Recent Events
Affiliates and ally organizations of the Southwest Network for
Environmental and Economic Justice, a Bi-National network,
spoke out against the lack of accountability of the US/Mexico
Border Governor’s Conference, that took place in Austin,
Texas on August 23th & 24th.

Read full article here
National Day of Action
for Immigrant Rights
All across the nation, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in
protests, actions, demonstrations and marches to oppose legislation that could make
all undocumented immigrants in the U.S. felons.
In Austin, an estimated 10,000+ people gathered to show support for immigrants and
their families. The demonstration first started with a ceremonial blessing of the march
by Aztec Dancers on the Capitol grounds. Some keynote speakers included Susana
Almanza from PODER, Austin City Council Member Jennifer Kim and State Senator
Gonzalo Barrientos. After the speakers finished, thousands of the demonstrators
marched through several downtown streets carrying signs reading:
and many, many more.
The march ended at the Federal Building on 9th and San Jacinto. Throughout the
rally afterwards over a thousand more people joined the demonstrators to show their
support. Mexican and American flags waived side by side; people shouting and
chanting for fair, equal and humane treatment; "AMNESTIA!! AMNESTIA!!"(amnesty,
amnesty!!). Indeed, these demonstrations across the nation show that immigrants,
documented and undocumented, show support for each other and that we stand
together - united.
Cesar Chavez March
for Unity and Justice!
Over 3,000 people attended the 5th Annual Cesar Chavez March for Unity & Justice
in Austin. Cesar demonstrated the need for all working people to support those who
are oppressed and exploited; working for dignity on the job and in the community;
increasing democratic rights of working people; challenging the powerful in defense
of the powerless. This year, thousands of people demonstrated against the
anti-immigration bills being proposed in Congress.
House Bill HR 4437 would make it a felony for undocumented immigrants to reside in
the U.S. It would also make anyone who aids an undocumented person in finding a
job, giving them food, or basically anything to let them survive in the U.S. a felon as
Student Walkout
In an amazing showcase of solidarity, students from Del Valle, Lanier, LBJ and
Reagan High Schools walked out of class and marched to the Capital Building.
Over 500 students convened on the steps of the capital building and rallied to
show their protest of the Anti-Immigration Legislation that is being proposed.
Amazingly, the only official to show face was State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos.
Barrientos was nice enough to order some cases of cold water to be brought out
to the protesting students, many of which had marched for hours to reach the
May 1st, 2006
"A Day Without An Immigrant" March
May 1st is Labor Day, celebrated in honor of those who lost their lives to gain the 8
hour work day.  On May 1st, immigrants called for “a day without immigrants” and for
a one-day consumer boycott to demand the legal status of 12 million undocumented
workers in the United States. On May 1st in Austin, Texas and throughout the US
thousands of people took to the street to demand Rights, Dignity, and Respect.  
Native or Foreign, we’re the same working class.
PODER Quinceañera!
15 years of Community,
Empowerment and Struggle
“Nature’s Pharmacy”
La Capitana Helga Garcia-Garza
Conchero Azteca Chichimeca
Calpulli Tlalpalcalli Centro de
Recent Events p.2
Xinachtli - PODER Summer/Fall 2006 Newsletter
Available for download (Microsoft Publisher format)
YSJ 2006 Update!
Click here for info
For years PODER has worked to protect the environment in East Austin.  
Oak Springs natural springs, located at the intersection of Oak Springs
Street and Airport Boulevard was the future location for a Dollar Store.  
For several years PODER had been addressing the issue of the natural
springs in East Austin.  PODER members organized and worked with
Councilman Mike Martinez to save the Oak Springs area from being
On December 14, 2006 the Austin City Council voted to purchase the 5.9
acre tract.  On January 9, 2007, PODER members met with Jason
Spangler of the Brodie Wild Project and members of the Austin chapter of
the Native Plant Society of Texas and the Native Prairies Association.  
The Oak Spring area natural beauty is not just it springs but the native
plants and trees located at the site.  PODER is working with various
groups to possibly design the site and protect the water quality, restore
native vegetation and habitat and educating the public about how to
garden with native plants.
Community Advisory Group (CAG) opposes
Roma Design Groups recommendations and
presents its own community recommendations.
Find out more here - MS Word format
Victory!  Oak Springs Saved!
No Toll Roads Flier
Take Back Our Roads!
Say No to Unfair Double Taxation!
Say No to Environmental and Economic Racism!
No Tolls On Freeways We’ve Already Paid For!
PODER, LULAC District 7 and Black Austin Democrats all opposed
Phase II Toll Roads.  For months residents protested and gave
testimony at numerous hearings regarding the discrimination factor of
East Austin Toll Roads.  Highway 71, 183 and 290 were free
highways that would have been converted to Toll Roads.  
Communities of color in East Austin would have felt the negative
impact of having to pay tolls, a tax.  On Monday, January 22nd,
CAMPO Board at the leadership of Chairman Senator Kirk Watson
voted to remove the Phase II toll roads from the current package of
transportation improvements.
This is a victory for the East Austin community.
Erika Gonzalez, Co-Director of PODER recently traveled to
Nairobi, Kenya in East Africa to attend the World Social Forum.  
Please check out her blog with pictures and reflections of the
World Social Forum 2007 at
On March 29th, 2007, PODER and the community reflected on the life of
Cesar E. Chavez and the struggle for justice. The spirit of Cesar Chavez
lives in all of us. PODER recognizes and honors individuals that continue
the struggle for justice. Individuals that help keep the spirit of Cesar Chavez

PODER continues that legacy of working with colleges, churches, elected
officials and community organizers to achieve justice. PODER was proud to
announce the recipients of the 1st Annual Cesar E. Chavez "Si Se Puede"
Awards. These individuals have demonstrated that "Si Se Puede" (Yes, it
can be done!) These individuals have faith in humanity, a belief in action,
and courage.
6th Annual Cesar Chavez "Si Se Puede"
March for Justice in Austin
PODER is recognized by the University of Texas' School Of Social
Work and awarded the
"Vision And Valor" Award, given to individuals
and organizations for their work in the Social Justice Movement
March for Immigrant Rights April 10, 2007
April 22, 2007 Earth Day Celebration
PODER celebrates 16 years of activism in Austin with
performances, food and family.
May 1, 2007
Justice for Migrants,
Justice for Workers March
2nd Anniversary Vigil in memory of Daniel Rocha
June 8 2007
On June 9, 2005, Daniel Rocha, an 18 year old unarmed Chicano from East Austin
was shot in the back while faced down at point blank range and killed by Austin
Police Department officer Julie Schroeder. Schroeder was never crimally charged
with his murder. There can be no justification for murdering an unarmed teenager!
PODER’s Young Scholars for Justice attended the Chief of Police Candidates Forum
on Monday, June 11, 2007 at the Lester Palmer Events Center.  The Young Scholars
for Justice members asked numerous questions of the five candidates selected as
the finalist for Austin’s new Chief of Police.
Community Forum:
From School to Prison Pipeline
A community forum: “From Schools to Prison Pipeline” was held June 14, 2007 at
Booker T. Washington Housing Authority Administration Building.  Veronica
Garcia & Kenovan Carter with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Young
Scholars for Justice and Texas Coalition Advocating Justice for Juveniles (TCAJJ)
presented information to youth.
As part of World Refugee Day, a protest was held at the T. Don Hutto detention
center.  The T. Don Hutto detention center is operated by Corrections
Corporation  of America, a for-profit prison company.  Hutto incarcerates
approximately 400 asylum seeking and migrant families who are awaiting
hearings before the immigration court.  Children spend up to 22 hours a day in
prison  cells and receive inadequate education and recreational time.
World Refugee Day at
T. Don Hutto Detention Center
Four major highways are proposed to be tolled (you have to pay to drive on
them): SH 71(E&W), US 290 (E), US 183(E), and SH 45(E&W).The Austin toll
plan creates a monopoly by tolling public highways like 183, 71, 290 & MOPAC.  
Don’t let them steal our tax dollars and our freeways to create a freeway toll tax
on our families!  For more information go to: http://www.VoteEastSideTax.org
(you can click to place a vote for or against a special EastSideTax in the form of
Toll Roads).  You can also go to link Austintollparty.com – where you can click to
forward a letter to CAMPO, opposing the selective taxation.
Send your written comments to CAMPO, P O Box 1088, Austin, TX  78767.
CAMPO Board Meeting to Discuss & Vote on Toll
Roads Monday, October 8th at 6:00 PM at
Anderson High School, 8403 Mesa Drive
(in northwest Austin)