CONTACT: Maria Luisa Cesar, 210-861-9030
Jennifer Falcon, 209-814-9670
SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 14, 2017) — Mayor Ron Nirenberg and District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales will lead a delegation of more than 20 members of the San Antonio business and education community to Guadalajara, Mexico for the Sister Cities International All Mexico-US Sister Cities Mayors’ Summit on Thursday. The panel discussions and meetings will highlight the increasing role city leaders are playing in building economic development opportunities and educational exchanges across borders.
Mayor Nirenberg and Councilwoman Gonzales will arrive in Guadalajara Thursday afternoon, where they will receive a briefing on the country’s political, economic and business climate from the U.S. Commercial Service and U.S. Consulate officials. Panel discussions will begin on Friday morning and include the following topics: economic development, immigration, climate change and resilience, innovation, cross-border cooperation, culture and the power of sports to transform lives.
The summit has drawn close to 300 attendees, including mayors from Albuquerque, Chihuahua and Laredo, and attendees represent close to 70 U.S. and Mexican cities. State officials with the Mexican government have been highly involved in the summit’s coordination and U.S. State Department officials will also be in attendance. Brooks president and CEO Leo Gomez will participate in a panel on business and the economy; Laura Dixon, director of government affairs for Spurs, Sports and Entertainment will participate in a panel about the transformative power of sports.
“The participation and level of engagement that we are seeing in this summit is a testament to the work that local leaders are doing to build relationships that will yield economic development opportunities and binational collaboration on trade, immigration, sports and education initiatives for our city,” Mayor Nirenberg said. “Here in San Antonio, we are fortunate to have local business, civic and educational leaders who understand the importance of building bridges in an increasingly globalized world."
The Summit will also give the San Antonio delegation an opportunity to highlight the city’s Tricentennial and learn more about Guadalajara, which became a Sister City to San Antonio in 1974 and which was designated in 2017 as a Creative City in Media Arts by UNESCO. San Antonio was recently inducted in the Creative Cities network as a City of Gastronomy and cultural representatives will also be present to make connections in the arts arena. Councilwoman Gonzales, the Council designee to Guadalajara, will participate on a panel about trends in immigration and success stories.
“I am honored to accompany Mayor Nirenberg and the San Antonio delegation on the Mexico-US Sister Cities Mayors' Summit in Guadalajara,” Councilwoman Gonzales said. “I look forward to working with one of our oldest Sister Cities to advance our relationship on important issues such as immigration, transportation and economic development.”
Councilwoman Gonzales said that “Guadalajara has long held a very special place in my family's heart as my mother spent much of her young life there.”
“Returning there to represent San Antonio, I feel as if I am fulfilling all the hopes my mother had for her children when migrating to America,” she added.
Community partners were instrumental in supporting this important event. Local sponsors include: Brooks, Port SA, Visit SA, SA Economic Development Foundation, Alamo Colleges, Frost Bank, IBC and Casa San Antonio. Because of the strong support of our local organizations, the City of San Antonio and its community partners will be honored as the Title Sponsors of the Gala Dinner.