Mayor Ivy Taylor and why she is RIGHT for San Antonio Part IV
by Sonja Harris on June 3, 2015 at 11:03 AM
Mayor Ivy Taylor isn’t a total stranger to me as I was present during the very controversial San Antonio Non Discrimination Ordinance that passed on Thursday, September 5, 2013 violating our First Amendment, Right of Conscience. The NDO passed in spite of the fact that the majority of concerned citizens opposed the unjust ordinance. It passed without Taylor’s vote, 8-3. She voted with the people.
It took courage to stand against the eight duplicitous council members who did vote for the NDO. Whether she was approached by the pastors or not, she knew what the right vote should be. San Antonio needs a mayor that will be open to listening to the people. She again listened to the people and was instrumental in stopping the streetcar project.
Taylor was appointed interim mayor in July 2014 and had said she would not run for the position. Curiosity is one factor that drives me, and I wanted to know why she changed her mind. Taylor’s answer was that of someone who spent time contemplating, praying and listening. She came to the realization that there were some things that she was not going to be able to complete.
She told me her unforgettable story with Condoleezza Rice, the former Secretary of State with the GW Bush Administration. Rice was in San Antonio in October, 2014 working with a corporation that was doing business with the city. Rice asked her, “Why is it that you don’t want to run for mayor?” Taylor told Rice, “I always said that I wanted to be mayor but not run for mayor, and I feel that God has given me exactly what I have asked for and that I should be content and move on.” Rice replied, “Well, did you ever think that maybe God had to allow you to be in the mayor’s position so that you should continue and that you should run for office?”
Taylor was very open with me and remarked that besides the people urging her to run, there were some who “painted the picture that if I ran and lost that I had so much to lose. Your reputation, no one is going to give you a good job. It will look bad. I got to the point where I really realized that being mayor is not about me, so if it’s not about me, then therefore I have nothing to lose.” She laughed out loud hearing herself make this statement. This was the turning point in her decision she said.
What is very noticeable is Taylor’s cross that she wears on a thin chain around her neck. As far as I can see, she wore it in 2013 during the NDO fiasco. She is a woman of faith with a great sense of humor, a good combination necessary to meet the daily challenges as mayor of St. Anthony.
I don’t see Taylor as a politician because she reveals way too much about herself. She is very candid about what she expresses. She may ponder on the words she chooses but not about the content. She truly believes that this mayoral election is not about her but about San Antonio and that she is doing what “God directed me to do and that whatever His will be done, I will be fine regardless.”
We discussed her first debate with Leticia Van de Putte, and she is very aware that Van de Putte is highly partisan making for a blind allegiance to her party and not to the people of San Antonio. She again emphasized that she is not running on any party platform and has dedicated herself to planning for the future of San Antonio and its citizens. “We don’t have to follow a party agenda and so I think it is important that we operate in that space. So that is my intention, that’s what I have been doing, and that’s what I intent to keep on doing.”
It is totally obvious that she has strong ethics as she first announced she would not seek any endorsements from parties’ negotiating city contracts. This is a direct contradiction as to what Van de Putte has done in accepting an endorsement from the Police and Fire Unions. Mayor Taylor issued a letter in regards to this situation on Friday, May 29.
Union contract negotiations are the number one issue facing our City government and it is essential that you know the truth.
When I took office there were no active negotiations between the City of San Antonio and the unions. My very public stance to end attacks levied through the media brought everyone back to the table.
After months of challenging negotiations we were at the finish line in late March. Unfortunately, at that time my opponent sought and accepted the endorsement of the police and fire unions.
Police and fire union endorsements are highly attractive to political candidates like Leticia Van De Putte because their support is not subject to the $1,000 campaign finance limit. Union support is unlimited and unreported.
To earn their endorsement Leticia Van De Putte told the police union she would end the lawsuit currently filed by the city, as reported by the Express News after making exactly the opposite promise to the business community a week before. The police union then walked away from the table, preferring to push for a mayor who would write them a blank check rather than continuing to negotiate in good faith.
I did not seek nor would I accept the union endorsement. I will not jeopardize the fiscal health of our city by accepting endorsements and unlimited campaign contributions from organizations negotiating a $500,000,000 contract funded by taxpayers.
Sadly my opponent does not share my convictions.
As Mayor I have remained strong on protecting our fiscal health. I will never sacrifice our long-term future for my own short-term political gains. I promise to: Hold firm on public safety expenses at or below 66% of our general fund budget Keep the evergreen clause lawsuit in place to ensure the city is in a position Continue to represent taxpayers and not special interests while negotiating union contract Sincerely,
We conversed about the 2140 Babcock location zoning problem and she commented that ‘they’ were working on a solution. Unfortunately, the breaking news is that that zoning case will be going to court. But she did assure me that she would sit down with various groups of people to discuss problems concerning the citizens of San Antonio.
She fully knows if elected she will be the first Black woman mayor in a predominately Hispanic community. She smiled and said, “I think it’s wonderful that we are a minority majority. I have lived in other cities in the USA and ethnicity is an important part of a person’s identity, but at the end of the day, we are all San Antonians and we all want San Antonio to prosper. We all have a common vision, we all want great neighborhoods and we all want our children to be safe. We want our children to have opportunities, so I think this unites us. No matter what a person’s color, I am pretty sure that that is what they want for San Antonio and that is how I approach doing the job. I hope the folks don’t just look at me as the Black mayor because that is only one part of my identity.”
San Antonio is Ivy’s adopted hometown, she stated that she married a native San Antonian, Rodney, and gave birth to a San Antonian, Morgan. She expressed that, “San Antonio has been a wonderful place for me and it has given me so much. I want to give back.”
I have to confess that I enjoyed chatting with Ivy because she has a genuine desire to know about the people around her and to do 'right' by the people of San Antonio. She actually spent time finding out about me, something I have seldom experienced in all the years that I have been questioning candidates or elected officials. It's important to know that Early Voting starts on June 1-9 and the Run-Off Election is June 13. Yes, Ivy Taylor is RIGHT for San Antonio!
We parted on a final quote from her in Spanish, "Una alcaldesa para toda la cuida de San Antonio!" We laughed out loud.
Van de Putte 'danced’ around lawsuit question