NACA MONTHLY MEETING
Thursday, 16 September 2021
Download: Sept 2021 NACA Meeting Minutes
Virtual Meeting via Zoom
Matt Myers called the meeting to order at 7:04 PM.
The following statement of Land Rights was read by President Matt Myers:
“The North Austin Civic Association (NACA) would like to acknowledge that the land boundaries of NACA are original territory of a number of Indigenous peoples–– specifically the Numunuu also known as Comanche Nation and the Tonkawa Tribe. We honor and thank the Indigenous peoples connected to this territory where we live and gather. NACA will work towards decolonizing our practices, and make our Civic Association an inclusive space for all.”
The General Fund contains $3,104.83 and there are currently 105 members. The Beautification Fund totals $13,426.72, with slightly more than $11,000 invested and more than $2,000 immediately available for neighborhood beautification projects.
The Secretary position is still vacant, for anyone willing to take some simple bullet-point notes during our meetings.
Eventually, when the pandemic abates, we hope to be able to meet in a hybrid format, so we can meet face-to-face and still have the Zoom available for those who aren’t able to attend in person.
The next street clean-up will be on Saturday Oct. 9 at 8:30 am on Fairfield behind Navarro High School. We and mask up and remain socially distant to clean Fairfield from Jamestown to Highway 183/Research. The details are on the NACA website.
Painting continues at the mural on the retaining wall on Fairfield between Delaware Court and Jamestown, between 7:30 and 9:30 am Saturday and Sunday.
Approval of September 2021 Meeting Minutes
The August meeting minutes were approved by the membership after some minor corrections.
COVID-19 Update; Austin Public Health, Binh Ly,
Things are leveling off, but we are still at a high state of active cases. Binh shared some data points. In Austin, 67% of those over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated. For those over the age of 65, 81% are fully vaccinated.
School starts and the Labor Day Holiday could still cause trouble. There are still only single-digits of ICU beds available for the 11-county region that contains several million people. 75% of those who end up hospitalized are not vaccinated. 78758 (NACA area) has a vaccination rate of 60–70%. Across Lamar in 78753, it is between 50–60%. Improvements in both zip codes have been made in the last few weeks.
Booster shots is only for people who are immuno-compromised, previously fully vaccinated, and must meet criteria such as undergoing:
- cancer treatment
- organ transplant
- stem cell transplant
- immunodeficiency disease
- treatment with hi-dose drugs that suppress the immune response
Pfizer is fully approved instead of only for emergency use. Moderna has applied for full approval.
Monoclonal antibody therapy is authorized by the FDA, and is currently available to those over 65 or over 12 with a medical condition. You must have a referral from a medical provider to access the Austin-area infusion center.
Austin Public Health has two testing sites—the one on the north side of town is a t 7211 N. IH-35, where the Home Depot used to be, Tuesday through Saturday 8 am to 2 pm for drive-through testing. It’s best to set up an appointment, but one can show up and fill out the forms there. Home testing can be provided for if one calls 311. Austin Public Health is available at the Little Walnut Creek Library on Tuesdays and Fridays 3– 8 pm and Saturday from 10–2.
For more details and additional sites at churches and other facilities, go to http://austintexas.gov/covid19. Contact Austin Public Health if you want to request a pop-up vaccination event. Much of the fliers and information has been translated into multiple languages, such as Spanish, Vietnamese, Burmese, and much more.
Live updates are also available at Austin Public health’s Facebook page on the 2nd Friday of the month at 10:00 am.
There has been an initiative to get the homeless vaccinated by bringing services and food to them in their encampments. There are a number of “isolation facilities” that have been set up for those who cannot isolate, either because they are homeless or because they are in a living situation that involves multiple family members in a small area, making them unable to quarantine at home.
Urban Heat Mitigation Plan; Go Austin/Vamos Austin; Frances Acuña
Frances is promoting disaster response and anti-displacement efforts where they are most needed because people are most impacted by climate stressors. There is active work in the Rundberg/St. John’s area, along with the rest of the Eastern crescent because there are people at risk for heat-related illness, especially the elderly and the youth. There are many other problems that are related to the changing climate, from food insecurity to air quality problems.
The project began with data collection at multiple times of day and multiple days with heat and humidity sensors, and North Austin is much hotter than Dove Springs. by 4 or more degrees. This way, this information can be share dwith low-income communities and communities of color. That way, the city can do more equitable green infrastructure projects, from enhancing the tree canopies in the right-of-way to deciding where cooling centers should be optimally located. There is a lot of diversity in incomes and residence types in the St. John’s and Rundberg areas—single-family homes and large apartment complexes. But the issues remain similar—no shade for students waiting for school buses, health issues related to lack of sleep due to heat because they couldn’t turn up the air conditioner due to an inability to pay more for their electric bill.
The next steps are to engage in blockwalking to bring heat information—about symptoms and action steps—and to invite people to be involved and move forward with unity to bring awareness at the City level about the needs of these often-neglected areas. We also plan to have TreeFolks working with us as well in the project. They are also working with the City Office of Sustainability and UT-Health to identify and develop programs that could be publicized during the block walking.
Matt Myers offered his experience, in which a quick jog in the heat resulted in a call to the ambulance, because he began to have uncontrolled breathing and temporary paralysis.
The October meeting will be a pro/con discussion from advocates and opponents of the November City of Austin Proposition A, which relates to increasing funding and staffing levels for the Austin Police Department.
Meeting adjourned at 8:04 pm by President Matt Myers.