Proposal Mandating Women Make Up Half of All City Boards and Commissions to Be Considered

District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales - City of San Antonio
City of San Antonio
District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales
Updated 8:30 pm with comment from Councilwoman Gonzales:

The City of San Antonio Governance Committee will consider a proposal tomorrow that could level the gender imbalance on City citizen panels.

The Council Consideration Request, written by District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, would mandate that women make up 50 percent of all boards and commissions.

There are dozens of different citizen boards, commissions and committees whose members are appointed by City Council. They tend to have supervisory or advisory roles, helping council members keep a finger on the pulse of specific policies or City departments. Others have decision-making ability.

Gonzales filed the request after multiple women's organizations asked her about how they could get more women engaged in local policy. She said that about 40 percent of board and commission members are women, but some — such as the powerful CPS Energy Board, are all men, excepting Mayor Ivy Taylor.

"Although over time we have seen that the diversity of boards and commissions has changed, we have not yet reached complete gender congruence," Gonzales said in the request. "Ensuring a balance of gender on boards and commissions would help enhance opportunities for the women of San Antonio."

Councilmen Ron Nirenberg, Ray Lopez, Alan Warrick and Cris Medina gave Gonzales the four signatures she needed. The Governance Committee will review the proposal tomorrow, and likely recommend whether or not to send it to the full City Council.

"Women from all walks of life really want an opportunity to serve," Gonzales said. "If we encourage and then follow up with policy ... I think that would be a way to be more inclusive."

Read the full proposal below:

Shirley Gonzales Gender Equity CCR by MarkAReagan

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