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San Antonio City Council District 6 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.


Irina Rudolph

Did not respond.*


Chris Baecker

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

A: I have never been employed in government.

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

A: Holding private property owners responsible for the upkeep of their property.

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: The government should not restrict citizens (lockdowns), force under threat of penalty redistribution amongst us (paid sick leave) or distort the free exchange of goods and services between us (Prop A).

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 undecided.

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'd like to see the extent to which "qualified immunity" exists/is exercised.

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: No. Government involvement in both areas already directly contributes to artificially inflated consumer prices.

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

A: Possible greater use of hedging contracts to lock in lower prices.

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: Look for non-basic services spending to cut.


Melissa Cabello Havrda

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

A: Prior to being the District 6 Councilwoman, I was a council aide to former Mayor Ed Garza, and subsequently worked with Mayor Emeritus Lila Cockrell at the San Antonio Parks Foundation. I was fortunate to gain in-depth experience working with city government early on in my life which ultimately inspired me to run for office.

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

A: I firmly believe in representative government, so my priorities come from the constituents of District 6 that I serve. The main issues I hear from my constituents are traffic and infrastructure improvements and public safety. District 6 is the fastest growing district in the city, so I have to focus on smart growth and small business development so our residents don’t have to leave the district to find the things they need.

Q: If you are the incumbent, what are you most proud of during your time in office so far?

A: In my first term I invested $44 million in road, intersection, pedestrian mobility and park improvements. I also secured an additional $1 million, outside of regular funding, to make additional parks and street improvements, because these are some of the most important items to so many of us in District 6. Keeping our green spaces and neighborhoods is clean and beautiful is also a top priority. My team and I have cleaned up more than 25 tons of trash through community Dial-a-Trailer events and community clean up events. I am exceptionally proud of obtaining an enhanced full-time squadron vehicle for Fire Station 44, which is located in District 6 and the busiest in the city. This vehicle has given our first responders the equipment they need to provide more rapid response times to emergencies in our area.

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: As the Chair of the Public Safety Committee my top priority is ensuring the safety and security of our citizens and our first responders.

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: The Public Safety Committee is working on a number of issues that are important to our citizens to ensure proper accountability and citizen protections. For example, I recently proposed the elimination of property repossession fees after an individual has been arrested. I’m also looking into increased mental health training for our officers, as well as increasing their ability to receive the support and services they need after being in a high-pressure situation.

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. Many people lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Creating this program will give them the opportunity to get their lives back on track. Additionally, we have some great community partners, such as Project QUEST, who already have established models that the city should collaborate with. This program will also focus on teaching employees the upskills needed to advance their careers or move into another industry, which I think is critically important as new technologies are created that change the way we work.

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 absolutely need to begin the process of weatherizing their facilities immediately. This was not a once in a lifetime storm. Climate change is real, and our weather is becoming more and more unpredictable. Additionally, customers should not pay for the price. CPS and SAWS must find a way to pay for their losses and properly weatherize their facilities without passing it on to the consumer.

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 reassess how the city pays for sidewalk repairs and try to remove the bulk of the burden that is placed on homeowners. Currently, our budget only allows for a certain amount in sidewalk repairs. Once that cap is met, it’s up to homeowners to repair their sidewalks. This is also an important issue to me as a disability attorney. Citizens who are wheelchair bound or have mobility issues shouldn’t have their mobility restricted due to damaged sidewalks.


Robert Hernandez

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

A: I have not served on city board. I currently work for a local non-profit on the Housing side. I have in the past work for parks and rec.

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

A: Infrastructure especially on the west side. Try to bring more small business to the district.

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 believe I have a better vision for the district. Parts of the district have been over looked. I believe the District deserves full-time representation. We have infrastructure, Transportation, and housing issues that we need to get in front of.

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 prop B. I do I do believe SAPD does need reform. But if the SAPD officers want to collective bargain for healthcare and wages I'm for that. I am against them bargaining for a say in disciplinary action. Citizens should have a say in disciplinary actions. At the moment there is a citizen review board but their findings are nonbinding. We need to take that power from an arbitrator and hand it back to the 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: Any on going negotiations between the city and the police Union should be postponed until after the election. I would like to see more training for officers. I would like to see more community policing.

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: While I do like the concept of the ready to work program, I believe it was rushed, and the issue that the program is having is a result. We need to look in to how to assist the citizens that do not want to learn a new trade. Citizens that just need jobs, not new trades. I would also like to see the program open to lower income families.

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 ask for a full review of both utilities. CPS bills have been on the rise for the longest time. CPS loves to promote this investment in the future but the only thing that the citizens receive are larger bills.

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: Create a true housing first program. A program that will house our chronically homeless and surround them by services.


Robert Walker

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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