Voting is a vital part of our democracy and the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce encourages all residents to educate themselves and cast ballots for city council and mayoral candidates.
We sent out a questionnaire to all candidates running in municipal elections this year. In the questionnaire, we asked candidates about the city’s relationship with the business community, transportation, and the Climate Action and Adaption Plan. We published the results in a previous blog post, but have now updated the race to reflect the two candidates for the June 8 runoff.
For the District 2 seat, Keith Toney and Jada Andrews-Sullivan emerged as the two front runners in the May election. Previously, your Chamber hosted a Facebook Live candidate forum between the two candidates, which can be found here.
Here is what Jada Andrews-Sullivan had to say in response to the questionnaire:
- Please introduce yourself and share why you are seeking a seat on the San Antonio City Council, including why you feel you are the best candidate for the position.
Greetings my name is Jada Andrews-Sullivan, I’m a mother, disabled Army Veteran, small business owner/operator, NAACP Member, MLK Jr Commission volunteer, Domestic/Sexual Assault Advocate and Regional Director of Southwest for Alpha Omega Theta Sorority Inc. I am seeking the District 2 City Council seat as a life long resident of District 2. It’s not just home it is family, community and we deserve accountability, accessibility, full transparency and action. District 2 has seen City Council Members come and go without any of the agendas promised fulfilled. It is time that we have someone who will step up, speak out and advocate for us all. I am that person, my heart is genuine in the representation my community will receive and there’s no selling out, no giving up but complete care and concern for our community to receive an uplifting, revitalization and restoration of pride. It’s not about me but definitely about our community.
- What steps would you take as a city council member to strengthen the City’s business environment?
By supporting businesses we help local businesses grow and attract new businesses. By doing this we can help businesses create jobs, encourage entrepreneurship, enhance fiscal sustainability by expanding and diversifying the tax base, and improve quality of life with new services and amenities. Encouraging entrepreneurs to start businesses gives people power over their own lives and lets them build wealth in their own communities. Embrace diversity, foster inclusiveness ensuring that diversity is not divisive. Forge a partnership where people, public, private work together to ensure they are fully improving the quality of life for everyone. Promote innovative and non-conventional solutions. Plan for long-term growth and renewal, make efficient use of available scarce land.
- What are your thoughts on municipal government adopting policies to regulate employer operations regarding wages, compensation and scheduling?
Our businesses are already over saturated with State/Federal regulations when it comes to policies that regulate operations of wages, compensation and scheduling. We as a City Council should be looking into policies that will enhance and add vitality to our businesses, enriching the communities in which they provide their services; so that they may be able to hire,expand, educate and build more business. Not making it more difficult to operate and sustain themselves.
- How would you encourage the City of San Antonio to develop safe, effective and efficient multi-modal transportation systems that moves people throughout San Antonio and this region?
With a vastly growing city we must ensure safe and reliable means of transportation for all. Parked bicycle stations,and operating lanes, HOV Lanes, faster bus routes (express non-stop park and ride), 24 hour bus service, better routing of drop-off and pick-up points for Taxi, Limo, Uber and Lyft. More Van Pool and Car Pool on demand service vehicles and locations; River barge downtown employee drop off and pick up for downtown workers. As we grow our public transportation services the use of non track wheeled cars, double decker bus, miniature buses, extended buses and maybe we could go back and look at rail services.
- In January the City of San Antonio unveiled its draft Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP). The Chamber is concerned with that the draft plan does not address how we – as a city – are going to pay for the plan. What are your thoughts on CAAP?
We must realize the reality in the world that the climate is changing, and we must do something now to combat it but at what expense. How will this effect the long-term economic development and economic growth we are aiming to achieve? With CPS still owing hundreds of thousands dollars on property and plants, how much would closing them down cost and would those cost be passed on to tax payers? Would our local businesses have to eat the cost of upgrading facilities to the plan and what time frame would they have to complete the upgrades? Will there be any tax incentives afforded to the business community for upgrading within the required allotted time? There just needs to be be a cleaner and clearer outline.
- If elected, how will you work to strengthen the relationship between the city council and the business community?
As City Councilwoman, targeting key economic sectors for growth allows the city to direct their economic development efforts in a strategic manner, assisting in using our resources wisely in order to build our community businesses. Supporting our workers through workforce development is important to ensuring that residents can successfully compete for employment opportunities and that all residents have the opportunity to benefit in economic prosperity. Supporting Quality of Life, listening to the needs of both; residents and businesses that value a community with a good quality of life. Champion a economic development plan to include a broad, long-term strategies that set overall direction and objectives for any economic development related activities and investments. Full transparency among city and businesses can help ensure that all available resources strengthen our business communities. Implement a monthly visit a business day throughout our city districts.
*Keith Toney did not respond to the initial questionnaire.