San Antonio’s mayor has a history of discriminating against those he disagrees with, and now he’s seeking re-election.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg is running for a second term as the Alamo City’s mayor, and he is also running from his recent actions.
In March, Nirenberg voted to exclude Chick-fil-A from the San Antonio International Airport. The popular chicken eatery was originally one of the restaurants set to be included by the airport’s retail contractor, but the council filed an amendment to kick them out, discriminating against the company solely because of the owner’s beliefs on marriage. According to the council, Chick-fil-A has a “legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior” by supporting such radical organizations like The Salvation Army and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
“With this decision, the City Council reaffirmed the work our city has done to become a champion of equality and inclusion,” said Council Member Robert Treviño, right after voting to ban the company. “San Antonio is a city full of compassion, and we do not have room in our public facilities for a business with a legacy of anti-LGBTQ behavior.”
Nirenberg supported banning the company but then tried to backpedal his rationale after the council’s decision drew nationwide backlash, including the opening of an investigation by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Nirenberg claimed he banned Chick-fil-A because they are not open on Sundays, despite the fact Chick-fil-A was rated “Best Franchise Brand” in 2018 by Airport Review News.
When Nirenberg’s mayoral opponent, City Council member Greg Brockhouse, called for a revote of the ban, Nirenberg used his tie-breaking vote to yet again block Chick-fil-A from the airport.
The ban has become the most controversial issue of the mayoral race, and it is one Nirenberg has tried to get away from.
“How much oxygen is this going to take up?” Nirenberg asked recently, dismissively referring to the issue as the “fast food subcontract.”
In the past, Nirenberg also rejected submitting San Antonio as a host for the 2020 Republican National Convention, claiming it was for financial reasons despite the RNC offering to privately raise all funds necessary to host the event. The convention would’ve brought the city an estimated $200 million in economic benefit.
Not only has Nirenberg voted to ban organizations he disagrees with, but he’s also voted to take more money from citizens—choosing to increase taxes ever since taking office on the city council in 2013. The average San Antonio homeowner is now paying the city roughly $400 more per year than they did just four years ago.
Nirenberg’s foremost opponent, Brockhouse, is a newcomer to the city council who has voted against tax increases, stating on his campaign site that “a family needs to keep more of their money. City Hall needs to do more with the money they already have and learn to give some of it back by reducing property taxes and fees.”
It’s up to San Antonio voters whether they will allow Nirenberg to continue discriminating and taking more of their hard-earned cash, or choose a different path for their city and their wallets.
Election Day is Saturday, May 4.