Protect our Children’s Health!
Relocate Pure Casting!
Build Affordable Housing!

The Pure Casting facility (2110 E. 4th Street) is a polluter
of heavy metals and uses hazardous chemicals in our East
Austin neighborhood.  Pure Casting is located right next to
Zavala Elementary School and surrounded by homes.  
East Austin needs your support in protecting the health of
our children and the residents that live in the area.  It is
crucial that we let the City Council and Pure Casting know
that we will not allow children to be exposed to hazardous

The Pure Casting facility is an ideal location to build
affordable housing.  It is 30,152 sq. ft. of land.  The City
Council should use the Affordable Housing Bond money
($55 million) to purchase the site.  This site abuts to the
property owned by the City of Austin (the Brown Building
on Chicon & E. 4th Street).  Call you Mayor Will Wynn
Council members at 974-2250.  Let’s keep our children
safe from harmful chemicals.

Download this letter that PODER sent to the Mayor and
City Council Members.  Please send a letter from your
group, neighborhood association or you as an individual to
your city council members.  Help us to protect the health of
our children.
PODER is now accepting digital
donations through secure
PayPal. Donate once or become
a sustainer.
On Saturday, August 21st the Austin History Center honored  PODER's Susana
Almanza, Gilbert Rivera, Raul Salinas & many other outstanding individuals who have
been slelected for recognition as Mexican American Firsts: Trailblazers of Austin &
Travis County.
Check out the article in the Daily Texan.

The Austin History Center will also have an exhibit on display of the Trailblazers from
now until January. Find out more by visiting the
History Center site here.
Austin History Center - Mexican American Trailblazers
Photo by Erika Rich - The Daily Texan
Recurring Donation Options
PODER thanks your for celebrating and honoring three East Austin Activist Trailblazers
on Tuesday, September 21st at Conley-Guerrero Senior Activity Center.  If you were
unable to attend and would like to make a donation, please click on Donation on right
hand corner.  You can now become a sustaining member by selecting Recurring
Donatin Opition & Subscribe.  Keep Activism Alive!
Photo Credit: Rene Renteria
La Voz de Austin
La Voz de Austin recognizes all 32 Mexican American Trailblazers.
Click the image to see the La Voz edition in pdf.
Montopolis Neighborhood walk with City Manager Mark Ott
The Montopolis Neighborhood Planning Team along with Allison PTA, PODER, Vargas
Neighborhood Association, Carson Ridge Neighborhood Association, and Montopolis
Little League  hosted City Manager Marc Ott's tour in the community.  The Montopolis
community held numerous meetings to discuss the concerns, issues and
recommendations of the residents.

The tour began at Allison Elementary, where the City Manager heard from the PTA and
Allison Elementary's Principal, Guadalupe Velasquez.  City Manager Ott talked vistied
housing development by AHFC, American Youth Works & Habitat for Humanity.  He also,
visited the Montopolis Little League fields at Roy Guerrero Park and spoke with Israel
Lopez, President of League. The tour ended with a debriefing at the Montpolis Recreation
Center, where  he heard from staff and residents about the need to place on the next
bond election, an item  to build a new Montopolis Recreation Center for the area.  The
MNPCT also discussed the City staff's challenge to the Montopolis community by trying  to
place a water reclamation tower in the Montpolis Triangle and a disc golf course in the
Roy Guerrero Park.
Help Preserve 28 Acres and Roy Guerrero Park!

In 2007 the City of Austin’s Park Department purchased 28 acres (700 Grove Blvd)
adjacent to the Roy Guerrero Park on Grove Boulevard. The 28 acres has wetlands,
natural springs, huge trees, plants and is home to wildlife (deer, foxes, birds etc.).
The Parks Department is proposing that the Pease Park Disc Golf Course be
relocated to the 28 acres and to take an additional 7 acres that belongs to the Roy
Guerrero Park.  Parks Dept. wants to dedicate 35 acres for disc golf. This site needs
to become a Preserve and not home to disc golf.  Stop the displacement of our
wildlife and the destruction of our natural resources.  Call the Mayor and City Council
members and ask them to make the property in east Austin a
We Demand Neighborhood Schools Remain Open!
For numerous years the East Austin community has taken on the burden of
desegregation. Our children have been burden with being bused across town and away
from their communities.  We have lived through years of inequality of education. Our
parents should have the right and access to participate in their children’s education and
in neighboring schools. We demand that our neighborhood schools remain open!
We propose the following in order to keep our neighborhood schools open:
1.   AISD and community leaders must demand that state legislators fulfill their
obligations by releasing some of the $9.2 billion in the rainy day funds to assist
education shortfalls.
2.   AISD, City Council & County Commissioners must demand that the state
legislators create & pass mandatory sale disclosures on all properties (millions
of dollars of taxes can be recovered).
3.   AISD must sell its downtown offices and relocate administration to the so
called underutilized schools (this could be a model for other cities & states –
administrators, educators & students all in the same school).
4.   AISD must stop paying exorbitant salaries to superintendents and cease all
5.   Review Southwest Key Programs in partnership with the East Austin College
Prep Academy proposal to lease portion of Eastside Memorial High School to
house a Full Service Community School (AISD would save millions of dollars by
not having to operate this underutilized school).
Cesar E. Chavez 2011 Honorees
Please help us in recognizing the 2011 Cesar E. Chavez Awardees.  These awardees
demonstrated leadership that is changing lives and transforming communities.
International Women's Day Award
PODER's Susana Almanza wins International Women's Day Award, sponsored by Ten
Thousand Villages.  Awards were given in three categories: Humanitarian,
Environmentalist and Animal Advocate.  Susana Almanza was selected 2011
Environmentalist of the Year.  The Environmentalist is a person actively involved in
attempts to solve environmental pollution and resource problems.  Environmentalism is
the activity of protecting the environment from pollution or destruction through such
measures as ecosystem protection, waste reduction and pollution prevention.
PODER’s Young Scholars for Justice (YSJ) participate in the “Preserve
Eastside Affordability Campaign”, a campaign to help slow down the
displacement of families in East Austin caused by gentrification.  PODER teamed
up with the East Austin Conservancy and Eliot Tretter’s senior capstone
geography course students.  YSJ participants went door-to-door with a survey
and information on an upcoming community meeting.
The YSJ also addressed the Austin City Council about the possible budget cuts
to youth services and the re-opening of the Dan Ruiz Library.  The YSJ
recommended that the City Council consider the importance of youth services
and employment when making tough decisions about the budget.  The YSJ
stated, “We are Austin's future, and we are depending on you”.
PODER's 20th Anniversary
Thank You to all who attended!
Thank you for supporting PODER's
20 years of fighting injustice!
Shut Down the Tar Sands – Tell President Obama to  Deny Permit
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would consist of approximately 1,711 miles of new 36-
inch-diameter pipeline, with approximately 327 miles of pipeline in Canada and 1,384
miles in the U.S. TransCanada filed an application for a Presidential Permit with the U.S.
Department of State to build and operate the Keystone XL Project. The proposed Project
would have the capacity to transport 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil to delivery
points in Oklahoma and southeastern Texas.

Just a few years ago, people in Canada, U.S. and Europe heard little to nothing about the
Canadian tar sands. Today, the tar sands have become a topic of national and
international discussion as stories of cancer epidemics in the community of Fort
Chipewyan, massive wildlife losses related to toxic contamination, environmental
degradation and increased vocal resistance from impacted communities have shattered
the ‘everything is fine’ myth propagated by the Canadian and Alberta governments.

Eminent climatologist Dr. James Hansen believes that the Tar Sands mining, refining, and
subsequent emissions represent "game over" for the effort to stem climate change.The
Alberta Tar Sands are larger than Saudi Arabia in size, and emit three to four times more
greenhouse gases than conventional crude. The process is also water-intensive, with two
barrels of water being discarded in toxic pools for every barrel produced.

Indigenous peoples (known as First Nations) in Canada are taking the lead to stop the
largest industrial project on Mother Earth: the Tar Sands Gigaproject. Northern Alberta is
ground zero with over 20 corporations operating in the tar sands sacrifice zone, with
expanded developments being planned. The impact to cultural heritage, land, ecosystems
and human health of First Nation communities has been termed a
“slow industrial genocide”.
PODER's 11th Annual Cesar E. Chavez
“¡Si Se Puede!” March - Saturday, March 31st, 2012
PODER held its 6th Annual Cesar E. Chavez “¡Si Se Puede!” Awards Dinner on
Saturday, March 31st at the Emma Barrientos Mexican American Culture Center.

PODER and community members were reflecting on the life of Cesar E. Chavez
and the struggle for justice.  The spirit of Cesar E. Chavez lives in all of us.
Cesar Chavez was a civil rights, Latino, farmworker and labor leader.  PODER
recognized and honored 18 individuals that continue the struggle for justice.
Individuals that help keep the spirit of Cesar E. Chavez alive.
The Honorable Gonzalo Barrientos received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
¡Si Se Puede!
L-R –seated: Linda Crockett, Gonzalo Barrientos, Rosa Santis, Laura Morrison, Fred
McGhee, Cristina Balli.
L-R-standing: Ruby Roa, Scott Johnson, Adrieana Montez, Brittany Garza, Myron Smith,
Angelica Noyola, Sabino Renteria, Sylvia Orozco, Frank Monreal, Israel Lopez, Nora Faz.
Land of Broken Dreams
The issue of the "gentrification" of East Austin is one that has been the subject of
innumerable university studies and new articles.  There's no doubt that several more are
in the works.  What this study attempts to do that is different, is to present the data in a
way that will lend itself to the development of community solutions.  The study is called
"Land of Broken Dreams" because the results confirm that the housing trends in East
Austin constitute a "crisis." It is called "Land of Opportunity" because the study suggests
that the opportunity to maintain a significant degree of housing affordability in East Austin
is not only possible but much more economically preferable than the traditional
approaches for providing affordable housing.

Land of Broken Dreams Report (.pdf file)
PODER (People Organized in Defense of Earth and Her Resources) donates their
extensive organizational archives collection to the Austin History Center.  Founded in
1991 by a group of Chicana/o East Austin activists and community leaders, PODER
seeks to redefine environmental, economic and social injustices in Austin through
grassroots participation.
The PODER collection will be a gold mine for future researchers and activist.  
PODER represents the epitome of community organization and activism, and the
work they have done, as documented in the archives, is not only important to East
Austin and Austin in general, but speaks to larger issues, such as gentrification and
youth organizing, that affect cities across the country.  The collection consists of
correspondence and administrative records, video and audio recordings, radio
programs, oral history interviews, and other important documentation relating to
PODER and their mission dating from 1991 to 2011, including information relating to
the shut down of the Tank Farm, the close down of the Holly Power Plant, the BFI
Recycling Center relocation and other environmental accomplishments.
For more information about this donation please call (512) 974-7498 or visit
PODER donates their organizational archives to the Austin History Center
Cesar Chavez March 2014
PODER's Young Scholars for Justice 2014
Support the residents of Cacuts Rose Trailer Park – send an email to
City Council Members:

Email to All Council Members – Austin-Contact Us Form

City should provide land at the City of Austin’s 7201 Lavender Loop site (also known as
Gardner Tract) to construct a new Cactus Rose Trailer Park. Select a non-profit entity to
manage the trailer park. Developer Oden & Hughes (Lenox Oak Project C14-2015-0104)
should provide new or used trailers (2006 & above) for residents.  Trailers should be
provided for present home owners and owners of recreational vehicles at no additional
cost.  Additional trailers should be made available for residents that are renters.

Residents should continue to pay current rent lot space.
The Montopolis Neighborhood Contact Team and Cactus Rose Trailer Park
Neighborhood Association realizes that the Lenox Oak Project (C14-2015-0104) is more
than just a zoning case.  This is a major case of displacement and gentrification. The area
has been home to families since the 1970s.  This could become the largest case of
displacement of home owners in the City of Austin without the use of eminent domain.  
This case is also an environmental justice case, because low-income and people of color
will be displaced by high scale housing and retail development.  The commercial zoning
characterizing this part of Montopolis was an environmental injustice. Their homes were
allowed to exist in zoned Commercial Service and General Office instead of zoning that
match their use such as, zoning of Mobile Homes and/or single family zoning designation.
PODER’s Nahui-Ollin Healthy Communities
Climate Justice Workshops 12/15/16
Nahui-Ollin is a Nahuatl word representing the four elements and their movement;
water, air, sun and earth.  Govalle Elementary School parents participated in the
series of workshops. They learned about alternatives to chemical uses. They
learned how to make natural soaps, cleaning solutions, natural facials, breathing
exercises, safe cosmetics, water importance and alternative energy. Parents
educated themselves about the importance of protecting their bodies and
protecting Mother Earth.
 Outraged members of the Montopolis Neighborhood Association and Montopolis
Neighborhood Plan Contact Team will held a Press Conference and protest on Friday,
December 2nd at 12 noon at 500 Montopolis Drive against the demolition of the Negro
 One of the most important African-American historic sites in the city, the Montopolis
Negro School, is an important artifact of segregated education in Austin and Travis
County.  The school functioned not only as a place for education, but also as a social and
cultural center for the community, especially in rural Montopolis, where opportunities for
socialization were limited due to distances between houses, and the constant burdens of
 The Montopolis Neighborhood Association and the Montopolis Neighborhood Planning
Contact Team are outraged that this site that served as the Montopolis Negro School from
1935 until 1962, and as the home of the Montopolis Church of Christ from 1967 until a few
years ago, could be demolished and African-American history obliterated.  The current
owner of the property, Austin Stowell of the KEEP Investment Group received a demolition
permit from the City of Austin on Friday December 2, 2016, which will allow him to
demolish African-American history and construct non-affordable and historically
unsympathetic spec housing at the site.        
 The community is requesting that Austin Stowell respect the African-American historic
site and give the Austin City Council and the community the opportunity to explore
obtaining funds to purchase the site and preserve it.  Stowell has agreed to sell the
property if offered appropriate remuneration.
Visit the following website to read Dr. Fred McGhee's "Open Letter to Austin Mayor Steve
Adler" and to download associated reference documents:
Please make a contribution/donation for Cactus Rose residents
 Thank you for your support which made it possible for Oden/Hughes to reach an
amicable agreement with the Cactus Rose Mobile Home Park Neighborhood Association.  
It was a long journey. This zoning case established several positive precedent settings,
regarding relocation.  
 First, there was setting the terms that residents remain within their present community.  
The residents and the Community Development Commission all agreed on 2.9 miles within
their current neighborhood.  This agreement achieved that outcome.
 Second, to ensure that residents have access to public transportation, grocery stores,
medical needs and that their children remain in the same school district. This agreement
achieved that outcome.
 Third, that the residents be compensated for their relocation and that a bilingual real
estate agent be made available to assist residents in their relocation.  This agreement
achieved that outcome.
 All though the residents and owners of mobile homes received compensation, additional
funds are needed to purchase 2016 mobile homes and/or to provide a down payment that
would not stress the families budget. We are working with Titan Direct Factory and others
to purchase a bulk amount of homes.  We are short of funds.  We need to raise an
additional $200,000.  We also request that the Council provide other funding sources that
might be used to help house the twenty-one families.

Please make your tax-deductible contribution to PODER, non-profit corporation.  You can
make your donation through PayPal using our donation button at the top of this page.  
You can also mail  your contribution to: PODER, P O Box 6237, Austin, TX  78762.  On
your check memo please write: Cactus Rose Housing.
 Again, thank you for keeping families together and for supporting affordable
 We call on the City to make its highest priority preventing our displacement from our
East Austin communities, and put CodeNEXT on the backburner.  On Martin Luther
King, Jr. Day, a coalition of groups kicked off the Poor People’s Campaign with the
People’s Plan, which lays out in detail 6 resolutions or draft ordinances that City Council
can adopt and begin implementing now.
 The People’s Plan is laid out in detail in 6 resolutions or draft ordinances that council
can adopt and begin implementing NOW:

  • Create Low income housing trust fund and appropriations. Establish a separate,
    dedicated low income housing trust fund in which all City housing funds are
    placed. Allocate $16 million each year to the trust fund to construct or subsidize
    housing for low income families. 20% of all future general obligation bond
    elections will be included for low income housing.
  • Adopt right to stay and right to return programs for east Austin residents. Develop
    policies to reduce or freeze property taxes for low income residents and seniors;
    create home repair programs. Use public owned land property to build new land-
    banked and land trust homes for low income former families of East Austin.
  • Use City owned land for low income housing. Identify four properties owned by
    the City of Austin that can be quickly made available for building low income
  • Expand use of neighborhood conservation combined districts and historic
    districts. Apply tools to help conserve and preserve our neighborhoods and
    prevent gentrification and displacement.
  • Establish interim development regulations in areas with inadequate drainage.
  • Implement Austin environmental quality review.
The People’s Plan - 1/17/2018