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Interview: Volma Overton Jr. Describes Austin’s Long Struggle for Geographic Representation

Marissa Barnett for KUT News

Volma Overton Sr. was a civil rights pioneer in Austin. He brought a hard-fought lawsuit to desegregate Austin schools – and brought his school-aged children with him to Austin’s segregated places, pushing against the racial boundaries of the time.

One of those children is Volma Overton Jr. KUT News recently sat down with him to talk about another front his father fought on: changing Austin’s form of at-large elections, where all candidates for City Council have to run citywide.

"What dad, at that time, was really looking for was representation," Overton says:

"Because we really did not have representation on the council for the eastside area, And there were many things that were needed on the eastside that were always neglected, and passed on, and actually never addressed."

You can listen to the entire interview in the player above. 

Tonight, KUT joins KLRU TV- Austin PBS and the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life for Why Bother? Austin After 10-1.” 

The forum will take an in-depth look at how the change to the Austin City Council's structure will impact voters. You can  RSVP here

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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