San Antonio Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, who is a leader of an effort to get more women involved in city government, is proposing that the taxpayers foot the bill for child care for members of the 81 city boards and commissions, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Even though a majority of the new City Council is female, Gonzales cited a recent study on the 'Status of Women in San Antonio,' which discovered that women make up less than one third of the membership of the city's committees, which frequently do the hard work of vetting proposals which will eventually become policy.
Gonzales, who has two young children, says with child care costs increasing, and in San Antonio child care costs exceed twenty percent of the median family income, it has become an 'economic burden' for women to participate in city government.
“The status of women report exposed many areas - in health, education, economy, and politics - where we need to begin work, now, to lift women in our city,” said Councilwoman Gonzales. “This Council Consideration Request is the first step in addressing the status of women with clear vision and bold action.”
Gonzales is asking City Council to consider her request when it returns from the summer recess. The request doesn't state whether the child care would be covered by taxpayers only during meetings and official committee business, and whether city programs, or private day care centers, would care for the children.