Former Travis County Commissioner Ron Davis, who’s remembered for his staunch advocacy on environmental points, died Tuesday at age 75. Davis served on the Commissioners Court docket from to 1998 to 2016 representing Precinct 1 in japanese Travis County. His son, Ron Davis Jr., confirmed that his father died of a coronary heart assault.
Nelson Linder, president of the NAACP, recalled, “I met Ron Davis when he was engaged on the East Austin (tank) farms after we had the chemical compounds and air pollution” that poisoned the land and the water from the Sixties to the mid-Nineteen Nineties. “I can let you know he was a really uncommon particular person as a result of he was a group particular person for a very long time. He paid his dues, took care of his folks after which was elected to workplace. He earned every part he received …. His life is an ideal instance of civic engagement, group assist and in the end political empowerment.”
Mayor Professional Tem Natasha Harper-Madison wrote in a Fb put up, “That is heartbreaking information. Commissioner Ron Davis was a pressure of nature when it got here to advocating for communities within the Jap Crescent. He solid a profession as one of many early champions for environmental justice, and I’ll at all times look to his instance because the gold commonplace for tireless service. This yr’s celebration of Black Historical past Month can be incomplete and not using a celebration of this man’s life and his many achievements.”
Alfred Stanley, a political adviser and buddy of Davis, informed the Austin Monitor he met Davis in 1985 when Davis was looking for the endorsement of the Sierra Membership in his run for Austin Metropolis Council. Stanley stated whereas the group was not going to endorse Davis’ opponent, it was unlikely to endorse anybody else within the race. Stanley stated that modified when “Davis stated, ‘I don’t know a lot about your points, however I’ll at all times take heed to you.’ And contemplating that we felt so unlistened to – apart from by (one Council member) – that seemed like a reasonably rattling whole lot and we instantly endorsed him. And we went on to look at him do nice issues.”
After operating for Council, Davis ran for and gained the Precinct 1 seat on the Commissioners Court docket in 1998 when Sam Biscoe resigned to run for Travis County Decide. Davis served till his retirement in 2016.
When Davis retired, he requested Stanley to ask his former professor from Southwest Texas State College to attend the retirement celebration. At that time, Stanley realized that Davis had taken the professor’s course on environmental justice and knew as a lot about environmental points as anybody on the Sierra Membership assembly. “And naturally he amazed all of us by beginning the East Austin Technique Staff, serving to to eradicate the tank farms and advocating for eradicating contaminated soil and different points.” Davis was at all times modest, but he was “one of many nice Austin environmental leaders,” Stanley concluded.
Jeff Travillion, who serves as Travis County Commissioner, Precinct 1, stated of Davis, “He was a stalwart in the neighborhood. He was a descendant of Masontown and the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church. He was an advocate for housing, clear water and eradicating tank farms from the center of neighborhoods. He labored to enhance the standard of life for all folks, together with folks of shade. He labored laborious to maintain Austin Group School in East Austin …. He understood we didn’t have any issues that fairness and entry to alternative couldn’t remedy. Commissioner Davis believed, like I imagine, that expertise was equally distributed however alternative just isn’t. And he devoted his entire profession to creating certain the entire group had entry to alternative.”
State Rep. Sheryl Cole, a former Austin Council member, stated, “Ron Davis was a tireless laborious employee, a real trailblazer and a lifelong advocate. We labored on many points collectively whereas I used to be on Metropolis Council. He will probably be significantly missed.”
Austin Congressman Lloyd Doggett launched the next assertion: “Ron was a compassionate, collaborative however forceful voice for our neighbors in japanese Travis County. Getting water to Kennedy Ridge, encouraging creation of the ACC Eastview campus, serving to Webberville oppose a landfill, demanding redress for a polluting tank farm, naming our courthouse for the next schooling integration chief, Ron acted successfully in response to our neighbors’ considerations, particularly with regard to environmental degradation. ”
Doggett added, “I notably recall his necessary management in opposing Tom DeLay’s excessive partisan gerrymandering, which first sliced up Austin in an try and deny our group a voice in Congress. As a fourth-generation Austinite and graduate of Huston-Tillotson College, he introduced understanding to his requires justice and alternative for all. He was my longtime buddy and our robust advocate. My condolences to his spouse, Annie, and their three kids and 6 grandchildren, as they endure this loss.”
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