SAN ANTONIO – Denise Gutierrez-Homer knows she’s more of an outsider than the two leading candidates in the San Antonio mayoral race, but says she can use that to her advantage.
Gutierrez-Homer, a former city council candidate who has a background in teaching and subcontracting, appeared Thursday on the final night of a mayoral forum hosted by KSAT, San Antonio Report and Bexar Facts.
Spending more than two decades in subcontracting, Gutierrez-Homer said the profession has given her experience in working with people and managing a budget.
“I was able to wear so many different hats,” she said. “Whether you’re building a home or a multi-million dollar project, you have to do what you have to do to get those projects done on time and on budget.”
A staunch opponent of Proposition B, which would undo police collective bargaining rights if approved by San Antonio voters, Gutierrez-Homer said she would spend her term as mayor working on improving the relationship between the San Antonio Police Department and the community.
Part of her plan, she said, is placing more police services in libraries.
“We can use our libraries as a substation,” she said. “Imagine the quality that we can have with the relationships (police) can build with our children and our adults.”
Gutierrez-Homer would also take aim at some of the top officials in the city, like San Antonio Police Chief William McManus and CPS Energy CEO Paula Gold-Williams. Both have led to issues that have cost the city money, she said.
The former District 2 city council candidate said she entered the mayoral race this year because of the rising crime rate that came with the pandemic. The best way to address that, she said, was getting more services to underserved communities and improving the economy, which she said was an underlying stressor for the rise in crime.
Though she lacks in public service experience, Gutierrez-Homer’s final pitch to voters was that it’s time try something new for the city of San Antonio.
“It’s time for a change,” she said. “If you’re concerned about the politics ... you’re going to have something different with me. I’m here to serve you.”
Early voting begins on April 19.
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