As in every year, 2022 had its share of triumphs, tragedies, inspiration, achievements, progress and setbacks.
Through it all, the San Antonio Report staff has taken note of what’s been said (thank you, Otter.ai) during some important — and not-so-important — occasions throughout the year.
Below, we’ve gathered some of the most memorable quotes from 2022. Some will move you, while others might elicit an eye roll or groan.
“Where I come from, the road to get here is a lot different. I’ve actually had calls from members of the community telling me how important me being successful in this role is to them. That’s what it means.”
— Rudy Garza, holding back tears, on being named CPS Energy’s first Hispanic CEO/president.
“A good muralist will pay attention to the community, will go in and research. … Actually what we did for all of our murals is we would knock on doors and ask everybody, ‘What do y’all want to see in your neighborhood?’”
— Artist Cruz Ortiz in “Westside murals reveal a ‘museum’ of local culture.”
“Instead of admitting failure, they now claim that the musicians — because of their lack of willingness to negotiate on a plan that doesn’t work — are to be blamed.”
— Sebastian Lang-Lessing, former San Antonio Symphony music director, on the dissolution of the 83-year-old orchestra by its board after a month-long strike by musicians and failed contract negotiations.
“From the beginning, we were told we had full creative freedom. … I think if they had wanted me to make family-friendly work, they should have told me something when I told them I was making a work about rage and sexuality.”
— Artist Sarah Fox, who claimed that the McNay Art Museum censored her artwork because of its content.
“I tell people I’m like Harry Potter — ‘the boy who lived.’”
— Jared Diamond, a Covid long-hauler, in “Survivors recount lingering health struggles but remain optimistic.”
“We are not safe in the places where we should be safe: in churches, in schools, and supermarkets, in movie theaters … [and] entertainment places. … We need to stop accepting that violence is a solution.”
— Dr. Alejandra Elenes, chair of the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Department of Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality Studies, in “Armed protesters, supporters outside all-ages drag show remain largely peaceful.”
“We still see these animals, we still have to look into their faces and make decisions. And so there are days when staff has to close the door and cry or take a walk around campus.”
Jessica Travis, Animal Care Services live release manager, in “ACS manager explains the heartbreak of euthanization.”
“Yep. I wasn’t dreaming. This is where we’re at.”
— Trish DeBerry, former Republican candidate Bexar County Judge, on the anonymous attacks ads run against her.
“I was like, ‘It’s just because I’m brown. We got a brown guy here. He’s a Republican. Here’s the brown Republican guy. I don’t want to be that guy.”
— State Rep.-elect John Lujan on the flock of invitations to appear with fellow Republicans after he was first elected.
“The crazies all eliminated each other and eventually fell in with a non-crazy.”
— Former Bexar County Commissioner Kevin Wolff on the GOP’s selection of Grant Moody to represent Precinct 3.
“It does make you think sometimes you could look for a place to be more effective.”
— State Rep. Diego Bernal on demoralized Democrats in the Texas House.
“Nobody wants to talk about it and everybody’s angry right now, especially women.”
— State Rep.-elect Josey Garcia on the fall of Roe v. Wade, at a rally for U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, who is against abortion.
“We just want people to have access to care that they see fit, because dignity isn’t leaving the state to get health care.”
— Makayla Montoya Frazier, a Buckle Bunnies Fund founder, in “‘We’re not going to stop’: Abortion aid group says donations, requests for help keep coming.”
“The question is where to stand between the doomsayers who say Democrats are bleeding support and the denialists who want to perceive 2020 as just a blip along the way.”
— Maria Isabel Di Franco Quiñonez, a research associate with Equis, in “Analysis: Republicans gained ground in Bexar County in 2020 among Hispanic voters.”
“Our nation was built on the back of poor immigrants that made us a great nation today. … Today, we mourn for those … immigrants who came to us to breathe that fresh air, but instead found death in the state of Texas.”
— Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff in “Five people die after being rescued from truck, raising death toll to 53 in smuggling case.”
“We’ve never had to worry about things like this. … We’re a peaceful, quiet little town.”
“As much as we don’t want these terrible things to happen, it’s reality. Unfortunately, you can’t use legislation to stop evil.”
— Josh Felker, owner of Lone Star Handgun Shooting Range, in “Amid tumultuous times, the firearms industry is booming — with San Antonio at the epicenter.”
“Whenever you hear about war or you hear on the news, it’s one thing, but when you receive a personal text [from the] people you grew up with, that you went to school with — your relatives are in that situation right now and you absolutely cannot do anything, just to speak up and show the support and love that we’re praying. … Nobody wants war.”
— Anna Stamps, who was born and raised in Ukraine and has lived in San Antonio for eight years, in “Ukrainians in San Antonio call for support following Russian invasion.”
“When we come for refuge, they don’t allow us to work. We come to work, we don’t come to ask or beg. There are many opportunities here.”
— Alexander Perez, a Venezuelan immigrant, in “3-day stay policy pushes some migrants from San Antonio’s resource center to the street.”
“I think what bothers people is that we weren’t involved. We weren’t told anything. … I don’t have anything against immigrants — God bless them, everyone wants a better life. My mother is an immigrant. [But] I never once woke up and said, ‘Boy, I’d like an immigration center across [the street].”
— A Northview Tower condominium resident in “Residents near San Antonio’s migrant center blast city for lack of transparency.”
“I want to contribute my experience as a Latina educator from another country that speaks a different language and show students [anything is] possible, that even though we’re from different parts of the world, we can do different things.”
— Emilce González, Nicaraguan educator in the San Antonio Independent School District, in “SAISD’s new Latin American educators bring their culture to dual language classrooms.”
“I worry everyday, not knowing what’s going to happen. My kids, one is 16, my daughter is 12, they know what’s going on. They know I could not be here next year or next month. It’s always been really hard on my kids, my family and I’m sure for many other DACA recipients.”
— Giovanni Castillo, a DACA recipient and San Antonio small business owner who came to the U.S. as a child 20 years ago in “Rep. Castro urges Congress to make DACA permanent during lame duck session.”
“Perla informed me that in those sanctuary states, the state has the benefits to help migrants. I’ve just been the mediator because I like to help people.”
— Emmanuel, a 27-year-old Venezuelan migrant who helped recruit asylum-seekers in San Antonio for flights to the East Coast orchestrated by Florida’s governor.
“I came with the conviction that I was going to do the right things. I love this country. This country has given me what my country couldn’t give me. I owe this country everything: I owe my family, my baby, my business.”
— Yuliana Martinez, Colombian immigrant and entrepreneur, in “Colombian entrepreneur now helps her immigrant employees succeed.”
“There are very few projects of this magnitude in the 2017 bond program where you have this many businesses impacted by a construction project.”
— City Manager Erik Walsh, regarding construction on St. Mary’s Strip, in “City hastens St. Mary’s roadwork as bar owners watch sales plummet.”
“We all need to work together. I understand what it’s like to be at a bar where it’s empty. You’re not making any money, not putting any cash in your pocket because you’re relying on those tips. I get it. But also I get the fact that it’s very difficult to live on these streets and try to navigate around. My parents are prisoners in their own house because they can’t get in and out. That’s not fair.”
— Resident Cesar Rivera in “City’s proposed parking restrictions divide St. Mary’s Strip, Tobin Hill.”
“I’ve never felt as nervous as I do at Seven Oaks.”
Michael Stevenson, a Vietnam War veteran and resident of the complex, in “Tenants call on their apartments’ new Austin-based owners to delay evictions.”
“Today’s vote culminates an exhaustive process arriving at what the utility truly needs. This request covers the basics and does not add any extras. Through the city’s partnership with CPS, we are ushering in a new era of accountability. … We don’t make this decision lightly.”
— Mayor Ron Nirenberg on the council’s decision to approve CPS Energy’s 3.85% rate increase in January, which went into effect in March.
“It’s not even a mud puddle; usually it’s clear, flowing with water and lush beautiful green banks. Now it’s just white stones, laying there like bleached bones.”
— Kathleen Tobin Krueger, former New Braunfels councilwoman, on the Medina River during the summer in “Dry riverbeds, dead fish, tapped-out wells: Drought takes toll in Hill Country.”
“I want to validate what you said about the birds. We wrote it ourselves. It was our mistake, but we have to own it.”
— David McCary, assistant city manager, apologizing to environmentalists at a Brackenridge Park meeting, that some city documents did state that tree removal would also benefit the city’s ongoing efforts to push migratory birds to nesting sites outside the park.
“People get stuck in the mud there. They think they can’t do something else in the community. They don’t know what’s out there.”
— James Meadours, president of the disabilities civil rights group Texas Advocates, on sheltered workshops in “Adults with disabilities can be paid $3.30 an hour or less. Why pressure is building to end the practice.”
“We’re closing down a baseload coal plant in a world that is politically controlled by people that don’t particularly like us, OK? That’s what we’re trying to do, and we have to have their permission to do this. How do we get their permission? We get their permission by increasing our reliability.”
— CPS’ rate advisory committee chairman Reed Williams in “CPS Energy committee recommends power mix that relies on natural gas.”
“Compatibility is going to be a real battle.”
— Katherine Court resident Jim Loyd on pending development in “Alamo Heights neighbors protest proposed apartment building, fearing student influx.”
“You have all these different pro-government forces arguing on behalf of government, and in the process of doing so, they’re taking elected representatives time and attention away from the public.”
— James Quintero, a policy director at the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation, in “San Antonio gears up to play defense in 88th Legislative Session.”
“I don’t even think we’re biting at the apple, we’re pointing at the apple.”
— John Agather, Alamo Regional Mobility Authority board member, in “Elon Musk’s Alamo Loop underground tunnel proposal selected for further study.”
— A DJ, who announced an afterparty at the 1902 Nightclub, in “San Antonio’s business conventions slowly return.”