People in San Antonio have been dancing around the edges of The Charter for Compassion since it was first released in 2009. The official Compassionate San Antonio grassroots campaign began in January, 2013. We collected THOUSANDS of signatures on four huge vinyl “Charter for Compassion banners that we introduced at close to 100 events. It’s time to buckle down now, though, and present our proposal the Mayor and City Council.

The Next Step

You Can Help the City Implement the Charter for Compassion

SECTION 3.
The City supports groups and initiatives
that will make San Antonio
a more compassionate City,
and through its Faith Based Initiative
the City will work with the community and neighborhoods
to foster compassion
in a reasoned and coordinated manner.

If you have read the City of San Antonio Compassionate City Resolution, signed by Mayor Ron Nirenberg on June 22, 2017 — the FIRST resolution he signed as our new mayor! — the administration of the Charter for Compassion rests with the city’s Faith-Based Initiative.

The San Antonio Faith-Based Initiative is an interfaith collaboration comprised of motivated, compassionate people representing San Antonio’s vast array of faiths and religions. At the intersection of faith and society, the Initiative is a partnering approach to collaboration between the faith community and governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and community groups to serve the human needs and people of San Antonio. We are “In the City for Good” to establish deeper civic engagement and religious understanding and to create a larger community to help the larger community. It was formed in February, 2017 with the Rev. Ann Helmke as its first director.

Earlier this month the Faith-Based Initiative formed a working group of about 20 people representing the diverse faith communities in San Antonio. These folks will be meeting monthly and carrying forward the directions discerned by the larger quarterly Convenings. Each member of the Working Group will be forming an Action Team of 5-7 people to engage with a community concern or another Initiative component. If you want consideration for service on an Action Team, please email Community Faith-Based Liaison Ann Helmke at ann.helmke@sanantonio.gov by the end of July.

Here is a list of the action teams, including one specifically for Compassionate San Antonio:

Technology
Convenings & Conversations
Communications & PR
Strategy & Scalability
Emergency Broadcast System & Preparedness
Compassionate San Antonio
Religious Discrimination
Homelessness & Hunger
Immigration & Refugees
Literacy
Public Health
Mental Health
Children & Foster Care

The community grassroots initiative for Compassionate San Antonio is not going away! For the past (almost) five years we have focused on educating the community about compassion and getting this resolution signed. We are now discerning what our NEW role will be — stay tuned!

Approved & Signed: San Antonio Compassionate City Resolution

A RESOLUTION

AFFIRMING THE CHARTER FOR COMPASSION,
FACILITATED BY CITIZENS OF SAN ANTONIO
COMMITTED TO COMPASSION, AND AUTHORIZING
THE REGISTRATION WITH THE INTERNATIONAL
CAMPAIGN FOR COMPASSIONATE CITIES.

*  *  *  * *

WHEREAS, compassion is a purpose, principle, and unifying value that guides and compels people of all backgrounds, perspectives, creeds, and cultures to treat all human beings with justice, equity, and respect; and

WHEREAS, research demonstrates that practicing compassion produces positive benefits in all sectors of civic and community life, including safety, public health, and physical, mental, and spiritual well-being; and

WHEREAS,
the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities is a global movement inspired by the Golden Rule, or Ethic of Reciprocity, which calls on each person to treat others as he or she wishes to be treated; and

WHEREAS,
residents of the City of San Antonio demonstrate this ethic daily in their homes, schools, places of faith, businesses, community organizations and on our streets; and

WHEREAS,
San Antonio continues to exemplify compassionate values in many forms, from its five-time NBA championship team, the Spurs, who play, mentor and lead with compassion, to its hosting of the largest Martin Luther King, Jr. March in the country and its welcoming and support of 35,000 evacuees who sought refuge after Hurricane Katrina, that show a living example of compassion to the world; and

WHEREAS, San Antonio continues to strive to advance the quality of life for all their residents and in all their communities, without partisanship, and with the conviction that people can and do have the capacity to improve their lives and make a positive difference in the lives of others; and

WHEREAS,
San Antonio was founded in faith almost three hundred years ago by our foremothers and fathers, and the city continues that tradition today through its Faith-Based Initiative by exploring and actualizing collaboration across faith and civic lines to promote the greater good; and

WHEREAS, many expressions of compassion take place in our city on a daily basis facilitated by dedicated community organizations working to lift up our neighbors by ensuring equality and promoting the human potential of our community; and

WHEREAS,
the Charter for Compassion is active in nearly 50 countries with initiatives in hundreds of cities and communities, both large and small, including Austin, Dallas, Houston and our sister city of Monterrey, Mexico, each with their own unique way of expressing compassion and exploring the use of compassion as their overall strategic lens within complex urban growth and conflicted times; NOW THEREFORE:

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO:

SECTION 1. The City recognizes that its constituents are modeling actions and attitudes that reflect the Golden Rule as expressed in the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities’ “Charter for Compassion”.

SECTION 2. The City encourages San Antonio’s institutions of learning to have all ages explore and teach compassion, based on the understanding that extensive research and resources validate the full spectrum of the benefits of compassion, from being good for the bottom line of business to being a part of the human DNA.

SECTION 3. The City supports groups and initiatives that will make San Antonio a more compassionate City, and through its Faith Based Initiative the City will work with the community and neighborhoods to foster compassion in a reasoned and coordinated manner.

SECTION 4.
The City accepts the support of other public, private, community and faith-based organizations that wish to improve the quality of life for all residents of San Antonio and to generate compassionate action through local initiatives, policies and programs.

SECTION 5. The City recognizes, records and celebrates acts of compassion among members of the San Antonio Community.

SECTION 6. The City affirms the Charter for Compassion and authorizes the City’s registration with the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities through Compassion Action Network International.

SECTION 7. This Resolution is effective immediately upon the receipt of eight affirmative votes; otherwise, it is effective ten days after passage.

PASSED AND APPROVED this 22nd day of June, 2017.

MAYOR
Ron Nirenberg

Charter Resolution Delivered to City Clerk

Earlier in the week City Councilman Ron Nirenberg (he gets sworn in as our new mayor on Wednesday) submitted this resolution affirming the Charter for Compassion to the San Antonio City Clerk.


A RESOLUTION AFFIRMING THE CHARTER FOR COMPASSION, FACILITATED BY CITIZENS OF SAN ANTONIO COMMITTED TO COMPASSION, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR COMPASSIONATE CITIES

WHEREAS compassion is a purpose, principle, and unifying value that guides and compels people of all backgrounds, perspectives, creeds, and cultures to treat all human beings with justice, equity, and respect;

WHEREAS research demonstrates that practicing compassion produces positive benefits in all sectors of civic and community life, including safety, public health, and physical, mental, and spiritual well-being;

WHEREAS the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities is a global movement inspired by the Golden Rule, or Ethic of Reciprocity, which calls on each person to treat others as he or she wishes to be treated;

WHEREAS residents of the City of San Antonio and Bexar County demonstrate this ethic daily in their homes, schools, places of faith, businesses, community organizations and on our streets;

WHEREAS San Antonio continues to exemplify compassionate values in many forms, from its five-time NBA championship team, the Spurs, who play, mentor and lead with compassion, to its hosting of the largest Martin Luther King, Jr. March in the country and its welcoming and support of 35,000 evacuees who sought refuge after Hurricane Katrina, that show a living example of compassion to the world;

WHEREAS San Antonio and Bexar County continue to strive to advance the quality of life for all their residents and in all their communities, without partisanship, and with the conviction that people can and do have the capacity to improve their lives and make a positive difference in the lives of others;

WHEREAS San Antonio was founded in faith almost three hundred years ago by our foremothers and fathers, and the city continues that tradition today through its Faith-Based Initiative by exploring and actualizing collaboration across faith and civic lines to promote the greater good;

WHEREAS many expressions of compassion take place in our city on a daily basis facilitated by dedicated community organizations working to lift up our neighbors by ensuring equality and promote the human potential of our community;
WHEREAS the Charter for Compassion is active in nearly 50 countries with initiatives in hundreds of cities and communities, both large and small, including Austin, Dallas, Houston and our sister city of Monterrey, Mexico, each with their own unique way of expressing compassion and exploring the use of compassion as their overall strategic lens within complex urban growth and conflicted times;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO:

1. hereby go on record as recognizing and acknowledging that their constituents are modeling actions and attitudes that reflect the Golden Rule as expressed in the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities’ “Charter for Compassion”;

2. encourage San Antonio’s institutions of learning to have all ages explore and teach compassion, based on the extensive research and resources that validate the full spectrum of the benefits of compassion, from being good for the bottom line of business to being a part of the human DNA;

3. acknowledge that more compassionate action will be needed for all San Antonio and Bexar County residents to prosper, by intentionally engaging a commission, task force or department within the City structure to champion compassion in a reasoned, coordinated, long-range plan for assisting the City of San Antonio government, its communities and neighborhoods in creating and realizing wide-ranging efforts that foster this goal;

4. accept the support of other public, private, community and faith-based organizations that wish to improve the quality of life for all residents of San Antonio and Bexar County and to generate compassionate action through local initiatives, policies and programs;

5. consider the creation of a registry that would recognize, record and celebrate acts of compassion among members of the San Antonio Community;

6. hereby affirm the Charter for Compassion and authorize the city’s registration with the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities through Compassion Action Network International.

Sponsored by:

Adopted by the Mayor and City Council of San Antonio, ____________________ date________

The Next Step: Meeting, Writing, Videotaping

Earlier in the month, Ann Helmke met with Ruben Lizalde, Special Projects and Strategic Initiatives in Mayor Taylor’s office. What was expected to be short meeting stretched to a very productive hour and a half!

We’ve written a solid outline of the city resolution and will buff it up over the next couple of weeks. We hope to present to City Council on December 1, 2016.

We learned from the Compassion Action Network that The Mexican State of Nuevo Leon has adopted the Charter for Compassion, and at the Encuentro Mundial de Valores (Worldwide Meeting on Human Values) in October, seven cities — including San Antonio’s sister city of Monterrey — will become compassionate Cities. Ron Nirenberg, City Councilman for District 8, is also the vice chair of Sister Cities International. He kindly produced a short video congratulating them. It will be shown at the conference on October 22.

Next Step: Draft the Compassionate City Resolution

The next step in having San Antonio recognized as a Compassionate City is to draft the resolution; getting one passed is part of the official process. We’re also creating information packets that we’ll leave behind when we visit city council to explain our goals to them. The packet will include a short list of iconic San Antonio actions that demonstrate why we think San Antonio is already a Compassionate City.

Every week (or so) we’ll post here to keep everyone updated about our progress in having San Antonio recognized as a Compassionate City. The complete list of actions is archived HERE.

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