It's too soon to get a feel for the chemistry of the new City Council, but QueBlog can't help but notice the recent change in District 1 Council member Mary Alice Cisneros.
During her first term, MAC spoke as little as possible during Council sessions. Inevitably, she would make brief, tentative comments after her colleagues had expressed themselves and merely echo their sentiments.
Since her hard-earned May 9 election victory over Chris Forbrich, however, Cisneros has taken on a new assurance â?? discussing policy with surprising detail, joking with her other Council members, and often taking the lead when the Council weighs in on an agenda item.
There are a couple of theories behind this: One is that Cisneros' tough election campaign forced her to do her homework and brush up on the issues. The other is that she has relaxed in her role because term limits dictate that she won't have to face District 1 voters again (it also helps that she's surrounded by five new Council members, who are just getting up to speed on City business).
The new, improved Cisneros won plaudits from Mayor JuliÃ¡n Castro on Thursday, June 25, for her work to launch a rezoning effort for properties on West Avenue between Fredericksburg Road and Loop 410. Cisneros told Council that she became concerned with the disparity between the residential zoning on streets that intersect the corridor and the widespread commercial/industrial zoning along West Avenue, believing that the residential neighborhoods in the area were being compromised. Council unanimously approved the rezoning project, which will be handled by the Planning and Development Services Department.