First elected to City Council in 2013, Rebecca Viagran has been a tireless advocate in the effort to create equity, opportunity, and prosperity for all San Antonians.
San Antonio Heritage
Born and raised on the Southside of San Antonio, Councilwoman Viagran has deep ties and a deep passion for her community. From an early age, Rebecca’s family instilled into her the value of serving others. She was taught that there is nothing more important than helping build opportunity to ensure everybody has the ability to reach their fullest potential. Councilwoman Viagran graduated from Texas State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in urban and regional planning. She then attended St. Mary’s University, earning a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. In 2019 she was inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame for her service and leadership.
World Heritage Liaison
In 2013, Former Mayor Julian Castro named Councilwoman Viagran to serve as the City Council's Liaison for the San Antonio Missions UNESCO World Heritage Site Nomination. Councilwoman Viagran served on the delegation that traveled to Bonn, Germany for the World Heritage designation and celebrated with all of San Antonio on July 5, 2015, when the Missions were inscribed on the list of World Heritage sites. The San Antonio Missions Mission Concepcion, Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan, Mission Espada, and Mission San Antonio de Valero collectively are the first World Heritage site in Texas and the 23rd in the nation. Councilwoman Viagran continues to represent the City regarding the Missions and World Heritage site having represented the City in Washington, DC and Arequipa, Peru. She also took the lead on the World Heritage Symposia and World Heritage Work Plan for the City. This work continued in 2016, when Viagran joined leaders from around the world at the World Historical and Cultural Cities expo in Nanjing China. While there she emphasized the importance of protecting the cultural heritage of San Antonio. In 2018 she led the implementation of the Mission Historic District Design Manual. The manual is included in the City of San Antonio Historic Guidelines and will help protect and preserve the Mission Historic District and designated structures in the World Heritage Buffer Zone.
Councilwoman Viagran has been a leader in developing public policy that advances equity, opportunity, and prosperity for all by ensuring San Antonio becomes a truly global city with a 21st century economy. She has earned a reputation on city council as a fierce leader who strives to take bold action by listening to the community, building coalitions, and creating consensus. Through her leadership, District 3 has seen unprecedented development and inclusive growth which serves as a model of excellence in community development.
Councilwoman Viagran has represented District 3 and the City of San Antonio globally as she’s traveled to various countries to cultivate the relationships with San Antonio’s Sister Cites. She helped foster the connection with Toyota Manufacturing and the growth of economic development in San Antonio when visiting Toyota Headquarters in Japan. She has also worked as a liaison and advocate for the City of San Antonio and the United States Mexico Canada Agreement.
Councilwoman Viagran has also been instrumental in furthering the development of Brooks, a 1300 acre mixed-use development located in District 3 that was formed after the closure of Brooks Air Force Base. Her leadership has helped foster tremendous economic development and revitalization at Brooks. She has been consistently and aggressively pursuing economic development opportunities for her district. Today there are more than 40 businesses from all over the world that have chosen to locate at Brooks, and they employ more than 3,000 people.
Leadership on Council
As Dean of City Council, Councilwoman Viagran currently serves as the Chair of the Economic and Workforce Development committee for the City of San Antonio. In this role, she leads the city’s work on global economic development, while ensuring that San Antonio’s have access to the education, training, and support services they need to thrive in a 21st century economy. Her leadership has helped to foster a model of inclusive growth, where all San Antonian’s will benefit from the city’s continued growth and development.
She currently sits on the following council committees:
- Economic and Workforce Development Committee, Chair
- Public Safety Committee
- Planning and Community Development Committee
- Inter-Governmental Relations
- San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF) International Advisory Council, Co-Chair
- San Antonio Housing Trust Public Facility Corporation
- San Antonio Housing Trust Public Facility, President
- Visit San Antonio, Secretary
- National League of Cities Board of Directors
Believing in the power of leadership development, Viagran has been a leader on city council in developing and implementing policies and programs that will create the next generation of community leaders. She has been one of the leading voices fighting to ensure that women and minorities are fully represented on the city’s many boards and commissions. She has been a strong advocate for the women of San Antonio and for changing institutional, systemic sexism in racism. She is also a frequent community presenter and speaker on the importance of diversity and leadership locally and nationally.
Councilwoman Viagran continues to work towards providing opportunities for prosperity, public safety, and progress for the residents of District 3. Because of her strong roots to this community, it is her vision to enrich the district with more places to live, work, play, learn and thrive.
When out in the district, Councilwoman Viagran enjoys spending time on the Mission Reach with her dogs and speaking to young people and women’s groups on leadership. She also enjoys visiting with seniors at the various Senior Centers.
Her work continues to bring attention to the belief that District 3 represents the past, present and future of San Antonio.