Shirley Gonzales, CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 5

Biography

Shirley Gonzales

THANK YOU

My thanks to the residents of District 5 who have voted their confidence in me to serve as their representative on the City Council. Now in my 3rd term and 5th year of service I am privileged to represent my neighbors, the district's residents.

LIFELONG DISTRICT 5 ROOTS

Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, I am the daughter of Mexican immigrants, who started their own business in the heart of the West Side. I was raised to appreciate my family's historical ties and culture, which I share with residents of District 5.

I attended Ursuline Academy and earned Bachelor and Master in Business Administration degrees from St. Mary’s University. I have been working in the family-owned business for 25 years and enjoy supporting educational institutions and service organizations making a difference in the neighborhood.

SMALL BUSINESS OWNER, MOTHER, EQUITY ADVOCATE

As District 5's representative on the council, I am blessed to be able use my experience as owner of a 50- year-old legacy business and mother of 3 young children as a fierce advocate for budget and resource equity.

The heart of the district is within the original 36 square miles of the city with many historic walkable neighborhoods. Regrettably, for many years this area experienced an exodus due to declining investments in public infrastructure and services, especially in the years before single member districts. While we continue to need significant public infrastructure investments, District 5 is home to some of the city's most historic and beautiful sites. It has a unique culture kept alive by vibrant resident neighbors. Our neighborhoods have the grid design to cost effectively provide sustainable infrastructure, parks, walkability, bike lanes, accessible public transit, and traffic calming streets.

Given this unique combination of history and opportunity, I am a passionate advocate for equitable allocation of the city's investments, resources and services to the district. I am convinced that equitable investments will inure to the overall economic benefit of the entire community as we begin removing the unwanted title as the most economically segregated city in the nation.

COUNCIL SERVICE

Mayor Ron Nirenberg appointed me chair of the Comprehensive Plan Committee (CPC) responsible for oversight of the SA Tomorrow Comprehensive Plan implementation, including housing, utilities, and communications technology. This is the investment and policy guide not only for current city planning, but also preparing for the area's anticipated 1.1 million new residents by 2040.

The mayor also appointed me to several committees vital to city and district 5 residents. These are Transportation Committee, Economic and Workforce Development Committee, Arts, Culture, and Heritage Committee and the Technology Committee.

I also serve on the following boards and committees: The San Antonio Housing Trust Finance Corporation, The San Antonio Housing Public Facility Corporation, Alamo Area Mobility Policy Organization (AAMPO) Transportation Policy Committee and Bicycle Mobility Advisory Committee (Chair), as well as Inner City Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone #11 and Westside Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone #30 (Chair).

MAJOR INTIATIVES

Equitable Street Maintenance Budget: The current city budget utilizes an Equity Lens as presented by City Manager Sheryl Scully and adopted by the council. It follows the equity principle I presented to my colleagues in a report on Street Maintenance funding policy. This report documents the gross inequity of the long-standing rough proportionality policy that allocated equal street maintenance funding for each district. It reveals that streets in districts 1,2,3,5,and 10 have a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) less than the accepted city-wide average of 70. In response to this report the council subsequently adopted the manager's recommendation for an additional $35 million street maintenance funds from available bond savings for these districts.

A Vision Zero policy was adopted by the council in 2016 in response to my recommendation to set a goal of zero traffic deaths. This calls for street design changes and public education to reduce speeds (traffic calming) throughout the city to accomplish this goal I am pleased that results for 2017 show a 30% reduction in traffic deaths.

Complete Streets are designed to allow people to move safely by walking, cycling, vehicle or public transit. This policy converts vehicle centric streets to multimodal access portals for people. At my recommendation, the city recently adopted the new National Association of City Transportation Organizations (NACTO) design guidelines for complete streets.

Affordable Housing is a major need in District 5 and the entire city. We are currently embarked on a district Housing Pilot by partnering with the Mexican American Unity Council (MAUC), the LiftFund, and the National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) implementing a comprehensive initiative including a Housing Resource Center offering information services, training and certification for small contractors and workshops for property owners and small developers wanting to remodel or build D5 housing. In addition, we established a pilot program with the Public Policy Center of UTSA providing estate planning and title clearance services to help older residents avoid or resolve legal problems when refinancing, remodeling or transferring property to their offspring or others.

Child Abuse Prevention is the aim of a special pilot project with the Family Services Association, the Alamo Colleges Westside Education and Training Center (WETC) and the UTSA College of Public Policy. Under the 2-year program 20 Promotoras (Community Health Workers) are being trained to assist expectant and recent mothers with methods for avoiding child abuse and neglect in zip code 78207, where the city's highest child abuse is reported.

Business Corridor Alliances with support from the Westside Development Corporation and the UTSA Economic Development Institute starting with the West Commerce Corridor Alliance are being established to assist small firms, especially legacy businesses promote and enhance their businesses.

2017 Bond Projects are bringing more sidewalks, park and library improvements, and major street improvements including a Westside Gateway at the West Commerce Street bridge, the Zarzamora/Frio City Road Railroad crossing, and Roosevelt and Probandt access to the World Heritage Missions.

New LED Lighting has been installed making neighborhoods, parks, street corners, safer throughout the district.