Councilwoman: Too Many White Men Still Running Things in S.A.

posted by Jim Forsyth - 

San Antonio is doubling down on its commitment to 'equity' and vowing to erase the surplus of White guys on city boards and commissions, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

A report by the City's Office of Equity shows in a city with 64% Hispanic population, only 36% of people on the dozens of boards and commissions, from the CPS Energy and SAWS Boards of Directors to the many special city committees, are Hispanic.

Women are also under represented by 16% from their numbers in the population.

"Maybe there are certain parts of our population that haven't been reflected on our boards and commissions on the city level or anywhere," said Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, who pushed for the report on the city's successes in acheiving equity in city government.

"We want to make sure that our boards and commissions are reflective of the City of San Antonio."

The Equity Office says men and women, Anglos and Hispanics are appointed to board at roughly the same level they have applied for positions, but White men are more likely to apply.

"When all of the people in San Antonio are represented, all of San Antonio succeeds," she said.

Viagran is also pushing for equity in city funding for historically underserved neighborhoods, mainly inside Loop 410 and south of Hildebrand.  She says federal contracting policies in place well into the 1970s actually discouraged investment in areas with large minority or low income populations.

She equates the drive for equity with the move toward single member City Council districts back in the 1970s.

"We deserve this because we have been taxpayers for all this time too," she said.  "But until now, we have never seen the benefit."

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