Former San Antonio mayor tapped by NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo to help state reopen

Henry Cisneros will serve on New York Forward advisory board

Called on by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on his New York Forward Re-opening Advisory Board, former San Antonio mayor Henry Cisneros said, “Whatever assignment he gives me...I’m pleased to do.”

The 100-member board representing a cross-section of professional backgrounds had its first Zoom meeting late Wednesday afternoon.

A former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Cisneros brings experience in housing, city government, and finance.

"There may be even things that I would want to suggest to him that I believe have worked in San Antonio," Cisneros said.

Cisneros also complimented local efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“I’m very impressed, very proud of the job that Mayor Nirenberg and Judge Wolff have done,” he said.

Yet Cisneros also has personal knowledge of what he calls "this vicious virus."

His son, John Paul Cisneros, the chief operating officer of his father’s infrastructure investment firm in New York City, tested positive for COVID-19 in March.

Being that Cisneros' son was born with a heart defect, his father said, "He didn't tell us because if he had, I would have been frightened out of my mind because of his heart condition."

Thankfully, despite having been seriously ill, Cisneros said, his son has recovered.

Cisneros said the ongoing pandemic should serve as an important lesson, and not just in terms of its economic consequences.

He said, “We didn’t realize just how interdependent and in some respects, fragile our economy and our lives are.”

Here is the list of members on the advisory committee:

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