By Morgan Montalvo
San Antonio's three mayoral front-runners last evening debated platforms and policies at trinity University's Laurie Auditorium.
For two hours challengers Ron Nirenberg and Manuel Medina, along with incumbent Ivy Taylor, fielded questions mostly sent in online prior to the 6 p.m. event.
The face-off attracted committed supports and undecideds, among the latter friends and co-workers Delia Hernandez and Tania Arabian. who've resolved to make 2017 their year for political involvement and activism.
"We're all very interested in what's going on in our city, and the future of our city," Hernandez said. "That's why we're here. We want to be educated and informed voters."
Hernandez said immigration and health care are among the issues important to her.
Arabian, who moved to San Antonio three years ago from San Diego, California, considers herself still a neophyte when it comes to Texas politics.
"I'm fairly new to Texas, and I don't feel like I was actively involved in the past two or three years because I just didn't have the knowledge to be involved," Arabian said, adding that she has decided to change that in 2017.
She said she has attended public forums hosted by her state representative, and plans to be at all mayoral debates before deciding on her choices for the May 6 city elections.
Arabian said she shares Hernandez' views on immigration and women's health, and also accommodating urban growth "but preserving the amazing things we already have."
The two friends agree they can serve as ideological eyes and ears for friends and relatives unable to be present at political forums.
"Giving advice to our families,"Hernandez said, "we can at least guide them and say, 'You know what? This is what this candidate said at the debate.' "