Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Frontrunners contend as race nears end

Election day is right around the corner. On May 9, the City of San Antonio will hold its bi-annual municipal elections, in which the city selects its mayor and city council representatives.

Ivy Raylor picked up the reigns of San Antonio mayor after Julian Castro resigned to accept a position as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Although more than a dozen candidates will be on the ballot, most groups and outlets, including UTSA, which hosted a debate last month , have identified four clear frontrunners for the mayoral seat.

Despite Taylor’s temporary stewardship of the office, as well as previously stating that she would not run again, she has since announced her candidacy. Among Taylor’s priorities is economic growth and development. She seeks to make San Antonio an economic powerhouse that many international companies will flock to. Taylor has stated that in order to stimulate a robust economy with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, a renewed focus must be geared toward the education of younger generations.

Taylor is also a firm believer in what she refers to as “smart government.” Criticizing Washington D.C. and even Austin for faltering under partisanship and “political games,” Taylor is campaigning on a government that is receptive and responsive to the people it serves. Finally, Taylor hopes San Antonio maintains all of its ethnic and religious diversity. Her campaign embraces the idea of all San Antonians having an equal voice and no matter how large the city may grow, it will always be one community: “Equally, we must take responsibility and actively pursue our vision for our community.”

Also campaigning for the mayor’s office is Mike Villarreal. Villarreal was previously the State Representative for District 123 in San Antonio. Villarreal states he will seek to improve San Antonio in a number of ways, beginning with job growth and education. “I have a single heartfelt goal – to make San Antonio a city of opportunity for our children,” says the former representative. His plan intends to focus on what he considers a serious skill gap in San Antonio’s education system, stating that there are not enough students to fill every new job opening. One possible solution that he offers is for the state education system and companies to create specialized training programs for high school students as well as college students.

Villarreal also recognizes that San Antonio is the home to key military installations, and therefore a prime target for cyber attacks. His office claims that he will create a nonprofit organization whose full -time staff would promote an expanded cyber security industry as well as the success of San Antonio’s current cyber security.

With Villarreal’s stated history as a nonpartisan lawmaker, he states he will continue to reach across the aisle in order to serve his constituents. To this end, Villarreal has pledged that once in office he will remain bipartisan. “I will work with Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians (and) Green Party Members to get the job done.”

Former District 26 state Senator Leticia Van de Putte’s name will also appear on the ballot. A pharmacist and small business owner, Van de Putte hopes to take her 20 years of legislative experience to the mayor’s office. Van de Putte’s stance on infrastructure sees the quality of roads and transportation as one of the reasons job growth has not been as high as it could be. According to TxDOT, there are at least seventeen major roadways in San Antonio that require serious attention; Van de Putte believes tending to these crumbling streets will ease traffic and attract more business.

Her plans also include improvements to the city’s drainage system to prevent rain overflow into homes and greater attention to sidewalks. She believes that better lighting and sidewalk barriers will significantly reduce pedestrian injuries and promote safety.

The artistic and cultural integrity of San Antonio is another area of importance for Van de Putte. She hopes to foster interest in supporting programs such as San Antonio Children’s Do Seum, The Magik Theatre and educational centers such as San Antonio Cultural Arts and The Carver Community Cultural Center. “A creative community is more than classical artists,” says Van de Putte. “We must cultivate and encourage creative small businesses.”

Public safety is also one of Van de Putte’s primary concerns, and she plans to work very closely with San Antonio law enforcement. Her office claims that it will improve the safety of the community by fostering park patrols by the police, initiating body cameras for appropriate divisions and investing in “appropriate placement” of nonviolent peoples into appropriate treatment.

Finally, Tommy Adkisson will be running in the mayoral race. A long established figure in the Texas political system, Adkisson is a devoted student of history and aims to further serve the City of San Antonio. As Chairman of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, Adkisson is focused on San Antonio’s roadways and transportation system. It is his belief that the path toward a strong San Antonio begins with improvements to the highway systems, reforms to mass transit programs and repairs to damaged roadways.

Strengthening neighborhoods is another point that Tommy Adkisson feels strongly about. He is keen to work closely with residents, merchants and commercial property owners to make neighborhood revitalization into a reality. His campaign maintains that vibrant and well maintained communities will spark job growth and provide healthier and safer environments for countless residents.

With the election quickly approaching, voters will be presented with a diverse choice of candidates with campaigns that promise many great things for the city of San Antonio.

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