In less than two years, we've come together as a community to accomplish some incredible feats. While our work isn't done, it's certainly worth taking a look back at our first term.
03/21/2019 Chick-fil-A at the San Antonio International Airport: I voted to keep Chick-fil-A in the San Antonio International Airport's concessionaire contract. I was concerned that removing a vendor at the final hour would materially change the contract and felt an unusual precedent would be set for future RFPs of this scale if we were to remove it.
Standing up for what's right
Increase our SAWS rates? I voted no.
Restrict Alamo Plaza's entry points, close down surrounding streets, and move the Cenotaph? I voted no.
Renovate City Hall to the tune of $38,000,000 without public input? I voted no. Support a $75,000 bonus for our City Manager without any metrics to justify it? I could not support that.
I took a stand against our City's short-term rental ordinance, to protect our neighborhoods from commercial encroachment.
When I make what some might view as a controversial decision, it's because I know our community largely felt as I did as I cast my vote. When you speak up, I listen.
My office has created the District 9 People's Budget, the largest community-oriented budgeting project in Texas. By Summer of 2019, District 9 residents will have had a direct say in how up to $2,250,000 of our tax dollars should be spent. Some winning projects from the 2018 D9PB have already been completed, including sidewalk projects on Larkspur Drive and W. Bitters Road. Other districts around the City took note of our success and are considering participatory budgeting initiatives of their own. For more information on D9PB, click here.
Since taking office, I have authored two separate ordinances to enhance transparency in our municipal elections. The first requires two separate forms of proof of residency from Council and Mayoral candidates, and the second requires enhanced disclosure requirements for any contribution in excess of $100 during a campaign contribution cycle. There were many questions from District 9 neighbors regarding the integrity of our municipal election process in 2017, and I wanted to ensure we did all we could to address those concerns.
As chair of the Audit & Accountability committee, I requested that our municipal courts begin reporting all domestic violence convictions to the Department of Public Safety. San Antonio is now the first city in Texas to report such convictions to state authorities, and has since reported over 90 such cases.
When it comes to our City's budget, I have strongly supported allocating more funding toward public safety. This has ensured that police and emergency services vacancies are filled across the north side. Over the last year, property crimes in D9 have decreased by 18.2%, violent crimes in D9 have decreased by 13.5%, and mail theft has decreased across the north side by an astounding 74.2%. I have also voted for an increased infrastructure budget, which has allowed District 9 to receive more funding for streets, sidewalks, and pedestrian safety since I took office. There is always room for improvement, but I'm confident we're headed in the right direction. In the FY2019 budget, I secured an additional $1,000,000 to go toward the land purchase of District 9's first senior center, so the voter-approved bond funds could go entirely to the project itself.
The following infrastructure projects were supported by my office outside of the City's scheduled infrastructure maintenance. While all projects listed have been funded, some have already been completed.
West Avenue Sidewalk Installation
Evans Road Rehabilitation (from Encino Rio east to Bulverde)
W. Bitters & Blanco Sidewalk Installation (D9PB Project)
Dedicated right turn lane from northbound Huebner onto E. 1604 Access (D9PB Project)
Huebner Road Sidewalk Installation (D9PB Project)
Expansion of left turn lane from northbound Wilderness Oak onto Hardy Oak (D9PB Project)
I maintain a strict open-door policy and spend the majority of my time in our community. Whether it's a Saturday morning at an area Whataburger, a weeknight at a neighborhood meeting, or a Friday lunch hour at one of our fantastic library branches, there are many opportunities each month to meet with me closer to home. We also had an amazing 2018 with our Summer Movies in the Park and Fall Concert Series events, which brought hundreds of neighbors together for some free, family-oriented fun!
I ensured a portion of my discretionary funds went toward providing traffic safety supplies to every NEISD elementary and middle school in District 9.
We've created several community committees to help address the needs of our district:
D9 Presidents Council: Comprised of the presidents of our area HOA / Neighborhood Association Presidents.
D9 General Advisory Council: Quarterly public forum that invites the public to learn more about pressing municipal issues.
D9 Senior Center Committee: Comprised of D9 residents who advise the City as we move closer to constructing the first senior center in District 9!
D9 Veterans & Military Affairs Committee: Comprised of area veterans and active duty service members residing in D9 to help engage the community on policy issues that affect their lives. The committee has already organized two public community forums!
I pride myself on our office's communications and responsiveness. In less than two years we've answered over 1,000 phone calls from residents, sent out hundreds of social media posts, and written nearly 50 online newsletters. Speaking directly with my neighbors is the easiest way to communicate what's going on at City Hall. You can find me on social media by following the links below!