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Published on Thursday, August 29, 2019

Mayor Nirenberg’s statement on Lila Cockrell

CONTACT: Bruce Davidson, 210-207-8998
Zack Lyke, 210-207-8448


SAN ANTONIO (Aug. 29, 2019) — Mayor Ron Nirenberg issued the following statement upon the passing for former Mayor Lila Cockrell:


If there were a Mount Rushmore for our city, Lila Cockrell would be on it. She was a great San Antonian.


I deeply valued our friendship, which started through a mutual appreciation for jazz music, the arts and our environment. Lila’s generosity with her time, knowledge and insight was incredibly helpful.  


She was a consummate statesman. She exuded class and never involved herself in the pettiness of politics despite all of the years that she was in the center of political life in San Antonio. She was a stellar role model for young women and young men.  


I don’t think she gets proper credit for ushering in an era of equal representation. She really did bridge the gap into the single-member district era. There would be no modern San Antonio without her leadership through that transition.


In addition to serving on City Council and two separate stints as mayor, Lila continued to dedicate her life to public service as president as of the San Antonio Parks Foundation for 15 years in addition to numerous other roles. She was a towering example of civic engagement at its finest. Her quiet but powerful service-oriented activism throughout her life was truly an inspiration to all who care about San Antonio and admire true leadership.


About Lila Cockrell:

Lila served for a decade on San Antonio City Council. In 1969, she was sworn in as the City’s first female Mayor Pro-Tem. She was elected the first female mayor of San Antonio in 1975 and served in the office until 1981. Upon her retirement, Lila devoted her time to public service, serving on municipal boards and commissions. She served as president of the San Antonio Parks Foundation from 1998 until her retirement in 2013.


The Lila Cockrell Theatre, located along the San Antonio River in the heart of downtown, is named in her honor.