVABLE TO ALL OF US, CITY OF AUSTIN WATER DECLARED THE CRISIS OVER WHEN WATER ONLY FLOAT UP TO THE WATER METER ON PROPERTIES AND TENS OF THOUSANDS HAD NO DRINKING WATER.

WE TRIED TO FIND OUT FROM THE CITY WHO WAS SITTING, NO LUCK THERE.

WE ASKED ABOUT USING FIRE HYDRANTS OR JUST THE MANAGEMENT FOLKS DEMANDED THAT WE USE WATER METERS AND THAT WE PAY FOR THE WATER.

THE WATER DEPARTMENT STARTED A SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN LATE, LATE, LATE ON AFTER WE'D BEEN DOING THIS FOR WEEKS, THE WATER DEPARTMENT STARTED A SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN TAKING CREDIT FOR WHAT WE HAD DONE.

THEY EVEN PUT THEIR SIGNS ON THE IVC CONTAINERS WE HAD PLACED.

SEE, WE WERE SO BUSY GETTING THE IVC CONTAINERS FILLED UP WITH WATER AND GETTING WATER TO 30 PETE THIRSTY PEOPLE.

WE DIDN'T TAKE THE TIME TO DESIGN A FANCY FINE TO PUT ON THE CONTAINERS.

WE WERE LUCKY IF WE GOT A PIECE OF PAPER AND TAPED IT ON THERE WITH A PHONE NUMBER, ONE CITY MANAGER PUBLICLY TOLD THE COUNCIL THEY WOULD WORK WITH US.

AND THEN OF COURSE, THE NEXT DAY THEY DIDN'T, UH, FIRE DEPARTMENT, CHIEF PURSUED A PERSONAL VENDETTA, WALKING OUR ACCESS TO FIRE HYDRANTS.

AS WE HAD AUSTIN WATER, DID THE ACTUAL WORK OF GETTING WATER TO THIRSTY TEXANS.

WE WATCHED THE, WE WATCHED A NEWS CONFERENCE WHERE TEXAS GOVERNOR GREG ABBOTT TOLD THE WORLD THAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS ON THE JOB.

NONE OF US ON THE GROUND HAD ANY IDEA WHAT THE HELL HE WAS TALKING ABOUT.

NOT A CLUE.

WE JOKED THAT THE AUSTIN'S EMERGENCY OPERATION CENTER WENT HOME AT NIGHT TO SLEEP WHILE OUR VOLUNTEERS WERE WORKING 18 HOUR DAYS.

REMEMBER THOSE 35, 275 GALLON TOTES AUSTIN NEEDS WATER PURCHASED ON CREDIT.

WE LATER FOUND OUT THAT THE CITY'S WATER DEPARTMENT HAD 60 OF THESE BRAND NEW SITTING ON A STORAGE LOT, UNOPENED.