Through a year of conversations with local officials, city and county departments and community members a 15-member board was recruited to reflect a cross-section of Southside interests. Included on the board are community members from three city council districts (3,4 & 5) , two county commission districts (1 & 4), Brooks, Port San Antonio, Texas A&M-San Antonio and others. Other advisory boards, including education, real estate, neighborhoods are part of the organization’s vision.
“Our goal is to create a sustainable organization that accomplishes our mission of being the voice for economic prosperity, community bridging and responsible development for our area, “ says Andrew M. Anguiano, Executive Director of Southside First Economic Development Council, “this is important work that will set up the economic future for ourselves, our children and grand-children.” Anguiano is a life-long Southsider and an 8th Generation Mission descendent.
The organization was jump started by several Southside businesses. It will be membership-based and launch its programming at the end of July. It is also pursuing several public grants, private donors and seed funding from the city, county and other public entities to implement its strategic plan. Activities will be moving forward and the organization can be followed via social media or at their website, southsidefirst.org. Sponsorships and memberships are now being accepted.
Inaugural Southside First Board of Directors
Rudy Garza, South Chamber; Cindy Taylor, City Council District 3; Lorraine Pulido, Ph.D., City Council District 4; Janie Gonzalez, City Council District 5; Rhonda Salinas, County District 1; Jane Gonzalez, County District 4; Juan Solis, Port San Antonio; William Spindle, Ph.D., Texas A&M University – San Antonio; Samantha Carniero, Brooks; Stephanie Smith, South Chamber; Laura Cabanilla, Financial Sector; Rob Rodriguez, Real Estate Sector; Dr. Abelardo Saavadra, Education Sector; Michael Rey, At-Large; Mark Tolley, At-Large.