Ron Nirenberg

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Ron Nirenberg
Ron Nirenberg.jpg
Mayor of San Antonio
Assumed office
June 21, 2017
Preceded byIvy Taylor
Member of the San Antonio City Council
from the 8th district
In office
July 1, 2013 – June 21, 2017
Preceded byReed Williams
Succeeded byManny Pelaez
Personal details
Born
Ronald Adrian Nirenberg

(1977-04-11) April 11, 1977 (age 42)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Erika Prosper
Children1
EducationTrinity University, Texas (BA)
University of Pennsylvania (MA)
WebsiteOfficial website
Campaign website

Ronald Adrian Nirenberg (born April 11, 1977)[1] is an American politician who is the mayor of San Antonio, Texas. He was elected following his defeat of the incumbent mayor Ivy Taylor in the runoff for the 2017 mayoral race. Prior to his election, Nirenberg served as a member of the San Antonio City Council for District 8 for two terms,[2] he was sworn into office on June 21, 2017.[3]

Background[edit]

Nirenberg is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent (from Poland and Russia) on his father's side and of mixed Filipino, Malay, Indian, and British heritage from his mother’s side.[4] Nirenberg's father met Nirenberg's mother while the couple was serving with the Peace Corps in Malaysia,[5] his paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States before World War II, passing through Ellis Island. His Roman Catholic mother is half-Filipino and was born in Penang, Malaysia (then part of the colonial British protectorate of Malaya), his maternal grandmother was Anglo-Indian, born to a Scottish father and an Indian mother, while his maternal grandfather was a Tagalog-speaking Filipino musician with possible roots in Mindanao.[6] Nirenberg, who is Methodist, was raised in the capital city of Austin, Texas, he has been a long-term devotee of weightlifting, having participated in the sport since he was fourteen. He frequently works out at the Barshop Jewish Community Center in San Antonio, he was on the wrestling team in high school, and for seven years, he competed as a strength athlete, having developed an interest in the sport from watching the syndicated television series, American Gladiators.[7]

Nirenberg attended Trinity University in San Antonio and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in communication, he later attended the University of Pennsylvania, from which he procured his Master of Arts in communications.[8] After college, he was a program director for the Annenberg Public Policy Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[9]

Election history[edit]

2017 San Antonio mayoral race[edit]

On December 10, 2016, Nirenberg became the first primary challenger to Ivy Taylor for her position as mayor of San Antonio.[10] On May 6, 2017, the first round of voting was held, with no candidate reaching the required majority of 50% of the vote. Nirenberg and Taylor finished with the two highest vote totals and advanced to a runoff election held June 10, 2017. Although Nirenberg trailed Taylor in the primary vote, he went on to defeat Taylor 54.59-45.41%.[11] In so doing, Nirenberg became the first person in twenty years to defeat an incumbent mayor of San Antonio who sought re-election.[12][13]

2019 San Antonio mayoral race[edit]

Nirenberg officially declared his candidacy for re-election to the office on January 29, 2019,[14] his primary opponent was identified as Greg Brockhouse, a member of the San Antonio City Council who also took office in 2017 and frequently objected to Nirenberg's platform.[15] The election was scheduled for May 4, 2019, but since no majority was reached by any candidate, a runoff election was scheduled for June 8.[16] In the runoff, Nirenberg was elected to a second term, defeating Brockhouse by a 51.11% to 48.89% final vote.[17]

Tenure[edit]

Although Nirenberg ran for office as a nonpartisan politician (in Texas, all municipal elections are officially nonpartisan), he was considered to have run on a more progressive platform. In 2013, Nirenberg endorsed a city ordinance which bans discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Taylor, then also a member of the city council, voted against the ordinance. Taylor also opposed the city's filing of a lawsuit against the new state law which defines a misdemeanor offense for municipal officials who refuse to cooperate with federal authorities seeking to halt illegal immigration. Signed by Governor Greg Abbott, the law targets the sanctuary city movement. Nirenberg, conversely, backs the lawsuit.[5]

As mayor, Nirenberg has focused on the challenges of significant growth being experienced in San Antonio, including transportation reform, housing, crime and public safety, and economic development, his transportation agenda includes improving air service in San Antonio through more direct and nonstop international connections and enhanced airport infrastructure, traffic congestion relief, and building a modern, multimodal transportation system for San Antonio.[18] As mayor-elect, Nirenberg called upon the city council to endorse the Paris climate accord even though U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to remove the United States from the agreement. Nirenberg said that he has ideas of how to fund the accord: "I hope that as a community we will all agree that being driven by science and data is a good thing."[19] The San Antonio City Council approved a resolution to sign the Paris climate accord one day after Nirenberg's election, and in November 2017, the City Council approved the creation of a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan;[20] this would lead to San Antonio being one of 25 cities awarded the American Cities Climate Challenge grant in 2019 by Michael Bloomberg.[21]

In 2019, Nirenberg led the charge to have a Chick-fil-A restaurant removed from the concessions contract at the San Antonio International Airport, citing a conflict with the company's opposition of same-sex marriage. Councilman Greg Brockhouse opposed this decision and called for a re-vote on the decision but it was defeated.[22][23] Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton later began an investigation on the actions of Nirenberg and the San Antonio City Council, claiming the decision was in violation of existing Texas laws, the U.S. Constitution, and even San Antonio's own ethics code.[24] The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also opened an investigation on this action.[25][26] On June 10, 2019, Texas governor Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 1978[27], colloquially known as the "Save Chick-fil-A Bill", which forbids local governments from taking adverse steps against companies or individuals based on their religions beliefs.[28][29] On September 5, a group of five individuals filed suit against the City of San Antonio citing this new law.[30][31]

Personal life[edit]

Nirenberg is married to Erika Prosper, director of customer insights for H-E-B; the couple has one son, Jonah.[32][33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ronald Adrian Nirenberg". Family Search; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  2. ^ Baugh, Josh (June 10, 2017). "Ivy Taylor trailing challenger Ron Nirenberg in early election results". San Antonio Express News. Hearst Media. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  3. ^ "Ron Nirenberg sworn in as mayor of San Antonio". News 4 San Antonio. June 21, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  4. ^ Baugh, Josh (April 1, 2017). "Nirenberg's big gamble". San Antonio Express-News. Hearst Media. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "San Antonio Elects Progressive Mayor Who Celebrates His Jewish Heritage". The Jewish Daily Forward. Jewish Telegraphic Agency. June 12, 2017. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  6. ^ Gomez, Buddy (June 2, 2017). "OPINION: The Filipino-American in San Antonio, Texas". ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
  7. ^ Marini, Richard A. (June 16, 2017). "Mayor-elect is fit to lead. Like, really fit". San Antonio Express-News. Hearst Media. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  8. ^ Nirenberg, Ronald. "Ron Nirenberg". LinkedIn. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  9. ^ "Anenberg Public Policy Center: Ron Nirenberg". annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  10. ^ Arias, Pilar (December 10, 2016). "SA Councilman Ron Nirenberg announces mayoral bid". KSAT-TV. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  11. ^ Elections Department (June 10, 2017). "Unofficial Results: City of San Antonio - Runoff". Bexar County. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  12. ^ Cary, Michael (May 17, 2006). "News: Party lines". San Antonio Current. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  13. ^ Baugh, Josh (June 12, 2017). "Mayor-elect Nirenberg has hit the ground running". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  14. ^ Teitz, Liz (January 19, 2019). "San Antonio mayor announces run for re-election". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  15. ^ Teitz, Liz (February 9, 2019). "Brockhouse announces mayoral run". mysanantonio.com. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  16. ^ "City Elections". City of San Antonio. Archived from the original on February 21, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  17. ^ "Bexar County, Texas - City of San Antonio - Runoff". Bexar County Elections Department. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  18. ^ O'Hare, Peggy (May 23, 2018). "City's population growth largest in nation, census data shows". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved May 27, 2018.
  19. ^ Baugh, Josh (June 17, 2017). "Nirenberg taking a progressive focus". San Antonio Express-News. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  20. ^ "SA Climate Ready". City of San Antonio. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  21. ^ Snyder, Travis (January 11, 2019). "Michael Bloomberg Presents San Antonio with American Cities Climate Challenge Grant". San Antonio Current. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  22. ^ Varney, James (May 1, 2019). "Chick-fil-A becomes flash point in San Antonio mayor's race". Washington Times. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  23. ^ "Nirenberg Defends Council Decision On Blocking Chick-Fil-A From Airport; Company Responds". KTSA. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  24. ^ Platoff, Emma (March 28, 2019). "Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is investigating San Antonio for banning Chick-fil-A from its airport". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  25. ^ Fitzsimmons, Tim (May 28, 2019). "FAA investigating Chick-fil-A's exclusion at U.S. airports". NBC News. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  26. ^ Lardieri, Alexa (May 28, 2019). "FAA Investigates Texas, New York Airports Banning Chick-fil-A Restaurants". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  27. ^ "86(R) SB 1978 - Introduced version" (pdf). Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  28. ^ Kaplan, Talia (June 11, 2019). "Texas governor signs controversial 'Save Chick-fil-A' bill into law". Fox News. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  29. ^ Denham, Hannah (July 19, 2019). "Texas governor signs 'Save Chick-fil-A' bill into law". Washington Post. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  30. ^ Coronado, Acacia (September 9, 2019). "San Antonio sued for excluding Chick-fil-A from airport". Texas Tribune. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  31. ^ Puhak, Janine (September 10, 2019). "Chick-fil-A supporters file lawsuit against San Antonio for airport ban". Fox News. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  32. ^ Nirenberg, Ron. "Values". Vote Ron. Ron Nirenberg Campaign. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  33. ^ Rodriguez, Ken (July 27, 2017). "Erika Prosper: From Field Work to First Lady". The Rivard Report. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Ivy Taylor
Mayor of San Antonio
2017–present
Incumbent