Ensure that your investments in San Antonio pay real dividends

Fellow San Antonians, what is the one thing that you personally want to influence the most in our city?  I am asking about the one thing that the combined energy from your volunteerism, philanthropy and voice would go into action to make a tangible community impact.  Would it be education, neighborhoods, environmental sustainability, arts and culture?

 For example, my family has chosen health and fitness as the area we are most passionate about.  We chose that cause because we understand how great a city is with a culture of fitness, and how that can add up to a much greater opportunity for San Antonio’s young and young-at-heart to fulfill their potential and promise.

 SA2020 want’s yourefforts in service to our city to add up to a real impact within the area of your greatest passion for San Antonio.  To increase your impact, we ask you to consider investing yourself in your community with the same focus, discipline, and expectations for a return on investment that that you would use to invest your hard earned money in the financial marketplace.  The return on your community investment will, of course, not be measured in dollars, but rather by the number of graduating high school seniors who are academically prepared for success in college and beyond; the diversity of energy sources used to power our homes and businesses into the future; the reduction in homelessness in our city. Or your efforts may be measured by any of the other 60 plus measures of success that you and over 6,000 of your fellow San Antonians established when you created the SA2020 vision for our city in 2010.

Here are SA2020’s 11 key causes that the community has identified as fundamental:

  •  ·         Arts & Culture
  • ·         Community Safety
  • ·         Downtown Development
  • ·         Economic Competitiveness
  • ·         Education
  • ·         Family Well-Being
  • ·         Government Accountability & Civic Engagement
  • ·         Health & Fitness
  • ·         Natural Resources & Environmental Sustainability
  • ·         Neighborhoods & Growth Management
  • ·         Transportation

 For my family, with almost every investment of money, time, or energy we make in service to our community, we do it with the expectation that it will reduce the rate of diabetes or the obesity rate among school age children or adults in San Antonio.  That is our expected return, and we focus this way because we want San Antonians to be among the healthiest of all Americans.

 Once you have declared the area that you are most passionate about influencing, I invite you to consider joining my family and the over 1,400 other San Antonians who, through SA2020, are directly investing themselves with a plan to generate big returns for San Antonio in the year 2020.  Visit and let us help you get connected today!

Originally posted April 22, 2013





What we do today is an investment in the future

These are exciting and promising times for San Antonio. This fall, Mayor Julián Castrochallenged the community to come together and boldly imagine a shared future for our city through SA 2020. The community has responded in an extraordinary and unprecedented way.

During three energized community forums, more than 3,000 San Antonians have contributed by showing up in person or by plugging in via live webcasts, Facebook, and Twitter. As one of three chairpersons of this effort, I have been blown away by the level of public engagement.

As we approach the penultimate community forum this Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at St. Mary's University, we must remind folks that SA 2020 isn't winding down. It's just beginning.

It will be a huge lost opportunity if we are satisfied because we showed up, shared our dreams and aspirations for San Antonio's future and then sit back to judge if the mayor and other leaders deliver for us.

Our community has engaged powerfully in this effort because the mayor asked us to collectively envision a bold future — much bigger than simply adding a new park, repaving paving some roads, introducing a few more well paying jobs or coming up with some catchy new slogan to market our city.

The change we've talked about since September is transformational. It will not be easy, but it's within our power.

As we enter the stretch run on the SA 2020 community forums, picture your precious children, your grandchildren, or even the rambunctious young neighbor child down the block.

In 2020, today's 8-year-old will be 18, considering college and dreaming about the future.

Ask yourself what kind of San Antonio can we create together for those young people? What selfless actions might I take over that would contribute?

I often view our shared SA 2020 effort through the lens of my 6-year-old son. When he becomes an adult, I am hopeful that he will build a life in San Antonio not because mom and dad want him close, but because we created a city where the quality of life available to all is irresistible to his generation.

Tonight is another important step in the SA 2020 process. So far, elements of our future vision include a much more educated community at large, a healthier and more vibrant community, young people who are prepared academically to take on the world and a transportation network that moves people from place to place with efficiency.

We will work together on Wednesday to answer the questions: How will we measure our efforts? What will satisfy us that we are getting there? How committed are we to personally stick with this effort when the last meeting has ended?

Think about what role you will to play going forward. Very soon, we will have a refined list of powerful vision statements that will require us to ask ourselves, “What actions am I going to take at home with my family, in my neighborhood, at my house of worship and my workplace to contribute to San Antonio's bold future?”

Imagine the power of thousands of engaged actions (small and large) taking place each day over the next half generation in service to our shared vision?

Mayor Castro asked us for our help and sustained partnership in transforming San Antonio. Today San Antonio belongs to us. Tomorrow it will belong to our children. It is then that they will inherit the investment that we make in their city today.

Originally posted in 2010