San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor

Personnel matters and transportation needs top the agenda of San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor as she enters another year in office.

Taylor, 45, became the first African-American to be elected mayor of the city last June when she secured the two-year term in a runoff election. Taylor is the second woman to hold that position. She had previously been serving  as San Antonio’s interim mayor since 2014, and prior to that had been a member of the San Antonio City Council since 2009.

A native of Queens, N.Y., Taylor, a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, is from Yale University and  received a master’s degree at the University of North Carolina. While in pursuit of her Master’s Degree,  she traveled to San Antonio for a 10-week internship, and eventually made the city her home.

In an interview with San Antonio ABC affiliate KSAT, Taylor said her plans for 2016 included finalizing negotiations on a new contract with the city’s police and fire unions. She said planning for San Antonio’s future was also a priority, including addressing transportation needs and expanding workforce development programs.

“It’d be pretty easy to just kind of coast but I think if we don’t address things like workforce development, creating that pipeline of skilled talented individuals, and transportation, and also planning for our physical future, then I can’t say for sure that the next generation will be able to enjoy the same quality of life that I’m enjoying right now,” she told the television station.  

Last year, Taylor put the brakes on talk of growing San Antonio via annexation of its outlying areas, saying that more discussion and evaluation is needed.

“We’re still going slowly, which I think is better, to take the time to be thoughtful about what we’ll do and weigh out all our options,” Taylor said. 

At least one of the mayor’s major goals received a big boost in the new year—on Jan. 8, financial services firm USAA pledged $2.1 million to help curb homelessness among the city’s veterans, according to The San Antonio Express-News.
“This is a national tragedy,” USAA CEO Stuart Parker said at a news conference announcing the funding. “The $2.1 million is just a beginning. We want San Antonio to be a role model for the rest of the country.”