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Username: RBearSAT
PersonId: 3958
Created: Thu May 29, 2008 at 10:03 PM CDT
RBearSAT's RSS Feed
Web Page: http://www.concernedinsa.com
Email: randy@randybear.com

A Look at San Antonio's Municipal Elections

by: RBearSAT

Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:39 AM CDT

(Thanks to reader Randy for this tremendous overview of the ongoing elections in San Antonio! - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

Just like almost every other municipality in Texas, San Antonio is in the early voting stages for citywide elections scheduled for May 11th.

These elections really exemplify the late Speaker Tip O'Neill's famous adage "All politics is local." It just doesn't get more local than voting for your city council member or school board trustee. Yet, these elections also seem to draw the lowest voter turnouts across Texas. In San Antonio, while presidential election years will draw 60-65% of the voters, muni elections often draw no more than 5-10%, even in hotly contested years. But even with those low numbers, the drama of the races is no less. So how do the races look on the muni ballot?

Find out below the jump!

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Some redistricting proposals are out

by: RBearSAT

Tue Oct 18, 2011 at 02:36 PM CDT

(Good update on the redistricting process. What map do you prefer? Vote in the poll below the jump.   - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

Today Michael Li, a Dallas attorney who has been heavily involved in the Texas redistricting process, put out the latest information of proposed maps and reasoning by interested parties to redistricting. As you probably know the redistricting maps proposed by the 82nd Texas Legislature have been challenged in court by several parties, primarily Hispanic interest parties such as LULAC, MALC, and the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force. While some may think redistricting will force all sorts of challenges in November, as the Texas Tribune notes, the real challenges will be in March when candidates in the two parties will decide who will potentially win the district. Very few of the districts were drawn as competitive and "only six of the 150 House districts were won by one party or the other by less than 10 percentage points." Monday was the deadline for proposals to be submitted by interested parties. So how did those proposals look?
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San Antonio Votes 7-4 to Extend Domestic Partnership Benefits for City Employees

by: RBearSAT

Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 04:41 PM CDT

(Great news from San Antonio. - promoted by Karl-Thomas Musselman)

Today, in a series of votes on the proposed 2012 budget, the San Antonio City Council voted to extend benefits for city employees in domestic partnerships. The final vote on the budget was 8-3 with DP benefits included after an amendment by Councilwoman Elisa Chan (District 9) to exclude the benefits failed 4-7. The benefits, estimated to cost around $300,000 per fiscal year, will go into effect during the city's next enrollment period. According to city staff projections, an estimated 30 employees would possibly take advantage of the benefits. Before city employees can qualify for the benefits, an affidavit must be signed and two pieces of documentation (joint lease or mortgage; joint bank account; joint credit card; jointly paid household expense, such as a utility bill, bearing both names; and documents showing beneficiary status of life insurance or will) as proof of the relationship.
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Domestic partnership benefits hang in the balance of San Antonio's budget

by: RBearSAT

Tue Sep 13, 2011 at 10:26 AM CDT

(Do the right thing, San Antonio! Pass domestic partner benefits. Lean times are no reason not to support full equality.   - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

The City of San Antonio is in the final week of budget deliberations for its 2012 budget of over $2.2 billion. This coming year's budget exhibits much of the fiscal control that City Manager Sheryl Sculley has brought to the city, providing San Antonio with a AAA bond rating by all three rating agencies. While maintaining those constraints, the city's budget continues to help move forward in helping achieve the city's SA2020 goals, it does so without any property tax increase and modest fee increases for waste management and other Enterprise services. But for all the changes expected in the 2012 budget, one change that amounts to .014% of the overall budget is getting the largest public attention - the extension of domestic partnership benefits for opposite- and same-sex couples. Extending those benefits to city employees has brought to the forefront the divisions people still have over LGBT rights within the 7th largest city in the nation.
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In San Antonio's District 4 it's the new breed vs. the old guard

by: RBearSAT

Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 04:57 PM CST

(Part of a series on San Antonio's municipal elections at Concerned Citizens.)

In my continuing review of San Antonio's municipal races I decided to take a look at District 4, currently held by Philip Cortez who will vacate this year due to term limits. The district sits in the southwest area of San Antonio and is sometimes overlooked when considering the future of the city. However, since it's next to the home of Toyota Texas it also could be considered the future when looking at manufacturing job opportunities due to the amount of undeveloped land and transportation access. Most were expecting Cortez's fiancé, Leticia Cantu, to take the seat until Rey Saldaña, a young Stanford graduate, turned in a financial report topping Cantu at the January 15th mark. So did this just become a competitive race and, if so, who are these two candidates?

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San Antonio District 5 - Rematch+1

by: RBearSAT

Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 04:39 PM CST

( - promoted by Matt Glazer)

(Part of a series on San Antonio's municipal elections at Concerned Citizens.)

One of the more interesting council races in 2009 was the match-up in District 5 between Lourdes Galvan and David Medina. Galvan had been expected to win the race as the incumbent. However, a tenacious David Medina fought a hard battle forcing the election into a run-off and winning by a mere 45 votes. Possibly feeling Medina as vulnerable for a rematch, Galvan is now challenging him to a rematch in the 2011 municipal election. As Gilbert Garcia points out in an article in Plaza de Armas this race will prove to be just as strong of a battle as 2009 was. But is it really going to be the same type election

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Race for District 1 should be a hot one in San Antonio

by: RBearSAT

Sun Jan 16, 2011 at 05:10 PM CST

( - promoted by Matt Glazer)

(Part of a series on San Antonio's municipal elections at Concerned Citizens. I updated my original entry to reflect recent information.)

It's time for the municipal elections in San Antonio and 2011 should prove to be interesting. So that brings me to my home district, District 1. This district is where I predict all the fun will be had for the 2011 election cycle. Currently there are four announced candidates for the seat currently held by Mary Alice Cisneros, who terms out in 2011. Not only do I expect this district to be the hottest race in the munis it's also the one I'll be watching most closely since I live in the district. So who are the candidates at this point and what are their backgrounds?

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What makes a good District 1 council member?

by: RBearSAT

Thu Jan 13, 2011 at 07:14 PM CST

(In our effort to expand regional coverage, we have asked Randy to cross-post some of his work on the San Antonio city council races. We will have more on San Antonio in the next few days. If you are interested in helping or writing about issues and topics important to you, stay tuned for how you can be a writer on BOR. - promoted by Matt Glazer)

(Part of a series on San Antonio's municipal elections at Concerned Citizens)

We haven't even gotten through the 2010 election cycle and candidates for the 2011 municipal election are already jockeying for position, especially in District 1. In 2011 Councilwoman Mary Alice Cisneros will be vacating her office due to term limits (she was not covered by the term limit extensions) and a field is already developing to run for her office. Greg Jefferson, columnist with the San Antonio Express-News, detailed some of the early political moves by District 1 candidates. It a good read and he's a lot more cued in on the race than I am so I'll leave any candidate analysis to him at this point. But a big question in mind is what would make a good District 1 candidate?

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Who will build Texas if her own people will not?

by: RBearSAT

Mon Jan 10, 2011 at 06:10 PM CST

I originally posted this in my blog - Concerned Citizens

The line is an adaption of a famous 1957 photo by Larry Obsitnik of the Arkansas Gazette. It's taken looking back at the Broadway Bridge in Little Rock as paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division rolled into the city. They were entering Little Rock on the eve of Little Rock Central High School's historic integration. A simple statement on a billboard at a turning point in Arkansas' history but it said so much at that time. I remembered that photo today as I sat in a press conference hosted by Rep. Mike Villarreal as he discussed the impact an epic budget shortfall will have on Texas education. In so many words, Villarreal asked that same question of Texans going into the upcoming biennium.

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Mayor Julian Castro Grand Marshal of SA Pride Parade, Meets Opposition

by: RBearSAT

Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 05:40 PM CDT

(The recently elected San Antonio Mayor is already doing the right thing. Show your support for Mayor Castro. - promoted by Matt Glazer)

Mayor Julian Castro agreed to serve as Grand Marshal of San Antonio's Pride Parade this July 4th, becoming the first San Antonio mayor to ever serve in this role. Prior Grand Marshals have included SAPD Chief William McManus, Bexar County Sheriff Ralph Lopez, US Congressman Charlie Gonzalez and former Marine Eric Alva. In doing so, Castro has drawn attacks from conservative talk show host Adam McManus who has encouraged his listeners to oppose Castro's action. McManus has leveraged his radio program to promote conservative and right-wing positions regularly, including opposition to a proposed change to the city's non-discrimination employment ordinance to include sexual orientation in 1998.

Please take the time to express support for Mayor Castro's decision and outrage to Adam McManus for opposition to such action. At such an early time in his career Mayor Castro has taken a bold action to show that San Antonio is an inclusive city and rejects divisive and repressive acts by people like McManus.

Gay Pride SA is planning to attend city council on June 11th at 5pm in a show of support for Mayor Castro. More info at the Facebook event page.

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