When the pandemic fell upon our doorstep, we immediately went to work. Our office came up with creative ideas, drafted policies, and advocated for measures of direct support for our neighbors.
My office advocated for the local eviction moratorium because we knew all too well that many of our residents are housing burdened. Secondary to protecting residents from being put on the streets due to the economic downturn, we made the request for CPS and SAWS to pause disconnections of utilities for non-payment. Running water and electricity are life-saving resources in the fight against COVID-19.
When the City proposed $15m in funding for our Risk Mitigation Fund, we went to work to increase that amount to $25m because we knew the needs would outweigh the original amount. Our team also pushed to include direct cash assistance for our residents facing difficulty putting food on the table.
Our team proposed a right to cure debts that would have extended the eviction moratorium by 60 days as families located the funds to pay back owed-rent. Unfortunately, this measure was not approved by City Council.
We also proposed a food and beverage worker relief fund in October of 2020. 1/10 San Antonians are employed by the service industry, and we have a duty to protect our community. It took until February of 2021 for funds to be allocated to this effort, but we are happy to know the industry is being supported.
Because no matter how much we accomplish, my team understands there is more work to be done.
It goes without saying that we are all going through a difficult and unnerving moment.
But even as we struggle to cope with our new normal…
Even as many of you face the difficult task of explaining to your children why they must remain home…
Even as the distance between us and our loved ones seems to grow by the day…
There is one thing that brings me peace and gives me the confidence to believe in a better tomorrow.
We are not alone — we are in this with each other. And as we have proven time and again, we can solve the greatest of challenges as long as we keep building together.
Right now, I want you to remain focused on what matters most: Your safety, your health, and your family.
Y en San Antonio, todos somos familia.