Monday, April 25, 2016

"Just a Thought" Column continues in La Prensa-San Antonio, 4-24

Just a Thought: San Antonio Hispanics contribute
By Steve Walker

Although the majority of Hispanics living in San Antonio are of Mexican descent, there are several other groups representing the city's Latino population.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, people of Mexican origin make up 91.3 percent of San Antonio's Hispanic population, which totals 1,035,000.

Making up the rest are Puerto Ricans, with 1.5 percent of the local Hispanic population, and other groups, including those of Cuban and South American ancestry, making up an additional 3.9 percent.

Nationally, people of Mexican ancestry make up the largest percentage of the country's Hispanic population, with 63 percent of the total Hispanic population in the United States, according to the latest census figures. Hispanics of Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban descent remain the country's three largest Hispanic groups.

When you look at the current San Antonio City Council you see six Hispanics representing various parts of town to include the Westside, Southside and Northside. In District 1 you have Roberto Trevino, District 3 Rebecca Viagran, District 4 Rey Saldana, District 5 Shirley Gonzales, District 6 Ray Lopez and District 7 Cris Medina. They include an architect, business owners, a former Northside ISD School Board President and an Air Force Reserve Officer.

Two of the five serving on Commissioner’s Court include long time Pct. 2 Commissioner Paul Elizondo who was a former high school band director for many years, and Pct. 1 Commissioner Chico Rodriguez whose brother Ciro Rodriguez is a former Congressman and current Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace.

Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, the current President of Texas A&M University San Antonio is a native born San Antonian who is only the second president of the campus following Dr. Maria Ferrier who received her Master’s Degree from Our Lady of the Lake.

Both Dr. Teniente Matson and Dr. Ferrier have been instrumental in increasing educational opportunities for not only Hispanic students but all students to earn degrees and make a better life for themselves and their families.

Recently selected SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez is already raising the bar for the largest school district in San Antonio to ensure higher tests scores. Before coming to San Antonio he was Superintendent in Residence for the Nevada Department of Education in Reno, Nevada and was responsible for advising the Governor’s office and the State Superintendent of Instruction on education policy decisions. 

Currently in the midst of the presidential cycle, rumors are flying about
a possible Hispanic Vice-Presidential candidate being picked for the Democratic ticket.

San Antonio’s own former Mayor and current HUD Secretary Julian Castro’s name has been mentioned by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as being on her short list of VP candidates should she be nominated.

Imagine if that happened and the first Hispanic Vice President of the United States was from San Antonio. It could happen and that would put the Alamo City Hispanic community once again in the spotlight. What a thought!

As always, what I write is “Just a Thought.”  


Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran and former Justice of the Peace and Journalist.

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