Editor's Note: The Rivard Report team has an update to share regarding our sold-out Pints & Politics event: I personally spoke to each of the four candidates and proposed a second event at a larger venue. The candidates have agreed and we will soon announce the time and place once we hammer down the details.
Please be patient with us while we work on this. Our team is new to event marketing and we certainly underestimated the degree of interest. We will share any updates as soon as we know more. -- Robert Rivard
Want to meet Ivy, Mike, Leticia, and Tommy before you decide who should be mayor of San Antonio? The Rivard Report is hosting a mayoral forum, Pints & Politics, on Wednesday, March 11. You are invited.
Seating is limited for the event, which will feature a food truck and complimentary beer at Alamo Brewery, located at 202 Lamar Street, next to the historic Hays Street Bridge. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the 90-minute forum will start at 7 p.m. Admission is $10. Tickets go on sale at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday. Tickets are available via Brown Paper Tickets and we are expecting a quick sellout. Click here to purchase.
This will not be a formal debate. There will be a number of those around the city in the coming months, but the Rivard Report wants to give readers the opportunity to hear the candidates talk about themselves and their visions for city building. You can dress casually, grab something to eat at the food truck, enjoy a glass of Alamo beer brewed on the premises, and listen to four different experienced officeholders discuss the future of San Antonio. Now would be a good time to register to vote in the the May 9 city election, with the early voting April 27-May 5.
"We invite interested readers to join us for an informal gathering of the mayoral candidates, more of a conversation than a debate, an evening where we will ask members of the audience to ask questions," said event moderator Robert Rivard. "This is an opportunity to meet and listen to the candidates in a relaxed and intimate setting in one of the city's most historic neighborhoods."
Mayor Ivy Taylor, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, former state Rep. Mike Villarreal, and former County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson will each be invited to spend a few minutes at the outset talking about themselves and their public service experience. Rivard will moderate the event. We also will post live coverage on Twitter and watch for questions via our hashtag #pintspoliticsSA.
Mayor Ivy Taylor formally declared her candidacy on Monday, Feb. 16. Taylor is the first African-American mayor of San Antonio and only the second woman. The former District 2 City Council representative has served seven months of an interim appointment to the position following the departure last July of former Mayor Julián Castro, who resigned to become Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama administration. Taylor has a master's degree in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Yale University. Website: www.sanantonio.gov/mayor
Leticia Van de Putte, a San Antonio native who grew up on the city's Westside, has represented state Senate District 26 since 1999. State Rep. José Menéndez was recently elected as her replacement in a special election runoff against state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer. Van de Putte delivered her farewell speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday, where she chaired the Texas Senate Veterans Affairs and Military Installations Committee. Her website: www.leticiaformayor.com. Van de Putte is a pharmacist, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. Her husband, Pete, is the CEO of Dixie Flag Manufacturing Company, a family business opened in 1958.
Mike Villarreal, a San Antonio native, represented state House District 123 for 15 years from 2000-14. During his legislative tenure he served as the Chair of the House Committee on Investments and Financial Service. Villarreal stepped down in late 2014 to become the first declared candidate for mayor. Mike received an undergraduate economics degree at Texas A&M University and later earned a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Website: www.mikevillarreal.com.
Tommy Adkisson, a San Antonio native, served as Bexar County commissioner for Precinct 4 for 16 years. Adkisson has a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Texas at Austin and a law degree from the South Texas College of Law. He served in the state House of Representatives for four years from 1981-85. He is a principal at Alamo Title. Website: www.tommyadkisson.com.
Note: The last day candidates can apply to be placed on the ballot is Friday, Feb. 27. Voter registration for the May 9 elections must be completed at least 30 days before the vote.
Eugene Simor, president and creator of the Alamo Beer Company, is co-hosting Pints & Politics at his newly opened $8-million, 18,000 square-foot facility on the near Eastside, which will brew about 14 million bottles of Alamo Beer a year when it is fully up and running. Neighbors and community leaders say it will be a catalyst for further investment and opportunity in the low-income neighborhoods of the Eastside.
The spacious facilities include the brewery, a beer hall and an outdoor beer garden. After the brewery's grand opening on March 6, it will be open to the public Thursdsay through Sunday starting at 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday the brewery will close down to the public for private parties.
To help out with one of the Rivard Report's first events, a team of four talented interns is managing the mayoral forum. Myself, Erinn Larson, Nathaniel Lopez, and Nicholas Arrington were given the opportunity through an entrepreneurship class at UTSA taught by Anita Leffel, director of entrepreneurship programs in the College of Business and assistant director of the Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship. Leffel brought students over to check out Geekdom at the downtown Rand Building, home to the Rivard Report, to explore internship possibilities at some of the dozens of startups that office there.
After meeting with Rivard, Managing Editor Iris Dimmick, and Director of Marketing and Development Jaime Solis, we knew we had chosen wisely.
“We break the mold of mainstream media at the Rivard Report and act as a catalyst for people to be connected in San Antonio,” Rivard said during our first meeting last month.
We heard firsthand about their aspirations for San Antonio and the continued growth of the Rivard Report. With all of us studying entrepreneurship and, hopefully, owning our own businesses one day, it was inspiring to see the entrepreneurial spirit in action.
"We hope to do more events in the coming year that give our readers the opportunity to experience the city and some of its most important and interesting people," Rivard added.
See graphic below for parking and entry directions (Google Maps hasn't quite caught up with Alamo Beer).
*Featured/top image: Pints & Politics graphic design by Heavy Heavy.
San Antonio’s Economic Imperative: Education & Workforce Development (by Leticia Van de Putte)
San Antonio’s Economy Requires 21st Century Skills (by Mike Villarreal)