Mayor Taylor talks plan, priorities for short term

Local Chambers of Commerce host reception for Ivy Taylor

SAN ANTONIO – Newly-elected mayor, Ivy Taylor, received a warm welcome at a reception hosted by three local chambers of commerce at St. Phillip's College on Thursday evening. 

The Asian American Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Alamo City Chamber of Commerce put on the event. 

During Mayor Taylor's interview with KSAT 12, she listed some hefty priorities. 

"To pass a budget, finalize negotiations with public safety officers that allow us to still provide the other key services our citizens need," Taylor said. "And then there's a few other things I'll be talking about in the near future, too."

In her first week since fellow council members elected her mayor following former Mayor Julian Castro's departure to Washington, D.C., Taylor requested the city pull its funding from VIA's modern streetcar project, which delivered a detrimental blow to those plans.

"We knew that it was going to overshadow all of the important business we need to take care of, so we needed to make a decision," said Taylor. 

Taylor said she won't just take on already existing city issues and programs. 

"There are some other things I'm interested in related to education and workforce development," she said. 

It is no coincidence the reception was held at St. Phillip's College on the east side, the area Taylor represented as a District 2 Councilwoman. 

It's an area she still plans to focus on as mayor. 

"Oh, definitely. We have the whole Promise Zone initiative and I want to make sure that's successful because the eyes of the nation are upon us," said Taylor. "We have a lot of federal funds invested there so we need it to be a success."

Leaders of the three chambers that hosted the reception hope Taylor continues to champion small businesses and minorities.

"We'd love to see her continue to explore opportunities to have women-owned businesses, local businesses, Hispanic-owned businesses, minority businesses … to have an opportunity to have a seat at the table to do business with the city of San Antonio. Its a big economic generator," said Ramiro Cavazos, president and CEO of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

Taylor is the second female mayor of San Antonio and first African American to hold the position, a fact she doesn't like to dwell on but is humbled by. 

"Its definitely been too long since we've had a woman, and I'm certainly honored to have the opportunity to inspire minorities," Taylor said. 

"It says that we can do it," said Christopher Herring, president and CEO of the Alamo City Chamber of Commerce. "I mean my daughter, Olivia, says, 'Now that Ivy Taylor has achieved mayor of San Antonio, what's left for me?' And she says, 'Well maybe I'll be the first black female president of the United States.'"

Taylor's time in office will be relatively short. She will serve until the next city elections in May 2015. Taylor will not run again for mayor. 

Former District 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan attended Taylor's reception and said she has no plans to run for mayor in 2015, but would like to help a "good candidate."

Taylor has hopes for her legacy as interim mayor. 

"I guess that I was a strong public servant that sought to make the quality of life better in San Antonio," she said. "That we continue to have a prosperous economy and be a great place to live, work and play."

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