To inform readers about the candidates seeking their votes on the November ballot, the San Antonio Report asked all candidates to answer the following questions. We edited answers for clarity, not substance or grammar, and we did not fact-check responses. We restricted responses to 200 words for each question.
Read other candidates’ answers here.
Link to campaign website:
Education background/degrees earned:
Brackenridge High School; Princeton University, BA; Harvard University, Master’s in Education
Current occupation, employer, or job title:
City of San Antonio, Special Projects Manager
Previous elected offices held and/or sought:
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the office you are seeking?
My commitment to service, speaking out against injustice, and standing up for positive change was ingrained in me through the example of my mother. She is originally from Mexico and growing up, she’d take my two older brothers and myself traveling around Mexico every summer to do community service. Even though I grew up in poverty here in San Antonio, serving in Mexico taught me about dire poverty in other countries. It taught me to be grateful for every single thing I had here, and it helped me to understand the privileges of being American and having access to free public education. I graduated from Brackenridge HS, Princeton, and Harvard. All of my life’s experiences in service, combined with 15 years of working in education/nonprofits and the last five years working in local government, have taught me how to engage all levels of the community to impact positive change. I have taught from inner-city to rural students, from 10- to 60-year-olds, from San Antonio to internationally. I’ve served the homeless, and have eaten with royalty. These diverse experiences give me a unique ability to meet the varied needs of Precinct 1.
What three issues do you feel are most important to voters in Bexar County?
Property tax relief is one of the most important issues. I plan to introduce a grandfather clause for individuals who have been in their homes for more than seven years so that their taxes won’t continue rising. I will help inform the community on how property values are estimated and how they can be contested. Thus, keeping our taxes at a manageable rate. Community economic development has been another concern for many years. More contracts need to go to local, small, minority, women, and veteran owned businesses. In turn, these small businesses can create more jobs for Precinct 1. We also need to partner with large companies in the business community to subcontract with small businesses and offer internships, shadowing days, and scholarships for Precinct 1 residents. Breaking the school-to-jail pipeline is imperative. This affects dropout rates, having an educated workforce, economic development, and mental health and well being. I will support funding social service organizations partnering with schools in this effort. In Texas, jails are the number one provider of mental health services. We can’t wait for young people to make mistakes and go to jail before dealing with root causes of mental health.
If elected, what would be your top priorities after taking office?
Being a current City of San Antonio employee, I see how so much of the real work gets done through the employees and departments after the elected officials and leadership make decisions that are then passed on to be implemented. Thus, I plan to meet with all County departments – and not just the top leadership – in order to understand their specific job responsibilities, department culture, and to build accountability and transparency for our constituents. Continuing to build and maintain good working relationships with the other Commissioners and County Judge are also vital so that we can support needed change in Bexar County and move forward without gridlock that has become so common in today’s political environment.
How has the coronavirus pandemic shaped your priorities?
Relationships with the community are vital to ensuring that there is transparency and open communication. Constituents will know that I am working for their best interests – both economically and as a public health concern. Revenues are down, so the County budget has shortfalls. I’ll be looking at fiscal waste and reallocation of funds within the budget. We need to be good stewards of taxpayers’ money. I will ensure that county and federal money earmarked for small businesses are equitably allocated. It was made public that Precinct 1 small businesses had received the least amount of funding. Many zip codes in Precinct 1 suffer from economic and health disparities. Unfortunately, we didn’t need a pandemic to tell us that underlying health issues are common in Bexar County. Sadly, we have one of the highest rates of obesity, directly impacting rates of diabetes. I plan to have precinct-wide health fairs and partner with community organizations in order to teach seminars on healthy eating, drinking more water, and exercise.
For incumbents: What do you consider your most significant accomplishments in office? What would you change?
For non-incumbents: What, if anything, would you do differently from the current officeholder?
I will be present and accessible to the constituents of Precinct 1. If I want to represent our community and be a voice for change, then I have to continue to spend a lot of time in the community. Precinct 1 is the largest geographic precinct and I think, the most diverse. The needs of the Far West Side in the county are different than Southtown, and the priorities of the far rural South Side are different than Alamo Ranch or Lackland. Before the pandemic, I visited over 26 neighborhood associations, and some up to four times if my schedule allowed. This will continue to be a part of my next four-year tenure. It is such a vital way to understand the various personalities of each neighborhood. I will not take constituents for granted because I will stay focused on serving our community and fighting for resources.