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Warrick Backtracks On Changes To MLK March

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
Councilman Alan Warrick shakes the hands of community activists outside of City Hall following an apology.

The councilman for San Antonio’s District Two is pulling back on a suggestion he made to alter the annual Martin Luther King March. In front of City Hall, Councilmember Alan Warrick apologized for the suggestion that received community backlash. “I thank the members of the community that called me out on this mistake and I understand that elected officials, and all of us, do make mistakes,” Warrick said. “The only way to move forward is to learn from our mistakes; is to be strong and stronger as a community and I think we are stronger after this process.”

Warrick had suggested the March start in  several different areas of town and convene downtown for more exposure, possibly national coverage, and to attract more people. “Not just for 30 seconds, but for three hours on CNN,” he suggested. Currently the MLK March starts at MLK Academy on Martin Luther King Blvd. and to Pittman-Sullivan Park which is about 2.5 miles.

The idea for change didn’t fare well with community activists like Gordon Benjamin. He feels like some voices were left out the consideration. “Whatever his idea was when he began it, he began it without any input from his constituents,” Gordon said.

Rea Hood, another community activist, didn’t favor removing the march from the eastside. “It discredits what people a long, long time ago did to get that march, to get that walk, functioning,” she said. “I hope he’s sincere, there’s no point in backtracking if you are not sincere and plan to do what is right.”

San Antonio’s MLK March, touted as one of the largest in the country, will keep its regular route for 2016. About 100,000 people march annually.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules