Mayor Nirenberg, Councilwoman Havrda reflect on Lila Cockrell's legacy

Both city leaders say Cockrell opened doors for diversity in local government

San Antonio – Though a staple of the past, Lila Cockrell cared about the future. Friends like current mayor Ron Nirenberg say it’s clear Cockrell's values are woven into the tapestry of San Antonio.

“Lila Cockrell was a consummate statesman, a role model for young women and young men. I was fortunate...call it one of the privileges of my lifetime, that I was able to call her a friend… You can't turn a corner in the city and not be impacted in some way by a Lila Cockrell's legacy,” Nirenberg said.

Her accomplishments began during a male dominated era. District 6 Councilwoman, Melissa Cabello Havrda says when Cockrell first came onto the political scene decades ago, women were so underrepresented, she used her husband's name to gain the respect of her peers.

“If you go throughout the city and you look at really old plaques…with the city council names and the mayor’s name, it will say ‘Mrs. Sidney Cockrell,' not Lila Cockrell,” Havrda said. “She gave fantastic advice and always (had) a positive attitude. I never heard her say an ill word against anybody and there's a lot to be learned from that.”

About the Authors:

Deven Clarke

Deven Clarke was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he developed a passion for journalism after being asked to fill in as a sports anchor for the university's student-run news program.