S.A. District 3 candidate Leticia Ozuna
OCCUPATION: Cyber-security specialist
EDUCATION: BA from UT-Austin, Graduate Work at A&M-College Station
FAMILY: Two children - my son is a graduate of Texas State University, and my daughter is in the eighth grade.
WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL? I want to help make our communities safer, our streets better and our economy more robust for continued job growth. I also believe San Antonio and District 3 residents, in particular, can benefit from the growing role of technology and innovation in our schools and businesses while maintaining our community traditions.
HAVE YOU RUN FOR CITY COUNCIL BEFORE? No
WHAT PREVIOUS LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE? I was unanimously selected by the City Council to fill a vacancy in January 2012. I have served on the board of the Highland Park Neighborhood Association, as well as on the San Antonio Parks Bond and SA 2020 Committees. Several years before that, I helped run a very successful high-tech venture that was sold to a multinational company.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH IF ELECTED TO THE CITY COUNCIL? I want to continue to pursue many of the improvements and projects that I started during my first 18 months in office. This work includes more clean-up efforts throughout the community, along with careful oversight of bond spending and city-maintenance funding for our streets, sidewalks, drainage and infrastructure. In addition, I will continue to improve public safety, while encouraging the expansion of public Wi-Fi/Broadband initiatives and supporting new business development.
WHAT ARE THE MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGES FACING THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO? There is much deferred maintenance across District 3 and citywide. It is essential for us to review what is needed and take the follow-up steps, so that this essential work on our infrastructure gets planned and adequately funded. We also need to find ways to keep our kids in school, so they graduate and are less likely to contribute to public-safety issues in our community.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES FACING ECONOMIC GROWTH IN SAN ANTONIO? Many new jobs in our area require certain skills, especially technical expertise. We need to find ways to raise the number of skilled workers in our community.
WHAT CAN THE CITY COUNCIL DO TO HELP SPUR ECONOMIC GROWTH? As stated above, raising the general skill level of our workers is essential. At the same time, we have to find more ways to encourage workers, businesses, investors and experts to come together and boost our strongest sectors while supporting new sectors, too. This includes a focus on energy, biotech/health care, logistics, security and high tech.
ARE THERE ANY DECISIONS THE CURRENT CITY COUNCIL HAS MADE THAT YOU STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH? PLEASE LIMIT ANSWERS TO 3 ITEMS. The SAWS rate increase was painful to vote for but was needed, given the costly maintenance and other vital work on our poor infrastructure that had not been properly funded for years.
WHAT ITEMS/PROGRAMS WOULD YOU CUT FROM THE CURRENT CITY BUDGET? Most of our budget goes for fire and police protection. Some is spent on our infrastructure, which is essential, too. Therefore, we would have to look at remaining spending to see where there may be duplication, where information/technology could help lower costs, and where a greater role for public-private partnerships could help us trim spending levels.
DID YOU VOTE IN FAVOR OF OR AGAINST THE NEW PRE-K 4 S.A. PROGRAM? WHY? I voted to bring the Pre-K 4 SA measure before the voters to let them decide on it. I did so because I believe that we should carefully consider all programs that raise the educational level of our residents for the long-term benefit of our community and our economic foundation.
WHAT MORE SHOULD THE CITY DO TO LOWER GANG ACTIVITY AND CRIME IN SAN ANTONIO? As stated previously, we should do all we can to keep students in school and encourage them to pursue higher education. In addition, we can do more to bring the police and community groups together to target specific public-safety issues by neighborhood, while using sting operations when/where they make sense, too.
ARE THERE ANY MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE CITY UNDERTAKE? Again, I would focus directly on the deferred maintenance of our infrastructure (streets, sidewalks, drains, etc.), along with proper planning and funding for this work.