SAN ANTONIO – A change in administrations in Washington often means a change in policy priorities and a San Antonio councilwoman hopes a new appointment will help the city take advantage of that when it comes to transportation.
Ana Sandoval, who represents District 7 on the council, has been appointed to the Transportation and Infrastructure Services committee of the National League of Cities. The Washington, D.C.-based organization helps municipalities lobby for new laws and federal funding.
The role is a natural fit for Sandoval, who, before joining the council, was a transportation planner, including for VIA Metropolitan Transit.
“There will be some new bills coming forward, legislation that will fund the transportation infrastructure throughout the country,” Sandoval said. “What we want to make sure is that those that that legislation that moves forward also helps cities with what they need to improve quality of life.”
Sandoval said the timing could not be better, as President Joe Biden appointed Pete Buttigieg as his nominee for Secretary of Transportation. The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate is a former municipal official himself, serving two terms as mayor of South Bend, Ind.
“He understands what cities need to be successful and how transportation plays a role in that,” she said. “So I think we are well poised to bring some great things home to San Antonio and to all cities.”
While the position is national is scope, Sandoval said she will keep a focus on local concerns, like efforts to expand transit access and improve infrastructure like sidewalks, to keep pedestrians safer.
She believes more federal funding is needed to help in those efforts. Biden is expected to unveil his infrastructure plan next month.
“A lot of the funding that we see come through from our state is really focused on our highways, our freeways, those types of operational improvements, which are important for local communities and the economy,” Sandoval said. “What we don’t have from our state really is what I would call multimodal funding, and that’s where the federal government is key.”
Sandoval will serve a one-year term on the committee, while retaining her current council duties.
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