Recent Events











Recent Events p.1
Recent Events p.3
On Friday, September 14, 2007, St. Edward’s University held a celebration
outside of its campus in celebration of 16 de Septiembre and in
remembrance of Miguel Hidaldo’s famous “Cry of Independence” from Spain’
s rule over Mexico.  PODER’s Co-Director Erika González and two YSJ
members, Yvette Rodriguez and Asalynne Caldwell were invited to read a
poem.  They read a poem inspired by the late Cesar Chavez about farm
worker struggles in the United States.  This poem was fitting because many
CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) students were in attendance
and Erika is an alumni of St. Edward’s CAMP program.  
PODER and PODER's Young Scholars for Justice recently traveled to the United
States Social Forum (USSF) in Atlanta, Georgia from June 27 - July 01 2007.  The
USSF was a weeklong gathering of community organizations and grassroots
individuals that shared each other's experiences and analysis of the problems their
communities face and was a space for the building of consciousness, vision and
strategies to realize another world.  PODER will be reporting back their experiences
from the forum on Thursday August 09, 2007 at Resistencia Bookstore
(1801 S 1st St # A) from 7pm - 9pm.
United States Social Forum 2007
Birthday Celebration Honoring Susana Almanza,
founding member and Co-Director of PODER
Thursday, September 20th, 2007
PODER thanks everyone who came out Thursday, September 20th to
Honor Susana Almanza on her Birthday.  PODER thanks everyone for their
contribution and for sharing in a vision which honors the sacredness of
human life and the environment.
We call for:
1. All charges against the Jena 6 be dropped
2. The United States Department of Justice to convene an immediate inquiry into the
circumstances surrounding the arrests and prosecutions of the Jena 6;
3. Judge Mauffray to be recused from presiding over Bell 's juvenile court hearings or
other proceedings;
4. The Louisiana Office of Disciplinary Counsel to investigate Reed Walters for
unethical and possibly illegal conduct;
5. The Louisiana Judiciary Commission investigate Judge Mauffray for unethical
conduct; and
6. The Jena School District superintendent to be removed from office.
What Can You Do To Show Your Support?
1. Sign the petition to support the Jena 6 and be plugged in for future action by
visiting online:   At this site, you can also make a donation to the legal
defense fund, buy a “Free the Jena 6” t-shirt, and join thousands in demanding that
the DA drop all charges against the 6 young men.
2.  Call Governor Blanco at 866-366-1121, 225-342-0991, or 225-342-7015. Tell her
to intervene in theJena 6 case, and to act immediately to investigate the DA.
3 Call the Louisiana State Visitor Bureau at 225-342-8119. Tell them you won’t be
visiting Louisiana until justice is served in the Jena 6 case.
Learn more about the Jena 6 case and other ways to take action atthese websites:
JENA 6 Peaceful
Demonstration, Austin
A national call to action was made
by Mos Def, Common, Talib Kweli
for college students to walk out in
solidarity for the "Jena 6".
UT, Huston Tillotson, ACC students
marched to Capital in solidarity.
A group of East Austin residents held a press conference on Thursday, June7th,
2007 at 11:00 AM at City Hall to denounce the City’s proposal to relocate the Animal
Shelter to East Austin (601 Airport Blvd).  East Austin residents are concerned and
angry about the possible move.

Janie Rangel, PODER Chair states, “ The community has a huge need for real
affordable housing,  the proposed Animal Shelter site at  601 Airport Boulevard can
be used for the Community Land Trust to build real low-income housing.  Some
parcels can be designated for Habitat for Humanity and Guadalupe Development
Corporation to build real affordable housing.”  Johnny Limon Chair of the Gardens
Neighborhood Association states, “With over 8,000 people on the list waiting for
public housing and Section 8 housing and thousands of homeless children waiting for
housing, the City should be building and providing housing for the residents.”

PODER request that you call the Austin City Council members and ask them to leave
the Animal Shelter on Town Lake.  Ask them to build affordable housing in East
East Austin Needs Affordable Housing
Not Animal Shelters
Four Groups File Lawsuit against Austin City Council:   Public vote
omitted - to move Animal Shelter to East Austin neighborhood
PODER, Govalle/Johnston Terrace Neighborhood Planning Team, Old West Austin
Neighborhood Association (OWANA), and Fix Austin held a press conference on
Tuesday, October 2, 2007 in front of City Hall, 201 West Cesar Chavez Street at
10:00 AM.
Read more(MS Word)
Festival De Las Plantas
The outcomes all Texans want are safe neighborhoods and effective treatment for
troubled children. But, TYC is not producing these positives outcomes. Instead,
abuse, violence, under-staffing, and high ratesof recidivism plauge the agency. It's
time for the legislature to turn this sinking ship around and make the structural
changes needed to create a juvenile corrections agency that truly works for Texas
Familes and taxpayers.
Blue Ribbon Report Community Forum 11/13/07
PODER X-Mas Party
On Saturday, Jan 12th, volunteers from PODER's board and staff, American Youth
Works, Master Naturalists, and neighboring Oak Springs and Govalle-Johnston
neighborhoods joined to clear Oak Springs Water Quality Preserve of trash and
poison ivy.  Volunteers following the beautiful trail (built by American Youth Works
last year) and then ventured up the hills around the site, filling more than 40 trash
bags.   We celebrated how far the area has come since the fight to preserve it from
development in 2006.
The cleanup was a commemoration of community teamwork and the natural beauty
that exists in the heart of East Austin.
In the coming year we will be planning work days for digging, planting, and clean-ups
to restore and maintain Oak Springs.  We invite everyone from the community to take
part and enjoy this East Austin treasure!!
Check out our Recent Events to get the scoop on the
Oak Springs Victory.
Oak Springs Clean-Up
Community Justice Network for Youth
Southern Regional Gathering
The Community Justice Network for Youth (CJNY) is a program of the W. Haywood
Burns Institute. This program is comprised of community based programs, grassroots
organizations, service providing agencies, residential facilities and advocacy groups
that focus their work on youth of color. The CJNY's primary function is to be a
support network for organizers and practitioners who are on the ground working with
youth who are at risk or already involved in the juvenile or criminal justice systems.
PODER, (People Organized in Defense of Earth and her Resources), joins Cesar E.
Chavez National Holiday Coalition  in announcing the launching of a nationwide effort
to win a national holiday for Cesar Chavez, founder and former President of the
United Farm Workers (UFW) on March 31, his birthday.
PODER joins over 65 cities in 30 states calling upon the Congress to establish the
holiday and a day of service and learning for Chavez.  Parades, marches, petition
gathering, forums, concerts, festivals, faith based and other events will echo “Si Se
Puede!”  Yes We Can, the slogan learned from Cesar Chavez to state their
determination to win national recognition for Chavez.
Cesar Chavez gave our nation and each of us a unique example to live our lives by.  
His selfless dedication for farm worker and worker rights, economic justice, civil
rights, environmental justice, peace, nonviolence, empowerment of the poor and
disenfranchised, is a monumental legacy that will inspire all and the generations to
Cesar Chavez "Si Se Puede" March 3/29/08
Councilman Mike Martinez presents PODER with a
proclamation for Cesar E. Chavez Day, March 31, 2008
Bottom Row/L-R: Bertha Williams, Janie Rangel, Paul Hernandez, Sylvia Herrera, Gus Garcia. Top Row/L-R: Linda
Valdez, Rene Valdez, Isela Gutierrez, Will Harrell, Yvette Rodriguez, Alfredo Santos, Leticia Fonseca, Librado Almanza,
Allen Campbell, Marie Saldana-Rocha, Mike Lydia, Johnny Limon.
Cesar E. Chavez "Si Se Puede!" Award
PODER held its Annual Cesar E.Chavez “Si Se Puede!” Awards Dinner on March 31,
2008, where it recognized twenty-one individuals that continue the struggle for justice.  
Individuals that help keep the spirit of Cesar E. Chavez alive.   You can contact PODER at
472-9921 or email at if you wish to join the campaign for a national
holiday for Cesar E. Chavez.
PODER continues that legacy of working with colleges, churches, elected officials and
community organizations to achieve justice.  We are proud to announce the recipients of
the 2nd Annual Cesar E. Chavez “Si Se Puede!” Awards.  These individuals have
demonstrated that “Si Se Puede!’ “Yes we can!” -  make a difference!
Planting the Seeds of Life
PODER's Earth Day - April 22, 2008
PODER is guided by the indigenous belief that nature kind and human kind are
interwoven and interlocked.  Today, neighborhoods are faced with a common issue of
survival and a crisis of life for this living planet, Mother Earth.  Any threat to the
environment endangers us all.  In our traditional ways, we view Mother Earth and her
resources as living entities to be honored.  People of color are at a point where we must
act to restore world environmental harmony and save Mother Earth for all cultures.

April 22, 2008 marks the 37th Anniversary of Earth Day and PODER is guiding our path in
returning to the indigenous ways of honoring our Mother Earth.  We are giving thanks to
the sun, wind, water, and earth which sustain all living creatures.  We our honoring our
Mother Earth and her resources through prayer, danza, song, poetry and food.
PODER  held a Protest and Press Conference on Wednesday, June 18th at 11:00
am in front of the Pure Casting Facility, 2110 E. 4th Street (next to Zavala Elementary
School).  Pure Casting Facility uses and emits various chemicals into the air. Only in
East Austin will you find polluting facilities next to an elementary school and in a
residential area.

PODER and the Young Scholars for Justice (YSJ) addressed the Austin City Council
and Councilman Mike Martinez agreed to put together  a stakeholders group which
will include the City of Austin officials, Pure Casting and PODER to begin the process
of relocation.  PODER also feels that the Pure Casting  property should be
purchased with Affordable Housing Bond money and used for the development of
real affordable housing.
Protect the Health of East Austin Children
Relocate Pure Casting Facility!