S.A. Dist. 5 candidate John Carlos Garcia
OCCUPATION: Small Business Owner
EDUCATION: Attended San Antonio College and Texas A&M San Antonio
FAMILY: Son of Carlos and Aurora Garcia Two children JC Garcia and Jade Crystal Garcia with Bernadette Valdez
WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL? Our campaign is focused on bringing our community together to focus on developing a stronger voice for the inner city of San Antonio and in the process creating a better city over all. We believe that we can work hard to get more citizens of District 5 involved in the policy making process.
HAVE YOU RUN FOR CITY COUNCIL BEFORE? I ran for city council in 2009 and came in third to our current councilman and former councilwoman Lourdes Galvan.
WHAT PREVIOUS LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE? I have worked as a staff member for the Southside Cardinal Band from 1996-2000. I was the president of a local Insurance Agent association in 2003. I sat on the state wide board of that same insurance association. I have also built a small business from the ground up using my leadership skills to mentor several former employees and students to go on to have successful carriers of their own.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH IF ELECTED TO CITY COUNCIL? Once elected to city council we plan on developing a stronger method of communication between all the residents of district 5. We also plan on providing a safer community that has a stronger chance at providing quality jobs within the district. We must think long term as begin to address root causes as oppose to continuing to simply address symptoms. Our community needs to develop more neighborhood associations as well as improve the existing ones. We need to have organization and a place where we can get together on a regular basis to address the many concerns of our residents. Though organization we can begin to solve more problems together. We do need to plan better, however if more people are not involved in the process they well always feel disconnected and not welcome in the community. So we must improve our public notice process for major decisions and projects as well as work harder to get more people from all demographics involved in our community.
WHAT CAN THE CITY COUNCIL DO TO HELP SPUR ECONOMIC GROWTH? In order to spur more economic development we must create more opportunity. We must encourage access to education and overall information for all of our citizens. We should promote the use of small local businesses for as many contracts as possible that come from the city of San Antonio. We should encourage our community to continue to support locally owned businesses. These locally owned businesses are the ones who truly know and understand the needs of our city. They also know and understand the concerns of their employees.
ARE THERE ANY DECISIONS THE CURRENT CITY COUNCIL HAS MADE THAT YOU STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH? PLEASE LIMIT ANSWERS TO 3 ITEMS. The decision our council made to increase the rates of our public utilities in a time where our inner city is not producing enough opportunity for our residents. The decision to allocate only 5.5% of the recent bond to district 5 a community that has a very aging infrastructure that needs much attention.
WHAT ITEMS/PROGRAMS WOULD YOU CUT FROM THE CURRENT CITY BUDGET? Rather that cuts to current programs in our budget we should look for more efficient ways to run our city. We should also address bonuses paid to some of our executives of our local utilities.
DID YOU VOTE IN FAVOR OF OR AGAINST THE NEW PRE-K 4 S.A. PROGRAM? WHY? I voted in favor of the Pre-K for S.A. because I thought it would serve the citizens of our city that needed in the most and be located in a part of our town the most economically challenged parents.
WHAT MORE SHOULD THE CITY DO TO LOWER GANG ACTIVITY AND CRIME IN SAN ANTONIO? The city should increase youth activates as well as work to develop programs for young parents to create more role models and mentors to assist with this effort. We need more public involvement. We need more coaches, assistants and sponsors. We also need to work with our neighborhood associates to create more neighborhood watch programs.
ARE THERE ANY MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE CITY UNDERTAKE? I would like to see major and basic infrastructure improvements undertaken such as providing more sidewalks and ramps in the inner city. We also need a better drainage system for our inner city. another important and major project is an overpass for the Zarzamora - Frio City road intersection that is causing major train delays not only causing our community to often to be late to their responsibilities, but also places a strain on our emergency response times.
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