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Posts Tagged ‘San Antonio’

Everybody wants in on the rail action

We’re like a magical land of opportunity for high-speed rail interests. For more than three years, Japanese-backed Texas Central Partners has drawn attention with its plans to develop a Dallas-Houston bullet train. While that project is furthest along, French and Chinese rail interests are more quietly discussing the prospects for rail projects with state and […]

Initial day-after-election thoughts

– We now have two cycles’ worth of data to suggest that having more good candidates in a Council race does not necessarily lead to better outcomes. Following in the footsteps of At Large #3 in 2013, a handful of Democratic candidates in At Large #1 split the vote with sufficient closeness to keep them […]

If you really want to improve turnout in city elections

This is a plan that would do it. Councilman Ron Nirenberg [recently] called for a major change to local elections that he says would boost voter turnout and bolster public participation. The councilman said he’s spent years considering ways to address abysmal turnout in municipal elections, which are held in May of odd-numbered years. His […]

Uber returns to San Antonio

They’re back. The ink had barely dried on the signed operating agreement when ride-hailing firm Uber restarted operations in San Antonio Tuesday, ahead of competitor Lyft, which agreed to a deal in August but has yet to implement services here. The Uber smart-phone application went live Tuesday at about 3:30 p.m., just as the company […]

Endorsement watch: One Farias, two Farias

There’s one state race on the ballot this year, where there’s a special election in HD118 to succeed the retiring Rep. Joe Farias. The San Antonio Express News has endorsed Gabe Farias in that race. Six candidates — three Democrats and three Republicans — are seeking to replace former Rep. Joe Farias, who stepped down […]

Uber and Lyft versus fingerprints

They prefer to do their own background checks, which of course do not require fingerprint checks. Houston, San Antonio and Austin currently take different approaches to a key regulatory issue: whether vehicle-for-hire app drivers must undergo fingerprint background checks. The issue has proven pivotal to Uber and Lyft in Texas. Lyft refuses to operate in […]

More focus on inequality

Good to see. As Houston’s mayoral candidates spar over the city’s largely agreed upon top issues – finances, infrastructure and public safety – a fourth policy concern is percolating: economic inequality. Concerns about disparity underpin discussions about the city’s revenue cap, development incentives, education, even which roads to repair and when. Yet, when it comes […]

Uber update, part 1

The Chron, in conjunction with Al Jazeera Americas, gives the first of what should be a four-part look at how Uber is doing in Houson. Less than a year after Houston began regulating so-called transportation network companies, questions persist about safety assurances from Uber, the city’s sole entrant in the field. Uber is testing local […]

San Antonio implements Vision Zero

Good for them. Tuesday marked the official launch of San Antonio’s Vision Zero, a multi-national awareness and educational initiative that calls for zero traffic fatalities. It’s a lofty goal, but proponents of the plan say these deaths, especially those of pedestrians, are preventable accidents that can be systematically addressed with infrastructure and safety education. Last […]

Rep. Susan King not running for re-election

Though she may run for Senate instead. State Rep. Susan King has decided against seeking re-election as she considers a run for the Texas Senate, the Abilene Republican announced Tuesday. King said she would announce by the end of the month whether to launch a bid for Senate District 24, where Troy Fraser is stepping […]

Lone Star Rail updates

From last week, San Antonio City Council gets set to make a financial commitment to the Lone Star Rail line. San Antonio is expected to make its first financial commitment to building the Lone Star Rail line next week when city council members vote for a budget that includes $500,000 for the project. […] San […]

The local minimum wage fight

Not quite on the radar here, but it could be. After years of failed proposals in the Texas Legislature to raise the minimum wage, organizers and advocates for higher hourly wages are going local. Leaders in two major Texas cities and two large counties will vote soon on raising minimum wages for public employees and, […]

Churches and recall elections

This ought to be interesting. Are Texas churches prohibited from campaigning to recall politicians? The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals [weighed] that question Thursday in a case set to clarify if and how a church as a corporate entity can influence the political process of ousting a sitting elected official. A San Antonio congregation, […]

SA Council approves new rules to allow Lyft to return

Close vote, but it counts. The ride-hailing firm Lyft will soon re-start operations in San Antonio in the wake of a controversial City Council decision Thursday that will allow the company to offer rides here during a nine-month pilot program. The council spent more than three hours listening to public comment and debating among themselves […]

Lone Star Rail District to ask SA Council for funding

Not so much for now, but over time there will be real money spent. Officials with Lone Star Rail District (LSRD) have asked City Council to allocate up to $500,000 in the city’s 2016 fiscal year budget to help fund staffing and consulting services in anticipation of the $2-3 billion passenger rail project. Lone Star […]

Farias resigns from HD118

Guess what, San Antonio? You get to have another special election! State Rep. Joe Farias, D-San Antonio, submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday, officially ending a decade-long career as a state lawmaker and prompting the need for a special election to fill his House District 118 seat. Farias had already […]

Lyft to come back to San Antonio

San Antonio is no longer without any rideshare companies. The ride-hailing company Lyft is poised to return in the “near future” to San Antonio — after the City Council reviews a proposed pilot program next week. Councilman Roberto Treviño, who spent the summer negotiating a deal with the company, said Friday that Lyft officials have […]

Lone Star Rail faces Council vote in San Antonio

It’s a big step. While there is little opposition to the idea of a commuter rail line (the LSTAR) between San Antonio and Austin, the City takes serious pause when confronted with the yearly costs of operation and maintenance. But there are no tax or fee increases on the table, [Lone Star Rail District Director […]

Deja vu all over again in San Antonio

Are you ready for some more municipal wrangling over Uber and Lyft? Of course you are. A post-election push to craft city policies to allow ride-hailing firms Uber and Lyft to operate in San Antonio has also prompted the taxi industry lobby to strengthen its efforts to shoot down whatever is ultimately proposed. Since Mayor […]

San Antonio wants a do-over on Uber and Lyft

Maybe the third time will be the charm. Mayor Ivy Taylor said Friday that there’s a demand for transportation-network companies in San Antonio and signaled that she wants to work a new deal that would allow Uber and Lyft to restart operations here. Taylor told the City Council during an all-day retreat that she has […]

HISD Board President backs changing Confederate school names

Fine by me. Amid a growing move to shed symbols of the old, slave-owning South, the Houston school board president said Thursday that she supports renaming six campuses named after Confederate loyalists. Rhonda Skillern-Jones said she plans to discuss the issue with her fellow trustees at an upcoming meeting. Superintendent Terry Grier added that he […]

Taylor wins SA Mayor runoff

And it’s over. Interim San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor claimed victory Saturday night, defeating Leticia Van de Putte for a full term in the mayor’s job and dealing the former state senator a tough loss in a city central to her long career in public service. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Taylor beat Van […]

Runoff day in SA

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I’m glad the San Antonio Mayoral runoff is almost over. We hope, anyway. After weeks of bruising attacks — and at least one hand left unshaken — the San Antonio mayoral race is coming to a close. Presumably. “It might not end on […]

The Trib on the big Mayor’s races

Those being the Houston and San Antonio Mayors races, with a look at how candidates of color are faring. If former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte wins the runoff for San Antonio mayor next weekend, she’ll become the Alamo City’s first Hispanic female mayor, though not the first Hispanic, nor the first female. If […]

Moving equality forward in San Antonio

From the Rivard Report: Members of San Antonio’s lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community want the city’s next mayor to follow the lead of Dallas and Houston and expand the 2013 non-discrimination ordinance (NDO) to include private companies. The NDO now extends to city employment, public accommodations (restaurants, stores, public events), public housing, […]

Moving on to the runoff for the SA Mayor’s race

This Express News story on the beginning of the Mayoral runoff in San Antonio between Leticia Van de Putte and Ivy Taylor gets to the question of what if anything the two runnersup and their supporters will do. But all eyes were on the mayoral race, and the historic runoff with two women candidates. Van […]

Van de Putte and Taylor in SA Mayor runoff

Here we go. Former state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte is set to face San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor in a runoff for the city’s top job. With 95 percent of all precincts reporting late Saturday, Van de Putte led Taylor 31 percent to 28 percent, according to unofficial returns. Former state Rep. Mike Villarreal […]

Homestretch for the SA Mayor’s race

Jeanne Russell, wife of San Antonio Mayoral candidate Mike Villarreal, makes the case for her husband in the Rivard Report. Many people who have known Mike and I professionally associate us most often with our work toward building a stronger, more educated workforce. Only through education and training can San Antonio attract the best-paying jobs. […]

Endorsement watch: Express News goes for LVdP for Mayor

Early voting has begun in San Antonio, and the Express News has made its choice for Mayor. Will San Antonio be blessed enough to elect three exceptionally strong mayors in a row? That’s a tall order. But if any of this year’s crop of 14 mayoral contenders has the potential to wield maximum clout at […]

Early voting for May elections begins Monday

From the inbox: Almost one million of Harris County’s registered voters will be eligible to vote in elections conducted during the May 9, 2015 Uniform Election, according to Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart, the chief elections officer of the county. Early Voting begins Monday, April 27th. “Fifty political entities whose boundaries are solely or in […]

B-Cycle’s future

There’s some trouble in San Antonio. San Antonio B-Cycle could be on the verge of following rideshare and disappearing from the San Antonio landscape, multiple sources have told the Rivard Report, unless it can win the local government, corporate and philanthropic financial support that bikeshare enjoys in cities like Boston, Philadelphia, Denver, Houston, and Austin. […]

Minjarez wins in HD124

At long last, that’s a wrap. Former Bexar County prosecutor Ina Minjarez cruised to victory late Tuesday in the runoff for José Menéndez’s old seat in Texas House District 124 the last vacancy this session in the Legislature. With all precincts reporting, Minjarez led Delicia Herrera, a former member of the San Antonio City Council, […]

Lone Star Rail District update

Haven’t heard from these guys in awhile. According to [Lone Star Rail District], the [proposed rail line] will provide essential relief from the I-35 highway congestion. The express trip from downtown Austin to downtown San Antonio would take 75 minutes. Completing the project, however, crawls slowly forward as the approval for the train involves several […]

AirBnB in Texas

The Rivard Report offers a useful overview of this growing service. With success comes regulation and Airbnb, the wildly popular “sharing economy” website that allows users to rent out portions of their home to adventuresome travelers, has had more than its share of success. Recently valued at $13 billion, the company has more than 340 […]