He calls it a "reset" and now Ron Nirenberg said he is ready and set to lead the city of San Antonio. The city councilman and now "mayor-elect" claimed victory in Saturday's runoff, dethroning incumbent Ivy Taylor in a hard-fought race.
“We are just resting from our far west block walk and we’re here at the 612, we found a little bus stop, VIA bus stop to sit. And actually the last house was such a friendly family they gave Jonah a slice of pizza,” said Nirenberg in a Facebook video post from April with his family.
It was that type of block walking and personal interactions that Nirenberg said helped project him to become the city’s next mayor. He finished the May election trailing Ivy Taylor by about 5,000 votes, but between shaking hands, debates and picking up Manuel Medina supporters, he gained more than 17,000 votes in the runoff. Which ultimately turned into a decisive win.
While Nirenberg will certainly be the face of the city, his power is limited. However, his vision and leadership are what will be noticed by many.
“They mayor of San Antonio is one vote on an 11 member council. So with regard to votes, it’s one of 11. However, the Mayor of San Antonio sets the agenda of the city, provides for and articulates the vision that so many San Antonians have. And really charts the course for the future of the city,” said Nirenberg.
Part of that vision includes a voter-approved modern transportation system, maintaining an affordable cost of living and tackling the rise in crime. Which Nirenberg said starts with more officers on the streets.
“We have one of the lower officers per capita of big cities in the country and that’s going to be a challenge moving forward,” said Nirenberg
When asked what his message is for the 45,000 people that did not vote for him, Nirenberg said, “This is a city for all and when we said we were talking to the hopes and aspirations of every voter in San Antonio, that includes people that didn’t vote for us.”
Nirenberg said he hopes residents will keep him and all the new council members (six) on their toes.
“What we require now is for the public to be engaged, watch your council, demand the best and watch all of that come to pass,” said Nirenberg.
Nirenberg is also taking over just as Texas lawmakers head into a special session and addressing issues COSA has made clear, it does not like.