(Sept. 14, 2011) -- More than 40 local residents, educators and government leaders met recently at the UTSA Downtown Campus to begin work on an action agenda aimed at enhancing and improving accountability and engagement in San Antonio. SA 2020 Government Accountability and Civic Engagement was hosted by the UTSA College of Public Policy. The gathering was the second in a series of meetings to further San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro’s SA 2020 vision to build a stronger San Antonio through citizen input and collaboration.
SA 2020 began last year as a series of meetings around the community to discuss City needs and expectations in the areas of arts and culture, community safety, downtown development, economic competitiveness, education, family well-being, health and fitness, natural resources and environmental sustainability, neighborhoods and growth management, transportation, and government accountability and civic engagement. It is the latter that UTSA’s College of Public Policy is spearheading.
“COPP is proud to have taken a leading role in helping to shepherd one of the SA 2020 elements to fruition. Government accountability/civic engagement was a perfect fit for us, given our areas of expertise and commitment to community partnerships,” said Francine Romero, associate dean of the College of Public Policy.
Romero led the discussion beginning with an overview of the mayor’s vision, results from the city’s recently released SA 2020 report and instructions for all in attendance. UTSA Public Administration lecturer Patricia Jaramillo followed with a presentation of the four areas of focus for the group --- voter turnout, leadership training, building community capital, and government accountability and transparency. Participants were then divided into four groups to brainstorm plans of action. Next, participants will be placed on steering committees to write action plans for each focus area. The final plans will be presented to the mayor at a later date.
“The energy and innovative ideas coming out of the groups were amazing. Our city is full of citizens who want to participate and make things better, and they are not afraid of the work that might entail,” Romero said. “Some of the ideas that are moving to the top of our agenda are improved electronic communications between the city and citizens, training and leadership institutes for people just starting to get involved as well as newly elected officials, and a citizens’ bill of rights and responsibilities. We will lobby the City to make some of these improvements, but also recognize the need to take personal responsibility for others.”
Take Back the Night is an international initiative to end violence. The event begins with banner making, followed by a march, presentations and poetry reading.
Sombrilla, Main Campus
Members of the UTSA community have published “Adapt and Overcome: Essays of the Student Veteran Experience,” an important book to help active duty military and veterans successfully transition to college life. The event includes a panel discussion with UTSA alumni student veterans who contributed chapters to the book. Guests can also purchase the book. All proceeds benefit the UTSA Student Veteran Association.
Business Building, University Room (BB 2.06.04), Main Campus
The Graduate School is hosting a panel discussion for all of our current students, alumni and members of the San Antonio community who are interested in learning more about graduate education.
Graduate School and Research Building (GSR 1.204), Main Campus
The annual UTSA Graduate fair gives students an opportunity to meet representatives who can provide the information on admission requirements, fellowship opportunities, and other key information.
University Center, Main Campus
A recruiter will speak to potential candidates for the Archer program. The Archer program has helped students land successful careers in public service.
Durango Building (DB 2.208), Downtown Campus
Canadian scholar Jasmin Hristov will present a lecture on paramilitarism, complex type of politically-motivated violence in different parts of Latin America. This presentation will explain paramilitary violence as a tool of economic globalization.
Buena Vista St. Bldg., Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus
The UTSA College of Engineering Technology Symposium showcases innovative student projects and research performed across multiple disciplines including engineering, science and business. The public is invited.
H-E-B UC Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.