|Mayor of San Antonio|
|Assumed office |
June 21, 2017
|Preceded by||Ivy Taylor|
|Member of the San Antonio City Council|
from the 8th district
July 1, 2013 – June 21, 2017
|Preceded by||Reed Williams|
|Succeeded by||Manny Pelaez|
Ronald Adrian Nirenberg
April 11, 1977
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Education||Trinity University, Texas (BA)|
University of Pennsylvania (MA)
Ronald Adrian Nirenberg (born April 11, 1977) 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. He was sworn into office on June 21, 2017.
Nirenberg is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent (from Poland and Russia) on his father's side and of mixed Filipino, Malaysian, Indian, and British heritage from his mother’s side. Nirenberg's father met Nirenberg's mother while the couple was serving with the Peace Corps in Malaysia. 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. 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.
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. After college, he was a program director for the Annenberg Public Policy Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2017 San Antonio mayoral race
On December 10, 2016, Nirenberg became the first primary challenger to Ivy Taylor for her position as mayor of San Antonio. 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%. In so doing, Nirenberg became the first person in twenty years to defeat an incumbent mayor of San Antonio who sought re-election.
2019 San Antonio mayoral race
Nirenberg officially declared his candidacy for re-election to the office on January 29, 2019. His primary opponent has been identified as Greg Brockhouse, a member of the San Antonio City Council who also took office in 2017 and has frequently objected to Nirenberg's platform. The election is scheduled for May 4, 2019.
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.
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. 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." 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. This would lead to San Antonio being one of 25 cities awarded the American Cities Climate Challenge grant in 2019 by Michael Bloomberg.
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