Readers of this magazine tend to be more active and engaged than the average San Antonio-area resident. You are generally more aware of what’s happening in the community (and beyond), what the issues are and what needs to be done to make things better.
Here are a couple of specific ways you can be active, be engaged and help move the community forward. I encourage you to be an ambassador for both.
1. Vote in the May 9 city election. This municipal election on May 9 feels like a particularly important one. Here’s why: San Antonio has made many positive improvements during the past several years from a number of “livability” perspectives. These improvements—especially those supporting health and wellness and sustainability—must continue. We need our elected leaders to continue to support safe cycling, safe walking, clean air and water, smart and safe transportation alternatives and a healthier, more livable community for all residents.
On Saturday, May 9, registered voters within the city limits can make a choice for the city’s leadership for the next several years. It’s an important choice. My purpose is not to give specific recommendations or endorsements. To me, what’s most important is for every registered voter to participate. Find out who best supports the things that are important to you, and learn about the special tax propositions and the special charter election amendments, and vote. Whatever the outcome, your voice will be part of the process. Be sure to share your insights with your friends and neighbors, and encourage them to participate—be an ambassador for positive action; voting is positive, powerful action. There are few forces more powerful than an educated, active electorate, and every politician knows this fact.
2. Participate in the SA Tomorrow planning effort. This may take a bit more time than casting a ballot, but it’s no less important. You may not be aware that the City of San Antonio is currently engaged in a multi-faceted planning effort that’s intended to guide the city through the next 25 years of significant growth. The impetus for the SA Tomorrow planning effort is the fact that another 1 million people are expected to move into San Antonio by 2040. That’s a staggering influx of additional vehicles driven by additional people who will need additional jobs, additional homes and additional city services. Right now, San Antonio doesn’t have the infrastructure to support 1 million more people, so planning ahead makes good sense.
This huge planning effort involves the creation of three specific plans: 1) the Comprehensive Plan, focused on land use, urban design and city policy, 2) the Sustainability Plan, focused on social, economic and environmental sustainability issues, and 3) the Multimodal Transportation Plan, which will focus on the city’s transportation strategy and include all modes of transportation.
Your input is needed. In April the city kicked off the public input phase of the planning effort, so the city wants to hear from you. The public input phase will continue through the summer and into the fall. You can get educated about each of the three plans and start giving your feedback, ideas and suggestions online at www.satomorrow.com. There will also be public events to introduce residents to the planning effort and gather input. I encourage you to be part of this incredible planning effort—lend your intelligence, your insights and your voice. And again, be an ambassador and encourage friends and neighbors to participate as well.
Enjoy this wonderful issue of Natural Awakenings and the magnificent month of May,