Tribute to Eastside Actvist David Arevalo by Charlie Jones
David Arevalo (photo)
It was Friday @ Tommymore's Restaurant at lunch that I heard the news that David Arevalo has suddenly passed away. Everyone at our table was shocked-it just couldn't be true. My mind wandered back to the many times that David had made his presence known to the City Fathers (City Council, Chamber of Commerce) on issues regarding the best interest of his beloved Eastside and San Antonio.
His many clashes with the city over the Alamo Dome, lack of monies for Eastside Development, Applewhite, are the thing that legends are made.
I had met him many years ago when I returned to San Antonio from Law School in Houston. He did not take any crap from any one. He reminded me of my Army Sergeant Major that had taken me under his wing when I served in the 101st Airborne in Viet Nam. David was tough-but fair. When you went into the pit with David, he knew only one way and that was to win. He was a grass roots activist who was not in the game to make money, but to serve people.
Wednesday, two days before his death, I ran into him at Municipal Court. I had gone there to re-set a ticket for a client. As I walked into Municipal Court #5, I noticed that a Jury Trial was being concluded with David representing himself. He was very eloquent in his defense of a speeding ticket.
When the judge called for a twenty minute recess, a group of lawyers including myself, Jerry De La Rosa and Joe Gamez took him to an adjoining court to help him in his closing arguement. We are all from the old school of Criminal Defense and we saw a kindred spirit in David.
He had the moxy to take on the city prosecutors and police and tell them they were in the wrong. In his own way he made a convincing argument. He was swimming against the stream as he always had down in the past. He was unafraid to tell it like it is!!
After the trial, David and I had a conversation and I told him that my lawyer friends all agreed he needed to attend Law School. He was intrigued with the idea but also said he was going to make a run for the City Council in District 2. He dropped me off at my office and that was the last I heard about him until the news at the lunch counter.
I do not believe David would want us to mourn his death, but to celebrate his life. He was the last of his kind, a warrior, true believer in the little guy and one who simply would not tolerate the bottom feeders who compromise their values for the sake of a buck or elected office.
May God Bless his Soul and you know he is already organizing the departed at St. Peter's Gate and telling them there will be a COPS & Metro Alliance in Heaven.
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