Scott Ball / Rivard Report
Mayor Ron Nirenberg continued to fill staff positions in his new administration, announcing three choices, including a communications director.
Nirenberg on Monday named Bruce Davidson, the former editorial page editor for the San Antonio Express-News, as his director of communications. Maria Luisa Cesar, who worked as Nirenberg’s director of communications in his District 8 City Council office and also as an education writer for the San Antonio Express-News, is working as senior policy advisor and deputy communications director.
Juany Torres is the mayor’s senior policy advisor and director of community engagement. Torres founded Organize SA, a group that registered voters and trained organizers for this year’s municipal elections, and became Nirenberg’s deputy campaign manager in March.
“I’m proud to announce these new members of my team,” Nirenberg stated in a press release. “Each brings valuable experience and commitment to the job.”
Davidson worked with the Express-News for 36 years before leaving the newspaper in 2016, after which he continued to write a weekly column. During his time with the paper, he was a political reporter, served as a political editor, and worked at the Express-News’ Washington, D.C. bureau in the late 1980s. He was the newspaper’s editorial page editor for 12 years. Davidson’s journalism career spanned the tenure of nine San Antonio mayors. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.
During his campaign, Nirenberg used Facebook Live for Q&As that allowed him to directly communicate with his supporters. He has previously said he will continue to use that platform to communicate.
“We understand that there’s a changing dynamic in the media world, and we’re determined to work with all media,” Davidson told the Rivard Report in a Tuesday phone interview. “There’s also going to be a social media component to their communication team. Certainly we’re not trying to just appeal to, or work with, legacy media.”
At this point, the specifics of those social media communications are still being developed.
Cesar will advise the mayor on education and workforce development policy, according to the press release. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
Torres previously worked in the White House during the Obama administration on the Domestic Policy Council. She has also worked as a community engagement operative for Google. After graduating from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and government, Torres returned to her native San Antonio, where she established Organize SA.
The three additions follow the mayor’s recent appointment of Trey Jacobson as his chief of staff, Nirenberg’s top aide position responsible for overseeing his staff. Jacobson left his post as managing director of government affairs at Golden Steves & Gordon law firm to work full time as the lead aide in the mayor’s office. As the firm’s chief lobbyist, Jacobson acted on behalf of an array of companies and development projects. Jacobson has around 20 years of experience working in municipal government, including a tenure with the City’s Economic Development Department and an advisory role with former Mayor Phil Hardberger.