EDUCATION: Bachelor's in Finance at UTSA, Juris Doctorate at St. Mary's University
FAMILY: Fermin and Paula Briones are my parents
WHY ARE YOU RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL? District 5 needs a responsible and progressive city councilperson, San Antonio is on the verge of something great and we need the leadership to make sure that District 5 changes course and is part of this. I am the best candidate for District 5.
HAVE YOU RUN FOR CITY COUNCIL BEFORE? No, I have not run for city council before.
WHAT PREVIOUS LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE? I graduated from the Community Leadership Institute. I was Vice-President for the Hispanic Alumni Association of St. Mary's University. I was President of the Board of Directors for San Anto Cultural Arts.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH IF ELECTED TO THE CITY COUNCIL? I hope to fight for more funding for better streets, sidewalks and to address drainage issues in District 5. I pledge to attend every city council meeting. I hope to acquire funding for a SAPD mobile sub-station to increase safety and SAPD visibility in District 5. I hope to talk to CPS and have a senior utility rate freeze for the elderly on fixed incomes. I hope to establish a Mural Arts or Public Arts Museum District in District 5, to increase tourism and get more spending in District 5. I hope to support the Westside Development Corporation as well as to start a strategy to get more jobs and opportunities in District 5. I would like to increase community responsiveness to all my constituents in District 5. I would like to decrease the stray dog population. I would like to establish monthly small business luncheons so that the small businesses in District 5 can be aware of what opportunities are available for them. I will fill all board and zoning vancancies within the first 90 days.
WHAT ARE THE MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGES FACING THE CITY OF SAN ANTONIO? I think lack of voter turnout and the community being disengaged with the political process are challenges that need to be addressed. We need people to be inspired and responsible in their community. I think economic development as well as strong education is important as well to the future of San Antonio.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST OBSTACLES FACING ECONOMIC GROWTH IN SAN ANTONIO? Economic growth needs to have people engaged from all strata of society. I think fighting for a livable wage for our workers as well as working with the school districts to make sure that there is strong education available for our children is important. We also need to be proactive in finding what industry is a good match for San Antonio and then finding and recruiting them to come here and invest in our city.
WHAT CAN THE CITY COUNCIL DO TO HELP SPUR ECONOMIC GROWTH? The city council needs to advocate for its citizens in searching for and recruiting businesses that can help our community in making sure that there is a livable wage attached to all contracts and tax incentives as well as being responsive to our small businesses and cultivating industry from within. District 5 in particular needs to spur economic growth by being proactive in fixing our infrastructure as well as increasing safety.
ARE THERE ANY DECISIONS THE CURRENT CITY COUNCIL HAS MADE THAT YOU STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH? PLEASE LIMIT ANSWERS TO 3 ITEMS. I think the last CPS increase and SAWS rate increase should have been looked at more carefully. We need to understand that District 5 has one of the poorest segments of San Antonio. When rate increases are voted on it affects dispoportionately some constituents of District 5 that live on a fixed income. We also need to look at our contracts with tax incentives for businesses that contract with us more closely and critically.
WHAT ITEMS/PROGRAMS WOULD YOU CUT FROM THE CURRENT CITY BUDGET? I think we would have to look at the current programs and items that are inefficient and provide a doubling of services. We need to cute first those programs that are not efficient and wasteful.
DID YOU VOTE IN FAVOR OF OR AGAINST THE NEW PRE-K 4 S.A. PROGRAM? WHY? I voted in favor of Pre-K 4 SA. I think we need to look at the future of our city. Education is an important component for our city in terms of quality of life, opportunity and economic development. We need to invest in education.
WHAT MORE SHOULD THE CITY DO TO LOWER GANG ACTIVITY AND CRIME IN SAN ANTONIO? I think providing more educational opportunities and jobs would lower gang activity and crime. We need to make our streets safer with more areas that are well-lit as well as providing more bicycle cops and foot patrol. Every segment of society in District 5 needs to feel safe. I think we owe our commmunity the opportunity to achieve and to dream.
ARE THERE ANY MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE CITY UNDERTAKE? Yes. We need investment and funding for our infrastructure in District 5. We need work on our railroad lines that are abundant in District 5. We need substantial "quiet zones" as well as over/underpasses where there are railroad crossings in heavily trafficked areas.