City Council District 6 candidates answer your questions ahead of San Antonio’s May 1 election

We took your questions to the candidates for answers, here are their responses

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Editor’s note: Find answers for all districts and the mayoral race here. Find news, resources and results from the election on our Vote 2021 page.

Saturday, May 1, 2021, is the municipal election in San Antonio. On the ballot, a rematch for mayor and nearly 80 candidates competing in 10 city council races, along with a proposition aimed at repealing the police department’s collective bargaining rights and a charter change for city bond projects.

We wanted to be sure you had a chance to ask your most important questions to the candidates before making your decision in the election — early voting begins April 17.

We received more than 400 questions from KSAT viewers and readers for the candidates.

We chose three of the most commonly asked questions, sent to each candidate and asked them to respond by April 12.

  1. Are you for or against Prop B and why?
  2. What are your plans to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in San Antonio?
  3. What is your plan to clean up and improve our city -- specifically when it comes to the condition of our roads, litter (dumping) and graffiti?

Below are the unedited responses we received from the candidates who responded to our questions. The candidates are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot.

San Antonio City Council District 6 Candidates

Irina Rudolph, Business Owner

Are you for or against Prop B and why?

Rudolph: “I am against Prop B because it is essentially defunding the police by removing their collective bargaining rights. If the goal of Prop B is to stop the police department from re-hiring bad cops. I will make sure that whenever a cop is considered for re-hire (after being found guilty of malice or some crime), I will make sure the city council is aware and we can move forward to stop the re-hiring of bad cops. But, we should not remove the collective bargaining of all cops as a whole. You don’t punish all for the bad act of one.”

What are your plans to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in San Antonio?

Rudolph: “I plan to improve the programs we currently have in place to help the homeless. We need to reduce the bottlenecks and red tape in place and improve efficiency.

“In addition to improving current programs I want to start a 2nd chance program. I am a small business owner and I have interviewed and hired people that were just out of rehab and just out of jail. I have given some of these people a chance in my business and one employee is actually now the manager of my business and she is my best employee. If people that are homeless want to get out of their current situation and become productive members of society, I will personally go to small business owners and talk to them about giving these people a chance in the 2nd chance program.”

What is your plan to clean up and improve our city -- specifically when it comes to the condition of our roads, litter (dumping) and graffiti?

Rudolph: “This has been an issue many people in District 6 are concerned about because we have seen our community decline in the last few years. There is trash, graffiti, and litter all over our roads and neighborhoods. I would bring back fines for any illegal dumping around the city. I will also use money collected from those fines to help in our 2nd chance program and to help improve our roads. If a business is doing the illegal dumping and charging their customers for the dumping fees, we will double the fines for those businesses for the illegal dumping and scamming their customers.”

Chris Baecker, Accountant, adjunct lecturer

Are you for or against Prop B and why?

Baecker: “Prop B is more complicated than the partisans on either side portray it.  It seems to me that conservatives are either confused, or their principles are evolving (again).  I am as unfettered pro-2nd amendment as anyone.  I believe it goes deeper to a basic human right to be able to defend oneself however one sees fit.  The constitution merely codifies that.  Most all gun laws can be seen as an infringement.  We are right to be suspicious of any new incursion into that right.  I can’t help but wonder though, if they don’t see who will come for our arms should the left get totally out of control.  Also, the right used to understand the negative effect collectivist unionization had/has on society.  They’ve largely been neutered in the private sector, which has been beneficial for the economy.  But they still exist in the public sector, most notoriously in public education.  By definition, unions protect the lowest common denominator.  One of the most basic things I teach my economics students, that is key to prosperity, is the presence of law enforcement.  As such, I do not support depriving them of the equipment and manpower they need to do that.   I don’t see prop B as “defunding police.”  Their budget actually went up last year. One of my opponents went so far as to use the analogy “there are bad doctors, but we don’t defund doctors.”  We sure as heck do!  She should know, owning her own business, that if she doesn’t satisfy her customers, they’ll go elsewhere, and she’ll necessarily be defunded.  Much confusion.But maybe inflated wages brought on by collectivist union protection attracts cooler heads to the force, and is therefore worth it.  But the extra layer of bureaucracy the FixSAPD folks seem to want in the future is a non-starter.  The LAST thing we need is more government.

“Prop B is going to be a game-time decision for me tomorrow.”

What are your plans to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in San Antonio?

Baecker: “To reduce the .2% of San Antonians that are homeless, I’d leverage charities like those I donate to: domestic abuse victims and orphanages via the United Way.  Organizations like those are best-equipped to handle the issue.  It’s what they specialize in.  I would ensure loitering laws are enforced, and that law enforcement are trained to spot mental illness so those folks are guided to where they can get help rather than jail.  Same for drug addicts, really the only drug-related issues law enforcement should deal with.   

What is your plan to clean up and improve our city -- specifically when it comes to the condition of our roads, litter (dumping) and graffiti?

Baecker: “First off, get the government out of the private sector and people’s lives for anything but basic municipal services, such as road maintenance.  The city should be focusing on keeping roads, like the stretch of Military between Marbach and 90, tip-top, rather than causing more distortions in the housing market as they seem to want to do with Prop A.  Just as we should respect private property rights by not trespassing to vandalize it with campaign signs, we should also hold property owners accountable for the upkeep of their property.  Both these issues are in the city code, but seem to be ignored because city council is too busy commandeering the resources of some to redistribute to others (paid sick leave).  Losing focus like that depresses personal and community prosperity, while at the same time distracting the government from taking care of its basic, well-defined, few duties.”

Melissa Cabello Havrda, Incumbent, attorney

Are you for or against Prop B and why?

Havrda: “As the Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I am committed to ensuring the safety and security of our citizens and our first responders.”

What are your plans to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in San Antonio?

Havrda: “In San Antonio, we are fortunate to have multiple non-profit partners, such as Haven for Hope, to assist with this issue. As a disability attorney, I’m very aware that the vast majority of our homeless population are individuals with mental illness. In order to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness we need to work more closely with mental health professionals to create realistic solutions to assist these individuals.”

What is your plan to clean up and improve our city -- specifically when it comes to the condition of our roads, litter (dumping) and graffiti?

Havrda: “District 6 is the fastest growing District in San Antonio. The top issues I hear about are streets, sidewalks and graffiti. I have consistently worked on these issues since my first day in office. In my first term I was able to obtain $44 million for road and intersection improvements. Over the last two years, my team and I have cleaned up more than 25 tons of trash through community Dial-a-Trailer events and community clean up events because keeping our green spaces and neighborhoods clean and beautiful is a priority to my constituents.”

Robert Hernandez, Housing liaison

Are you for or against Prop B and why?

Hernandez: “I am against prop B. I do I do believe SAPD does need reform. But if the SAPD officers want to collective bargain for healthcare and wages I’m for that. I am against them bargaining for a say in disciplinary action. The citizens should have a say in disciplinary actions. At the moment there is a citizen review board but their findings are nonbinding. We need to take that power from an arbitrator and hand it back to the citizens.”

What are your plans to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness in San Antonio?

Hernandez: “One of the first things I would do is look in to a true housing first program for our chronically homeless citizens. This is where you take these citizens and house them first then provide them with services. I would also look at partnering with Community organizations that are working on alternative housing such as tiny homes and community housing such as the Housing First Community Coalition.”

What is your plan to clean up and improve our city -- specifically when it comes to the condition of our roads, litter (dumping) and graffiti?

Hernandez: “I would like to city to have “free landfill” days at least once every two months. Host graffiti wipeout days through out the year. Promote the city free paint and supplies for graffiti removal. As far as roads I would look at major infrastructure improvement for our roads. I also believe that public transportation is lacking in the city. We can not wait 4 years to improve our public transportation which is already years behind.”

Robert Walker, Business owner

Did not respond.


Find out if you are a San Antonio resident and which city council and school district you are in here.


Important Election Dates

  • Monday, April 19, 2021: FIRST day of Early Voting.
  • Tuesday, April 27, 2021: LAST day of Early Voting.
  • Saturday, May 1, 2021: Election Day

Find more information about the election here and visit our elections page for the latest election-related stories.

Click on the races below to read more candidates’ answers to the KSAT.com reader questions:


About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.