A lot has happened in these last two weeks—the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, the Earned Paid Sick Time delay, and the presentation of the proposed FY 2020 General Budget, among others. This week, here are five major updates:
After El Paso Shooting, City Council Calls for State & Federal Action on Gun Violence
Over the last several years, I, like many of you, have learned a lot more about mass shootings than I ever wanted to know: the speed with which someone can kill so many people, the ease with which someone can purchase a lethal weapon, and the depths of pain and suffering a family experiences when they lose their loved ones to senseless violence.
For many in our community, the El Paso shooting feels different. In San Antonio, a city that some call “the northern most city in Mexico,” the shooting hits close to home. It feels like it could have happened here.
One of our local parishes saw their congregation shrink by half on the Sunday after the El Paso shooting. People are too afraid to send their kids to school and to worship with a group of Latinos in public. Gun violence doesn’t just strike those who were there, it strikes communities far and wide. And we can’t continue to tolerate it.”
From every level of government—local, state, and federal—we must act. We can’t continue to stand by and let more places like El Paso and Dayton join the steadily growing list of cities, schools, and churches where mass shootings have occurred.
City Council approved a resolution
calling for legislative action to combat this scourge of domestic terrorism. What we’re saying with this resolution is that we will do everything we can to make sure San Antonio residents are safe and have some peace of mind.
In my role as Chairwoman of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, I intend to continue the conversation and guide our community to find solutions for what we, as a City, can do.
I also intend to support the
$1.6 million in the proposed FY 2020 City Budget
to address domestic and family violence. There’s an intimate link between domestic violence and mass shootings. According to
, over half of the mass shootings between 2009 and 2017 were committed by someone who also killed a family member or intimate partner.
Further, I’m issuing an open invitation to gun owners and vendors to join us as we search for solutions. We need your insight and collaboration to make our community safer.
An Update on Earned Paid Sick Time
I’m a steadfast supporter of Earned Paid Sick Leave and an advocate for a San Antonio where hard-working residents can pay the bills and take care of themselves and their family.
Early in July, the City made a decision to delay the implementation of Earned Paid Sick Leave until December of this year. I originally believed this was an appropriate approach. However, after much discussion with community advocates and city staff, I spoke to city staff and voiced my disagreement with delaying the ordinance’s implementation date.
The majority of City Council did not take the same position. As such, the City delayed the August 1 implementation date to December 1. Before then, Council intends to adopt possible amendments to the ordinance. These amendments will be proposed by the Paid Sick Leave Commission, which is currently working on this right now. To find out more about their work,
As for next steps, my priority remains ensuring that this ordinance goes into effect as soon as possible, as is the will of the 144,000 who signed the Earned Paid Sick Leave petition. We must work efficiently and diligently to make this happen.
The District 7 Back to School Bash is Tomorrow
Our Back to School Bash is this Saturday at Gilbert Garza Community Center, 1450 Mira Vista Dr., from 9:00 a.m. to noon.
My office has teamed up with State Representative Ray Lopez and County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez to ensure our local students have the resources they need to succeed in school.
We’ll have the Spurs Coyote, McGruff the Crime Dog, and a number of other mascots, along with backpacks, school supplies, low-cost immunizations, and vouchers for free haircuts. Many City departments and community resources will be there as well, including SAWS, CPS Energy, Neighborhood & Housing Services, and Metro Health.
You Can Now Watch ALL City Council Committee Meetings Online
Whether City Council is voting on a new law or a commission is making a decision that will impact your neighborhood, you deserve a process that is accessible and transparent.
As a result of my efforts to improve the City’s Public Participation efforts, I am happy to announce that the City will begin to broadcast ALL City Council committee meetings as well as specific Boards & Commissions meetings, including the Zoning, Planning, and the Historic Design & Review Commission.
Now Public: The Proposed FY 2020 Budget
City Manager Erik Walsh presented the
proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Budget
to City Council last Thursday, August 8. He and his staff have done an excellent job crafting a balanced budget that includes $110,000 budget for street maintenance, funding for 16 new police officers, and $1.6 million to combat domestic violence.
The proposed budget keeps the property tax rate consistent, offers a $5,000 Homestead Exemption, and reflects the input of both City Council and over 11,000 residents.
Throughout this week, City Council has met in worksessions to review and discuss the proposed budget. We’ll continue to take a fine-toothed comb to the proposed budget over the next few weeks and ultimately adopt a final budget on September 12.
If you like to learn more about the budget, we invite to participate in the public meetings scheduled for
on August 17 at 1:00 p.m. and
, 17619 La Cantera Pkwy, on August 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Additionally, you can attend the public hearings scheduled for August 28 and September 4. Both are at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at 114 W Commerce St.
Finally, you can also participate in the City’s Telephone Town Hall on the proposed budget on August 29 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. To register, visit