Ride share companies are important to cities like San Antonio for many reasons. These include safety, enhanced livability, reduction in traffic, cost savings, jobs and even infrastructure efficiencies. But one key reason ride share is important to San Antonio is the significance to the tech community. For San Antonio to become a tech hub and grow our jobs base, we must embrace technology companies.
San Antonio has been my home for more than 20 years. We are blessed with a wonderful city that has a growing economy, great weather and a diverse and lively community.
What we don’t have is a strong vision for the next 20 years. San Antonio lags behind other cities in transportation, higher education and a connected, vibrant urban core. To strengthen the economic base, we need to draw technology companies, attract and retain educated people and diversify our industry footprint.
I became interested in the mayoral race a few months ago when Uber announced they were leaving the city. I wanted our leaders to understand the importance of Uber, Lyft and other technology companies. Services like this are good for our city and enhance the livability of San Antonio. I was mad and so I got involved.
When I first met Mayor Ivy Taylor in March, several things surprised me. First of all, she is an excellent listener. She listens first and speaks later (a trait not often found in political leaders). She seeks to understand and asks great questions. The Mayor looks through a single lens in leading this city, “what is best for San Antonio.” She has no political ambition, no desire to please everyone and dislikes politics in general. She refused to take money from those with whom she is negotiating. I respect that she is neither intimidated nor influenced by special interest groups. I trust that Ivy Taylor puts San Antonio first in every decision she makes.
I wanted to be sure she understood my perspective so I shared my story. My co-founders and I launched a technology company in San Antonio in 2005. Click Forensics was founded here and built to help advertisers get what they pay for. We were solving a complex data problem and needed both funding and technology talent. Despite our best effort, these did not exist in San Antonio at that time. With an investment from a venture capital firm, we relocated to Austin. Over the next seven years, Click Forensics became Adometry and grew significantly. The company gained global recognition as the leader in advertising attribution technology. In 2014, Adometry was acquired by Google. All of this occurred in Austin, not San Antonio.
This experience has made me take a hard look at the city I love most of all. I don’t want other companies to have to leave San Antonio in order to grow. Many young people are moving out after graduation and I want our city to be one that can attract and retain talented and educated young people. We need to make changes that will position our city as a leader in the years to come. Ivy Taylor shares that vision.
Every month, I spend more than 100 hours with 40 CEO’s, business owners and senior leaders. I feel equipped to recognize the traits that make a leader great, and those that make poor leaders. I’ve met the candidates and have an open mind. Ivy Taylor is the perfect leader for San Antonio today and tomorrow. She has a willingness to listen, has a deep background and education as an urban planner and a sound process for decision making.
Dictionary.com defines a politician as:
- a person who is active in party politics
- a seeker or holder of public office, who is more concerned about winning favor or retaining power than about maintaining principles.
By definition, Ivy Taylor is an awful politician. After getting to know her, I’ve found that she is a wonderful leader. San Antonio needs someone to help us become all we can be. We don’t need a politician to lead this city. We need a visionary leader who will listen, lead and get things done. I look forward to supporting Mayor Taylor in the runoff election and working with her to make this city truly great.