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Marina Alderete Gavito wins District 7 City Council seat

Marina Alderete Gavito with her family on Saturday, June 10, 2023.
Joey Palacios
Marina Alderete Gavito with her family on Saturday, June 10, 2023.

Marina Alderete Gavito won the runoff for the District 7 seat on the San Antonio City Council.

The political newcomer will represent the Northwest Side city council district and take the place of interim Councilwoman Rosie Castro. She will take her seat later this month.

Gavito, who has served as executive director of SA Digital Connects, said in her role as councilwoman, she wants resident input to come first.

“And that’s what we spent a lot of time doing -- is listening. ‘Hey what are the big things here?' They want a city government that’s going to listen to them -- whether it’s a stray dog problem or other safety problems -- they want someone is going to listen to and work hard for them,” she said.

Gavito said she looked forward to addressing drainage issues in her district. She said she also planned to work with her District 5 counterpart on the West Side.

With the victory of Gavito and Sukh Kaur in District 1, the city council will return to a majority female city council: six women and five men.

Gavito is new to political office but not a stranger to politics. SA Digital Connects, which she directed, is a public-private partnership that addresses the digital divide in Bexar County. She is part of the politically powerful Alderete family and is the daughter of former Councilman Joe Alderete.

Gavito defeated Dan Rossiter, also a political newcomer and a former assistant director of research and development at Southwest Research Institute, in Saturday's runoff election.

This faceoff over the open seat came when Councilwoman Ana Sandoval resigned in January. She now works for University Health System.

Gavito came out on top in May's municipal elections. When a runoff election was triggered in May, she said she was ready to keep fighting for victory.

“We walked dozens of miles, knocked on thousands of doors and made thousands of texts and phone calls. It's because of this hard work that we earned a place in the runoff,” Gavito said.

In a forum with TPR's "The Source" on May 30, Gavito and Rossiter addressed House Bill 2127 -- nicknamed the "Death Star Bill" -- which awaits Gov. Greg Abbott's signature into law. The bill would prevent local governments from regulating and enacting legislation beyond state law.

Gavito said she agrees with Rossiter that the state should be sued if the bill gets signed.

“I do think that as a councilperson, one of the things that we need to do is partner with our statewide elected officials, our state reps, our state senators, to figure out how we work this, how we push back — and figure out a plan going forward," she said.

Rossiter said that he anticipated legal action against the state.

They also addressed community concern over dangerous dogs. That concern has grown since the mauling of an elderly man earlier this year in San Antonio.

Gavito said she plans to work with Animal Care Services to address dangerous dogs in her district.

“I really wanna use my business experience and business acumen to look at ACS’s operations and work with them and partner with them to see how could we address this issue more effectively,” she said.

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