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San Antonio is known around the world for its deep, cultural heritage. Our region is transforming into an economy of the future. As San Antonio continues to grow, we must make sure growth benefits our community equitably. As one of CPS Energy’s newest trustees, I am committed to building a modern and sustainable energy future for my neighbors, my sons, and my young daughter.

My American dream is fueled by my desire to break the cycle of poverty, my curiosity about web-based technology, and my entrepreneurial spirit. It inspired me to launch my business at the young age of 21. Founding my technology company has taught me that no business survives without understanding the customers it serves and the community where it operates. Creative ideas and innovative approaches can come from almost anywhere – your partners, customers, target groups, or employees.

They often bring fresh perspectives, so it is important to listen and be open to feedback. That’s why an open exchange is supported and encouraged by CPS Energy President and CEO Paula Gold-Williams.

Reliable, resilient, and secure energy is key for contemporary life, and CPS Energy is creating a 21st-century digital grid to provide our community with access to modern energy. Over the next few decades, a growing population will lead to the increased need to sustain more homes, businesses, and transportation – and we will be the energy provider that powers it all. Increased energy efficiency and a shift to lower-carbon energy sources will help curb carbon dioxide emissions, and innovative technology solutions will help to achieve society’s emissions goals.

Affordable energy services are important to residents of Greater San Antonio. This unprecedented year has emphasized the importance of helping our neighbors. This is especially essential in the Southwest Quadrant, where I grew up and raised my sons. I recently moved back to District 5, one of the areas hardest hit by the pandemic, to raise my young daughter and be closer to my mother. For some customers, unemployment or low wages make it a challenge to pay utility bills, which is why I support our People First philosophy, assistance programs like the Residential Energy Assistance Partnership (REAP) with the City of San Antonio and Bexar County, and the suspension of disconnects during COVID-19.

As your representative, I am also committed to CPS Energy’s Flexible Path, a balanced approach investing in new technologies and traditional alternatives. As we continue our transformation to cleaner energy solutions, this will remain a predominant focus.

As a business owner, I understand the integral role that large, medium and small businesses play in the overall health of our economy, as well as the impact CPS Energy’s affordability and innovation have on our ability to do business.

Decades ago, my father was forced to close his small business due to economic hardship. Shortly after, he was hired by CPS Energy as a mechanic. This job was a godsend to our family and provided two things that most Americans need: a living wage and access to health care. He retired from CPS Energy in 2016 with 17 years of service. I am proud he is counted among more than 2,100 retirees who have contributed so much to this company and our community.

CPS Energy’s diverse team of 3,100 employees live, raise families, and have a significant economic impact on our service area and beyond. We are aware of the economic impact of pandemic-related unemployment on the community and are proud to have prudently maintained the size of our workforce during these challenging times.

At CPS Energy, we understand that true progress can only be achieved by continuing to listen to the needs of our diverse customers. One of my personal goals is for you to engage with us whenever possible – attend a virtual People First Community Fair, sign up to speak during one of our board of trustees meetings, or give one of our energy advisors a call. We are always ready to listen and help our neighbors now and in the future.

Trustee Janie Martinez Gonzalez represents the Southwest Quadrant of the CPS Energy territory. She is President and CEO of Webhead, a company that specializes in technology business transformation solutions...