To inform readers about the candidates seeking their votes on the May 1 ballot, the San Antonio Report asked all City Council and mayoral candidates to respond to a brief questionnaire. Only candidates who responded are listed below. Some responses were edited slightly for clarity, and we did not fact-check responses.

See more Q&As with candidates in the May election here.

Ana Sandoval

Age 46, District 7 City Council member. San Antonio resident for 29 years.

List any previous experience in government or participation on local boards, commissions, or neighborhood associations.

VIA Metropolitan Transit, Strategic Systems Planner (2003-2005); Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Planner, Manager and Chief of Staff (2005-2013); City of San Antonio 2017 Neighborhood Improvements Bond Committee; District 7 City Councilwoman (2017-Present). 

What are the top priorities you would like to address as a council member?

My top priorities are (a) public health, (b) infrastructure & transportation, (c) climate, the environment and sustainability, and (d) accountability and public participation. 

Public health 

  • Ensuring that our COVID-19 vaccine distribution is equitable and our most vulnerable residents, like senior citizens, and those with pre-existing conditions have access to the vaccine. This includes making the process easier such as through a vaccine registry. 
  • Increasing permanent funding for our Metro Health Department to help us improve the health of our community members by tailoring our programs to the needs of our city.
  • Reducing the existing 20-year life gap between the residents of our most and least affluent neighborhoods by growing access to opportunity, jobs, health care, and more. 

Infrastructure and transportation 

  • Securing funding to improve our drainage system in upcoming budget cycles and the 2022 bond program. District 7 has the most structures in the floodplain and a drainage system wholly underbuilt for the amount of water it serves. 
  • Installing sidewalks that connect residents to schools, parks, and community centers while improving safety.
  • Continuing to advocate at the federal level for more infrastructure and transportation funding through my appointment on the National League of Cities Transportation & Infrastructure Services Committee. 
  • Expanding multimodal transportation options in San Antonio, including bus rapid transit, that allows all residents to easily travel to and from home, work, and for leisure. 

Climate, the environment and sustainability 

  • Safeguarding critical infrastructure like our electric grid and water system to ensure families have access to basic services during weather-related emergencies. 
  • Integrating sustainability and resiliency into future development, including offering more transportation choices, creating walkable communities, and incentivizing energy efficient buildings. 
  • Preserving and growing our greenspace by ensuring that residents have access to a park or linear creekway near or within their neighborhood. 

Accountability and public participation 

  • Continuing to implement City Council’s adopted Principles of Public Participation to enhance how the City engages with residents on policy items and for constituent services. 
  • Maximizing the effectiveness of our boards and commissions and increasing accessibility for all residents interested in serving.

Do you support the proposition to change city charter language and expand the use of bond money beyond public works?

San Antonio must prioritize preservation of existing affordable housing via capital investments and maintenance support. Too much of our existing stock of affordable housing is either being sold and flipped for higher end renters or is reaching the end of its affordability subsidy. Proposition A would allow for this type of investment in preserving affordable housing. 

Do you believe there is a need for policing reform in San Antonio?

We need a holistic review of our public safety system. Right now, our health and social services are underfunded and our current model expects police to fill the gaps. These expectations are unrealistic and set us up for failure. They are not fair to our officers or to our community. We must reevaluate our expectations of SAPD and ensure that officers have the time and resources needed to respond where they are most needed. I believe the City’s current review of police service calls will allow us to understand where other resources like mental health professionals, code compliance, and other organizations may help reduce the burden on our police and keep residents safe. 

In addition, any future collective bargaining contract should allow for measures of accountability and transparency that our residents expect of public servants while continuing to provide competitive salaries and benefits.As we emerge from the pandemic, we must also invest in community by growing neighborhood-based programming and increase involvement in civic institutions like neighborhood associations. By strengthening civic engagement, we can build the bonds to keep our community safe.

How do you see the concept of “equity” applying to a City Council member’s job?

I was elected to City Council with a strong understanding of the health inequities that exist in our community and with a determination to do something about it if elected. 

Residents in our wealthiest neighborhoods live up to 20 years longer than those in our most impoverished neighborhoods; that is a generation. Science demonstrates that while 20% of health is influenced by medical care, the remainder is driven by socioeconomic factors, built and natural environments, and health behaviors. City investments and policies have a direct and indirect influence on health. Council decisions must be made so as to reduce disparities and improve health. 

In San Antonio, we have some areas with excellent infrastructure and some areas where it is truly underdeveloped. Parts of our city have the benefit of being built under newer development codes that require sidewalks and adequate drainage, while many others were built before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) even existed. By using the concept of equity to guide our infrastructure investments, we aim to ensure that we provide every San Antonio resident a minimum level of service and quality infrastructure.

This article was assembled by various members of the San Antonio Report staff.