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San Antonio City Council District 5 Race 2021

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Note: Names are listed in order of appearance on the ballot according to the city clerks' office. Answers from candidates have not been edited or fact-checked.

For TPR's full Voter Guide, click here.


Anthony Gres

Q: What is an issue relevant to your specific district that you would like to change or address?

A: I would like to address employment opportunities for our constituents. There’s a lot of conversation on how to get $15-18 wage jobs in the district while focus on training has shifted to certification programs. However, there has been little to no discussion on outreach to community members and informing them of training opportunities that would then lead to the $15-18 wage job. We also have not worked with small businesses to connect with nonprofits so that if they need job placement, they know where to go. There are a lot of visions for district 5, but not a lot of real solutions. I plan on providing those real solutions.

Q: Voters will decide on Proposition B this May — a potential repeal of collective bargaining rights for the San Antonio Police Officers Association. Do you support repealing collective bargaining or do you believe it should remain in place?

A: I oppose proposition B. Contract negotiations for large cities are important because if police were to go on strike, then the threat of not having first responders is far too great for the cities. Now, I do believe that police and the city should take citizens into account and reach the best deal for both sides.

Q: Many residents have called for significant discipline reform for San Antonio Police officers in contract negotiations which are being debated right now between the city and the police union. What changes or reform — if any — would you like to see?

A: I would like to see reform to the 180 day rule and I think all arbitration clauses need to be revisited. I also think we need to reexamine the citizen review board role and the arbitration role. In addition to those factors, we need to reexamine what happens with the repeat offenders.

Q: Voters passed the Ready to Work SA initiative in November which creates funding for job training and support services like childcare for people to seek new trades — especially for those who lost their job in the pandemic — using a sales tax for the next five years. Do you feel this was the right approach to addressing not only job losses but to also grow the talent pool for industries in San Antonio?

A: I believe this is the correct first step, not the complete answer. I feel like the process was rushed, with little community input. I believe small businesses and nonprofits, from within various communities, should have been consulted. The reality is the majority of district 5 residents will be employed by small businesses in the district. If that is the case then there should be discussion on how to employ and increase employees skills to apply for higher paying jobs. Current numbers for the first iteration of the program show that the city has had a difficult time finding the employment opportunities and placing people. Clearly there needs to be some work done on the program, but I believe that the concept is necessary.

Q: What changes — if any — do you feel are needed at CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System following the winter storm?

A: District 5’s pipes are just older. As your councilmember I will work with city staff to create a pipes program to work with households and ensure their pipes are improved at low to no cost. This also means we need a list of plumbers that will not price gauge. As far as electricity is concerned, having emergency plans, which I understand a committee is put together on, needs to be put in place. On top of warming or cooling centers the city needs to push CPS to announce what neighborhoods will be without power, for how long and what neighborhoods are going to be affected next. If blackouts are truly rolling then there is no reason we cannot give ample warning to our citizens. I will fight for this.

Q: What is one policy or priority that you would introduce as a council consideration request that has not already been submitted or considered?

A: The first CCR I will submit is an exploration of creating a version of the city’s upskill program for large companies to be fitted towards small businesses. While I appreciate the work that the Economic Development Department has done, it has focused on large businesses and not the small businesses that largely make up the district 5 economy. We need more focus on these small businesses as training grounds for employees in order to bolster the individuals and the businesses.


Jason Mata

Q: What is your experience with city government? For instance, have you ever served on a city board or commission?

A: I have served a President and Director or Prospect Hill Neighborhood Association, as an Executive Board Member of both the Haven For Hope, and the Westside Development Corporation. I have dealt with many zoning issues, neighborhood sweeps, and capital improvement projects.

Q: What is an issue relevant to your specific district that you would like to change or address?

A: Generational Poverty is a tremendous problem for District 5, with over 33% of the constituency living in Poverty. Only 36.6% of individuals have a High School diploma and 10% or less have a college degree. Poverty and crime go hand and hand. One of my top priorities is to focus on education and Youth Development and to close the pipeline from Juvenile incarceration to Adult Prison.

Q: Voters will decide on Proposition B this May — a potential repeal of collective bargaining rights for the San Antonio Police Officers Association. Do you support repealing collective bargaining or do you believe it should remain in place?

A: I am against the Proposition and feel that collective bargaining should remain in place.

Q: Many residents have called for significant discipline reform for San Antonio Police officers in contract negotiations which are being debated right now between the city and the police union. What changes or reform — if any — would you like to see?

A: I would like for any accountability issues to be made through policy and procedures.

Q: Voters passed the Ready to Work SA initiative in November which creates funding for job training and support services like childcare for people to seek new trades — especially for those who lost their job in the pandemic — using a sales tax for the next five years. Do you feel this was the right approach to addressing not only job losses but to also grow the talent pool for industries in San Antonio?

A: Yes. I would like more information on this initiatives and be proactively involved to ensure that District 5 has as many opportunities as possible when it comes to job training and job opportunities.

Q: What changes — if any — do you feel are needed at CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System following the winter storm?

A: I would immediately recommend that neither utility company begin to disconnect customers as has been indicated recently. Further, I would recommend that no customer pay the cost for rate hikes which occurred during the winter crisis. Secondly, I would request that both CPS Energy and SAWS develop a Crisis Plan to avoid any future disasters. And finally, I would not recommend any Bonuses or raises for any administration staff members until we get the winter crisis ordeal under some type of order and control.

Q: What is one policy or priority that you would introduce as a council consideration request that has not already been submitted or considered?

A: In year 2017 I petitioned for an SAPD Storefront in an area that is historically plagued with high crime, illegal drug use, homelessness, etc. The current councilperson and city cited the cost as to expensive and basically refused to acknowledge the urgent need for such community safety initiative. I led this effort and compiled over 500 signatures in 2 days. The need is great and I will look to revisit this once I am elected. Thank you!


Ray Garza

Did not respond.*


Irma G. Barron

Q: What is your experience with city government? For instance, have you ever served on a city board or commission?

A: I have no city government experience, only 30 years of small business experience. I have never served on a city board or commission.

Q: What is an issue relevant to your specific district that you would like to change or address?

A: The most pressing issue I would like to address is the lack of public housing and improvement to existing deplorable conditions with current public housing.

Q:If you are challenging an incumbent, why do you feel there needs to be a change in leadership and why are you the right person for that change?

A: I am not challenging an incumbent, but I feel my experience clearly overshadows all other candidates. I was born and raised in the Westside of San Antonio and have experienced first hand all the issues for 75 years. I have educational experience as I was a teacher at Fox Tech High School for 17 years. I have also been a small business owner and operator for over 30 years.

Q: Voters will decide on Proposition B this May — a potential repeal of collective bargaining rights for the San Antonio Police Officers Association. Do you support repealing collective bargaining or do you believe it should remain in place?

A: I am totally against Proposition B. I strongly feel that SAPD should not be defunded and that their rights to collective bargaining should remain in place.

Q: Many residents have called for significant discipline reform for San Antonio Police officers in contract negotiations which are being debated right now between the city and the police union. What changes or reform — if any — would you like to see?

A: If any changes come from this discipline reform, I would strongly support accountability for any improper conduct on behalf of a policeman. The Chief should be given more authority in disciplining his officers.

Q: Voters passed the Ready to Work SA initiative in November which creates funding for job training and support services like childcare for people to seek new trades — especially for those who lost their job in the pandemic — using a sales tax for the next five years. Do you feel this was the right approach to addressing not only job losses but to also grow the talent pool for industries in San Antonio?

A: I feel the sales tax for the next five years was the right approach, since we were not sure how long the repercussions of this pandemic were going to affect us. This initiative will help everyone to get back on their feet. It is a win win situation for the business owners, employees, consumers, and the economy.

Q: What changes — if any — do you feel are needed at CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System following the winter storm?

A: I feel that both CPS and SAWS need to have a plan of action in case a situation like this ever arises. Not only do they need a Plan A, but they need a Plan B and C. I also feel that those in charge need to be held accountable if problems such as this continue to persist.

Q: What is one policy or priority that you would introduce as a council consideration request that has not already been submitted or considered?

A: One policy I would introduce for consideration would have to be access to Veteran's Clinic here in the Westside District 5. None currently exists, and our veterans are forced to travel all the way to the Medical Center. I feel our Westside Veterans are owed at least a nearby clinic for their bravery and service to our country. Many veterans struggle to make the 30 minute trip and some simply opt not to seek medical help because of the inconvenience.


Teri Castillo

Q: What is your experience with city government? For instance, have you ever served on a city board or commission?

A: For the last several years I have advocated on behalf of the community at Building and Standards Board meetings, San Antonio Housing Authority Board meetings, and San Antonio Housing Commission meetings (among many others), and have a proven record of working for the people of District 5. As the only candidate who has fought alongside public housing residents to challenge predatory landlord practices and mass community displacement, I know what it takes to secure victories for the people - in spite of the powers that be and well-meaning individuals characterizing our goals as impossible to attain. Through my experience as an active member of the Historic Westside Residents Association, I know the power of the collective, and recognize that decisions should not be made about neighborhoods without neighborhood voice and consensus. Moreover, as a member of the Texas Organizing Project’s Healthcare Committee, I understand the importance of organizing elected colleagues at every level. Too often, city leadership passes the buck on the issues, claiming that certain things are simply beyond the purview of the city and then walking away. I am committed to ensuring that community needs are addressed at every possible level, which takes strong coordination with sympathetic actors in the state and federal government. As a trained historian, I am experienced in the ways in which predatory policies and practices continue to be refashioned under the guise of progress and at the cost of our working families.

Q: What is an issue relevant to your specific district that you would like to change or address?

A: When we look at the city's current housing pipeline, we can quickly determine that the city has been incentivizing the development of unaffordable housing for our already cost-burdened working people of San Antonio. We must shift our public money towards the public good and construct housing where San Antonio needs it the most, particularly for those who earn less than $22,580 a year. (According to data from SA2020, the per capita income of District 5 is $13,257.) Moreover, in a city with severely underfunded public schools, a high uninsured rate, and too many neglected streets, sidewalks, speed bumps, and lighting, we must ensure that developers are paying their fair share in taxes. The City of San Antonio has a responsibility to incentivize deeply affordable housing. Our public money should serve the city's people, and we must end the passing of the tax burden onto our working families while developers make out like bandits.

Q: Voters will decide on Proposition B this May — a potential repeal of collective bargaining rights for the San Antonio Police Officers Association. Do you support repealing collective bargaining or do you believe it should remain in place?

A: I support Fix SAPD and their work to pass Prop B. The San Antonio Police Department contract affects all constituents in our city, and the voice of the people must be heard in that regard. When the police department identifies an officer who is unfit for the position, but then SAPOA forces the department to retain that officer, it is clearly not just the police department that is impacted by the decision. Constituents are also now subjected to an unfit and likely dangerous individual who has abrogated their duty to protect the community. This is why I believe it is important for our city government to explore alternative measures that provide accountability on officers that abuse their positions. The passage of Prop B would mark a necessary change for the better for the welfare of our citizens.

Q: Many residents have called for significant discipline reform for San Antonio Police officers in contract negotiations which are being debated right now between the city and the police union. What changes or reform — if any — would you like to see?

A: I would move to reform through the following: 1) pass an ordinance requiring that officers be interviewed within 24 hours of an investigation opening, 2) pass an ordinance that prohibits the release of evidence to officers under investigation, 3) pass an ordinance requiring that all elements of disciplinary history be addressed in writing during investigation, 4) pass an ordinance to create a temporary community-led commission to evaluate the current statute of limitations, 5) move to have a permanent Civilian Oversight Board, similar to the 150 others in the country, instituted in the city, incorporating elements of investigation [specially trained civilian investigators of police actions during specific incidents], review [selected volunteers from the community to provide feedback and assistance to the investigators during aforementioned specific incidents], and auditing [specially trained civilian observers and evaluators of long-term police practices], and 6) subject to the repeal of Chapters 143 and 174, pass an ordinance banning arbitration for use in police discipline. These are important routes for our city to pursue in regards to police reform, and if they are not actively pursued during the contract process, they should be pursued independently through the City Council.

Q: Voters passed the Ready to Work SA initiative in November which creates funding for job training and support services like childcare for people to seek new trades — especially for those who lost their job in the pandemic — using a sales tax for the next five years. Do you feel this was the right approach to addressing not only job losses but to also grow the talent pool for industries in San Antonio?

A: The Ready to Work SA initiative as it is currently proceeding concerns me. Having worked with many folk deeply knowledgeable about workforce needs in the city, the fact that the 11-member Ready to Work SA Advisory Board guiding this initiative has so many business representative voices yet so few labor and education representative voices is problematic. While we might be able to salvage this process in the coming years, it is currently overly opaque - there are few announced indications that folk are being trained in ways that will lead to long-term pay at livable wages, or even that the training is translatable to work across a variety of industries, in the event that industry targets prove to be inflated or incorrect. We need a watchful councilwoman who is well-versed enough with Region 20 Adult Education and Literacy Alamo Consortium (AELAC) goals, current and anticipated Integrated Educational Training (IET) offerings, as well as other workforce education subtleties within our city to make certain that this critical process does not go astray. Only with strong, transparent oversight from the community can we make sure that this program serves as many people in exactly the ways they will need.

Q: What changes — if any — do you feel are needed at CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System following the winter storm?

A: Our city government failed us during the polar vortex. As a longtime community advocate, I worked within the extant mutual aid networks that filled the gaps for the failures of the city. We made wellness calls, and provided food, water, and repairs for countless District 5 residents. The city needs to adopt a similar approach, with trusted people as nodes across our neighborhoods, ready to activate in support of residents during disasters. As the next councilwoman in District 5, I will create neighborhood captain positions for disaster response, precisely to prevent the fear and damage that some of our residents unfortunately experienced. CPS and SAWS should avail themselves of these community connections to disseminate information rapidly; when the power is down and times are tough, it will take good old-fashioned door-knocking in our neighborhoods to reach our most vulnerable citizens. CPS and SAWS will need to reevaluate their outreach methods, and I stand ready to assist them in this process.

Q: What is one policy or priority that you would introduce as a council consideration request that has not already been submitted or considered?

A: Through a carefully constructed CCR, we can strongly buttress community involvement in local government. Our city needs to implement new processes that increase involvement from citizens in government decisions. Participatory budgeting (PB) has already been adopted in two San Antonio City Council districts, although in a piecemeal fashion with mixed results; it is now time for this process, shown to be successful in several other neighborhoods and districts across the world, to be implemented meaningfully, on more than just minor cosmetic changes. We can also allow and encourage citizens to take part in fundamental decisions through processes not unlike that of the Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform in British Columbia or the Citizens’ Reference Panels in Ontario. Between 2004 and 2006, those governments asked citizens to submit their names for possible participation in a fact-finding mission for future policy. From among these names of interested citizens from all walks of life, 161 were randomly chosen to work together over a series of meetings to create and submit recommendations to government officials. The process was successful in invigorating public participation outside of just wealthy donors and business executives. District 5 could benefit strongly from similar processes on certain policy topics.


David Yañez

Q: What is your experience with city government? For instance, have you ever served on a city board or commission?

A: I served as city employee for 4 months, when hired to be a trainer for the new incoming staff of City Councilman of District 5 David Medina in 2009. From August 2009 to November 2009, I provided governance training to the new councilman, his staff and provided temporary transition support to get the office on the right path to serve my community and to follow the same successful formula as I used as an legislative assistant in Senator Van de Puttes’ office to provide constituent service and special projects in Austin and San Antonio. I was on her staff for five years serving Texas Senate District 26 which includes San Antonio City Council District 5. I used my law degree and Master's in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, daily to the benefit of the office and in problem solving concerns for her constituents. My final duty for his office was to prepare an economic development strength and weakness assessment plan of District 5 for review, before beginning my new position at Catholic Charities of San Antonio, Inc. in January 2010, as an Immigration staff attorney.

Q: What is an issue relevant to your specific district that you would like to change or address?

A: I live on the Southside and work on the Westside, my law office is located in the 78207 zip code. My campaign theme is called Neighborhoods FIRST, because I want to help maintain our visible culture and identity for our neighbors in my district. To do this I want to help residents maintain their legacy asset, their home by providing property tax relief and help them understand the legal reality from inheritance education that they are lacking, so they don’t risk losing it. Currently many residents receive monthly mail to sell their home to predator investors and developers from outside of San Antonio that are consuming our neighborhoods. We need to maintain the authenticity of businesses and legacy family homes or could lose our neighborhood identity. I don't wish to see District 5 become gentrified beyond recognition as East Austin has become. I also wish to provide infrastructure improvements including drainage, curb and road repair budgeting with a new formula that will not take twenty years or more to complete, thus putting an end to taxation without representation to these long delayed basic infrastructure needs to District 5 residents, in the near future.

Q: Voters will decide on Proposition B this May — a potential repeal of collective bargaining rights for the San Antonio Police Officers Association. Do you support repealing collective bargaining or do you believe it should remain in place?

A: No, I do not support repealing collective bargaining. I am from a union family and understand the importance of collective bargaining. My father was in civil service for 38 years and my mother worked at Friedrich Air Conditioning for 14 years, before the business moved to Mexico. Also, I do feel that once a police officer is terminated, after proper administrative due process, they should not be rehired. I support a responsible police department that follows policy and procedure guidelines for the benefit of all of us as we improve to become a premier city with a premier police force.

Q: Many residents have called for significant discipline reform for San Antonio Police officers in contract negotiations which are being debated right now between the city and the police union. What changes or reform — if any — would you like to see?

A: I feel once a police officer is terminated, after proper administrative due process, they should not be rehired.

Q: Voters passed the Ready to Work SA initiative in November which creates funding for job training and support services like childcare for people to seek new trades — especially for those who lost their job in the pandemic — using a sales tax for the next five years. Do you feel this was the right approach to addressing not only job losses but to also grow the talent pool for industries in San Antonio?

A: It is the right approach, except it starts in September 2021, and will include training for financial and professional services. We need to develop more of our financial expertise so we can attract more investment banking competition similar to Austin. The benefit for financial services is so we can attract more financial services who can bring new investment and it will be these financial corporate leaders to seek to invest longterm such as an additional sports league perhaps National Women Soccer League (NWSL). Major League Soccer has be added with Austin FC (Matthew McConaughey is co-owner), and San Antonio can attract attention with an additional professional team and the next best thing is NWSL.

Q: What changes — if any — do you feel are needed at CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System following the winter storm?

A: We need reliable water and power and must do everything to prevent the outage from reoccurring. The summer heat will increase power use and city council will have to be more directly involved to examine what occurred and to take steps to bring accountability under control, discuss potential changes and be upfront with the ratepayers. Including increase with incentives for solar panels on homes. Let's give a homeowner and advantage to have power for the future, in case of a future power delay with a better incentive to purchase solar panels.

Q: What is one policy or priority that you would introduce as a council consideration request that has not already been submitted or considered?

A: Water, I would make sure we are working on our future use plan for water and conservation so we can be best prepared. Our city keeps growing in population and the demand for water will increase, so lets be proactive and not reactive in having steady and stable water supply in always be preparing for this concern now.


Marie Crabb

Q: What is an issue relevant to your specific district that you would like to change or address?

A: I feel that the city council has been ignoring the basics needed in the city. We aren’t taking care of our infrastructure and it’s disheartening to hear people say they’ve paid taxes for 50 years and will probably get sidewalks when they die. This shows me that not only are people being ignored, but the idea of focusing on basic needs has been forgotten and foregone to focus on topics that are more appealing for headlines and rankings.

Q: Voters will decide on Proposition B this May — a potential repeal of collective bargaining rights for the San Antonio Police Officers Association. Do you support repealing collective bargaining or do you believe it should remain in place?

A: I oppose proposition B. I feel that contract negotiations for police officers is necessary so that we can make sure that neighborhoods consistently have patrols and are kept safe. I do believe that both the police association and the city should take citizens into account and reach the best deal for both sides.

Q: Many residents have called for significant discipline reform for San Antonio Police officers in contract negotiations which are being debated right now between the city and the police union. What changes or reform — if any — would you like to see?

A: I believe that we do need police reform, and that collective bargaining needs to happen. Meaningful police reform comes from recruiting a diverse police force, training them properly and continuously in de-escalation, implicit bias and sensitivity training, and changing the policies in place. Moving money around in a budget does not completely fix a situation, structural change is the only way to do so and my staff and I will work on that the minute I am sworn in. If the ballot proposition is passed then I pledge to support the proposition and work to ensure that my office works with stakeholders to understand how they feel contract discussions should move forward.

Q: Voters passed the Ready to Work SA initiative in November which creates funding for job training and support services like childcare for people to seek new trades — especially for those who lost their job in the pandemic — using a sales tax for the next five years. Do you feel this was the right approach to addressing not only job losses but to also grow the talent pool for industries in San Antonio?

A: I feel like this was the right approach. I am concerned with how few people have been helped with the program that was created (CARES Funding), however that’s something that can be overcome.

Q: What changes — if any — do you feel are needed at CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System following the winter storm?

A: I think there needs to be an evaluation process of the board appointments. What we see are mainly business professionals sitting on the boards and I feel the diversity needs to increase, not just gender and race but by occupation, age, salary… We need different ways to capture the lived experience.

Q: What is one policy or priority that you would introduce as a council consideration request that has not already been submitted or considered?

A: I would like to submit a CCR focused on department cooperation on infrastructure plans. Sustainability, Development Services, neighborhood services and public works should all be discussing projects to ensure what is built will actually work for the neighborhoods they are in.


Rudy Lopez

Did not respond.*


Norberto "Geremy" Landin

Q: What is your experience with city government? For instance, have you ever served on a city board or commission?

A: I served as liaison for the Hispanic Chamber Marketing and Communications Board

I assisted in preparation for the Early Childhood Development Municipal Corporation (Pre-K 4 SA)

Q: What is an issue relevant to your specific district that you would like to change or address?

A: My three top priorities are to focus on increasing the quality of life in the community by addressing health inequities; primarily the access to COVID testing, and access to the COVID-19 vaccine. I will also work with small business owners, those of which have been left out of the process of accessing small business loans and grants. Many of these small businesses support and employ the residents in the community and need the help and advocacy to ensure their businesses do not close. Finally, I believe that the safety of our neighborhoods is a priority so that families can live, grow and prosper without fear.

Q: Voters will decide on Proposition B this May — a potential repeal of collective bargaining rights for the San Antonio Police Officers Association. Do you support repealing collective bargaining or do you believe it should remain in place?

A: I am against Proposition B because I support unions’ right to collective bargaining. Additionally, collective bargaining allows for female police officers the opportunity to fight for equal pay and minimizes political influence on promotions. I believe that the disciplinary and accountability issues that exist with the police force can be addressed at the table through collective bargaining.

Q: Many residents have called for significant discipline reform for San Antonio Police officers in contract negotiations which are being debated right now between the city and the police union. What changes or reform — if any — would you like to see?

A: It is important that we acknowledge all crimes or procedural violations no matter that date of occurrence. That being said, I believe that we need to see that the 180 day rule be amended changing the process from being 180 days from the date of the occurrence to 180 days from the date of discovery or acknowledgement of that event to leadership.

Q: Voters passed the Ready to Work SA initiative in November which creates funding for job training and support services like childcare for people to seek new trades — especially for those who lost their job in the pandemic — using a sales tax for the next five years. Do you feel this was the right approach to addressing not only job losses but to also grow the talent pool for industries in San Antonio?

A: Because the voters of our city voted for this initiative, I will support it and push for accountability measures that ensure a successful program that leads to higher paying jobs for those in our community seeking job training.

Q: What changes — if any — do you feel are needed at CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System following the winter storm?

A: There needs to be a dramatic increase in the preparations for possible future power outages. That means weatherizing all of our equipment and having contingency plans in place prior to the next occurrence of extreme electric usage on our grid.

Q: What is one policy or priority that you would introduce as a council consideration request that has not already been submitted or considered?

A: Councilwoman Gonzales introduced the CCR that began the use of an equity lens on our city budget, which should allow for historic inequities in certain areas of town to begin to be remedied. I would work steadfast before the next bond and ensure that we utilize an equity lens on the subsequent bonds moving forward. This would allow for infrastructural needs to be addressed quicker for our community in district 5 and for other communities that have been historically underserved by the bonds.


Ricardo Moreno

Q: What is your experience with city government? For instance, have you ever served on a city board or commission?

A: I have had the privilege of serving my Harlandale ISD community as a school board trustee since 2015. I am also a part of the Bexar County School Board Coalition where we advocate for public education through the Go Public Initiative. During the Covid 19 pandemic I have served on the Covid 19 Community Response Coalition and The San Antonio Metro Health Department Pre-K -12 Consultation Group where we have conferred about safe school reopening procedures and practices. I am also a member of the Tierra Linda Neighborhood Association here within the southern part of District 5.

Q: What is an issue relevant to your specific district that you would like to change or address?

Equity for our District 5 community has been a prominent concern. Our neighborhoods play a significant role in providing a pulse of the diverse areas that make up District 5. I plan to engage in meaningful and honest conversations with all stakeholders and assess how we can provide the best for our District 5 community. Equity is ensuring that District 5 is not allowed to wallow in despair, but rather be given its fair share of resources to continue to thrive. Equity is also knowing that collectively our southside and westside voices are much louder if we merge our efforts together in order to show solidarity and support for one another. I believe that the true measure of a leader is finding a situation and leaving it better than it was found in. I intend to not only have a seat at the table, but to be leading the discussion among my potential city council colleagues. It has long been overdue for district 5 to have the ability to have the same opportunities when it pertains to affordable housing, meaningful development, increased access to quality healthcare, etc. I envision a district 5 that is not known as a community of problems, but rather a community of solutions.

Q: If you are challenging an incumbent, why do you feel there needs to be a change in leadership and why are you the right person for that change?

A: There is no incumbent in this race and I plan to lead with a focus on accountability, accessibility, and community input. I am a proud community member of District 5 and we have long been underserved in the southside and westside of San Antonio. I have obtained a Bachelors in Public Administration, Masters in Special Education, and a Principalship certification. Currently, I am an assistant principal at Losoya MS in Southside ISD and I have held my current position as a Harlandale ISD school board member for 6 years. This has afforded me the ability in having a rapport with my community, which allows me to be a position to help in ensuring we provide the best in streamlining resources for our constituents. Not many of my peers in this election can state that they can see every point of view or layer when it comes to being an elected official and the pressures that come with making decisions that are best for all not based on a few. I have proven track record that exhibits progress and growth in placing my school district in a positive academic and financial standing. I strongly believe that my experience as an elected official, working with a diverse group of people as an educator, and knowing my community has afforded me the skill set to advocate and implement change for our District 5 community.

Q: Voters will decide on Proposition B this May — a potential repeal of collective bargaining rights for the San Antonio Police Officers Association. Do you support repealing collective bargaining or do you believe it should remain in place?

A: No, I do not support Proposition B, as an educator in a state that does not allow teachers to collectively bargain, I understand the importance in doing what is right for personnel. This has a large impact on the overall compensation package of the SAPD, in particular insurance and pension benefits. This can adversely affect the quality of personnel that will be handling emergencies throughout our communities. Ultimately, we would want to have the most qualified and adept personnel to handle such emergencies, we would not want to deter stellar candidates from applying. I have always worked well with unions in my current school board position and made decisions based on all stakeholders. Additionally, I have always been a part of AFT or TSTA as an educator. I would advocate for the right of all workers to collectively bargain with their employers. In doing so, I will work well with unions in providing the best results that will be fair and equitable, and in the best interests of our District 5 community as a whole.

Q: Many residents have called for significant discipline reform for San Antonio Police officers in contract negotiations which are being debated right now between the city and the police union. What changes or reform — if any — would you like to see?

A: I feel hard and honest conversations must be had in order to provide all our stakeholders a community that is based on trust, tolerance, and equity. We must view how certain things are allocated, but if you examine the budget of SAPD you will see, just as similar to School Districts, approximately 85% of the budget goes towards salary, insurance, and benefits. We can find ways to create a balanced budget that meets the needs of all to create a fair and responsive presence in our neighborhoods.One item that may be needed to be reevaluated in regards to its effectiveness, is the role of the third party arbitrator, to ensure that a decision on the best interest of the staff and community. I intend to increase safety by putting an emphasis on the following items. Focus on increasing visibility and awareness of the police. Work to improve policing that is based on fairness, community input, and trust. Build partnerships with city, local ISDs, and police in creating a network of programs and initiatives aligned in recruiting community based candidates with a focus on equity, empathy, and tolerance. Ultimately ensure that bad officers are not permitted to return to the force. Additionally, create a pathway for training/certification of police officers with a background in social work; where the incentive would be a stipend paid in addition to their base salary.

Q: Voters passed the Ready to Work SA initiative in November which creates funding for job training and support services like childcare for people to seek new trades — especially for those who lost their job in the pandemic — using a sales tax for the next five years. Do you feel this was the right approach to addressing not only job losses but to also grow the talent pool for industries in San Antonio?

A: In reviewing the idea behind the concept of creating the Ready to Work Sa Initiative after the onslaught of the COVID 19 Pandemic, I understand the rationale and merit. Data referenced by Ready to Work Sa background sheet noted 27% of the adult population in San Antonio had earned a high school diploma or equivalent, and 30% of the adult population had some college or an associate’s degree. San Antonio is a city of resilience, but we do have a population throughout that may be lacking certain training, education, and certifications that can limit our career marketability. I would like further information on the implementation of the program. I do like the ability of addressing barriers that keep our residents from gaining the necessary skills to compete in our global economy. I see this being similar to the ALAMO Promise initiative, where we remove barriers with wrap around services to enable our students to utilize the resources available to them. The main concern would be on which groups would work with COSA in developing this workforce, the support is needed, but is possible to partner with our local ISD’s and non profits such as Project Quest to better equip our citizens with programs that may already be in place. I would want to assess the efficiency of the program to make sure we are not placing more taxes on our communities while creating an initiative that may have foundational components within other departments or groups.

Q: What changes — if any — do you feel are needed at CPS Energy and the San Antonio Water System following the winter storm?

A: I believe we must not be in a reactive state, we must be proactive and preventive. The issues occurred, many community members rose to the challenge to support their neighbors. I take the approach of let us assess and evaluate what happened and what we need to do in order to ensure it does not occur again. I have mentioned this in other forums. Many people suggest to create an emergency operations plan for their communities to, that is somewhat difficult because do not have a large HOA’s within the area, it may be wise to look system that are already in place, many of our local schools, which are already used as neighborhood hubs have Emergency Operations plans in place, lets us use those to assist in supporting our communities in the time of need. This would need for COSA, non profit organizations, and ISD’s to work much closer together in order to ensure a seamless implementation of planning or at the very least educating the public in knowing that they can utilize resources from their local areas during inclement weather.

Q: What is one policy or priority that you would introduce as a council consideration request that has not already been submitted or considered?

A: The Covid 19 pandemic illustrated many inequities within District 5 and in particular the need for reliable and consistent internet. Infrastructure must be put in place throughout District 5 in order to lessen the digital divide and make our community wifi enabled.We have technology available today, but in District 5 it is still considered a luxury. Many of the surveys, questionnaires, outreach initiatives, covid relief applications are reliant on having access to a device and internet. Unfortunately many of our District 5 community members do not have reliable internet, which in turn makes it difficult to access these online resources or applications. In my current role as a school board trustee at Harlandale ISD, we have partnered with COSA to bridge the digital gap, by investing in towers that will help connect areas throughout our District 5 community, which equates to 35% of our ISD. Increasing accessibility to reliable internet will allow us to increase our outreach and transparency. Transparency is a vital component in gaining trust and support from your community. Providing more access to reliable internet would be a good initial step to allow for two way communication, for email, text messages, newsletters, virtual forums, meetings and also assist in providing quality customer service to our District 5 stakeholders.


Jesse "Jay" Alaniz

Did not respond.*


* denotes candidates who did not respond to survey requests sent via email and/or phone calls by time of publication.

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