Before deciding to expand its operations to the former Kress Building in San Antonio’s expanding tech district, CaptureRx was being wooed by other cities like Naples, Fla., and Kansas City, Mo., to leave the city altogether. But leaders of the homegrown tech firm stayed here because they noticed San Antonio is a city to invest in.
San Antonio is indeed worthy of private investment because it’s a city that is not afraid to invest in itself, and the $850 million bond proposal on the May 6 ballot is a clear signal of that. The city’s vision is worthy of voters’ support of all six propositions.
This historic investment in the city’s most basic infrastructure shows that our leaders understand that remaining economically competitive means having the foresight to prepare for the future now.
The bond proposal includes more than 200 planned miles of new sidewalk construction with 70% of the $850 million earmarked for street and drainage infrastructure. Through the parks proposition one-quarter of the city’s park inventory will be improved – Those are improvements all of us can appreciate.
While infrastructure is hardly a sexy sell, it is critical to maintaining our quality of life and a competitive edge over peer cities. Our city leaders realize that attracting and retaining young professionals requires a landscape of viable and engaging urban cores, parks, walkable spaces and a quality of life that is authentic.
For decades, San Antonio suffered from a brain drain. Many of our best and brightest young talent went to urban centers such as the Bay Area, New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C., – and rarely returned.
That tide is turning and we need to be deliberate about how we keep the momentum going. San Antonio is now the beneficiary of a brain gain, a change driven by good quality of life and appealing cost of living. Many of us have seen the national publications lately that have highlighted San Antonio’s growth and potential. That is great and well deserved press but we cannot stop there. We must continue to invest in our city and its people if we want to continue on this trajectory.
Even if you do not fall in the “young professional” category, the great thing about this bond is that it contains something for everyone. In fact, every San Antonio resident lives or works within one mile of a proposed bond project. Senior citizens can view this bond as an investment in their cities near- and long-term future as it will enhance and improve the city they worked so hard to build for us.
Beyond the sheer size of investment, this proposal also shows vision because it is tied to the SA Tomorrow Growth Plan, San Antonio’s first major plan revision in nearly 20 years. SA Tomorrow sets the foundation for how San Antonio will accommodate the addition of 1 million residents expected by 2040 and maintain the quality of life for those of us lucky enough to already be here.
This is the first time a bond program has been developed in accordance with a comprehensive plan, one that takes into account the various needs of the community. While the 2017 bond package reflects the priorities established by SA Tomorrow, all sectors of the city will benefit.
And that’s why all of us, as keepers and influencers of San Antonio’s future, need to cast a vote for all six propositions under the city’s bond proposal on May 6. You are not just voting for improvement today, you will be investing in our city’s future.