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File #: 18-6293   
Type: Resolution
In control: City Council A Session
On agenda: 11/15/2018
Posting Language: Resolution supporting women’s safety, health, and economic opportunity in the City of San Antonio. [Maria Villagomez, Assistant City Manager; Alex Lopez, Interim Director, Office of Equity]
Attachments: 1. Draft Resolution, 2. Resolution 2018-11-15-0050R

DEPARTMENT: Office of Equity






Resolution in support of Women’s Safety, Health, and Economic Opportunity in the City of San Antonio



A resolution supporting women’s Safety, Health, and Economic Opportunity in the City of San Antonio sponsored by Councilwoman Rebeca Viagran, Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, and Councilwoman Ana Sandoval.



In the City of San Antonio, more than 51% of the total population of 1,144,646 are women.  The City of San Antonio recognizes the fundamental and indispensable contributions of women to the prosperity of the City and the need to remain proactive in addressing health, safety and equitable opportunities and outcomes for all women. 


This resolution identifies three policy priorities to drive equitable outcomes for women through existing City services: eliminate domestic violence and sexual assault, promote positive women’s health outcomes, and address inequitable access to economic and business opportunities.   These priorities expand on the work the City has begun by working with community stakeholders to maximize outcomes.


Eliminating Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.  Domestic violence disproportionally impacts women in our community. In recent years the number of domestic violence cases has increased and the City of San Antonio is committed to reducing domestic violence and sexual assault cases. In May 2018, a presentation was provided to the City Council Public Safety Committee by the City’s Health Department, Police Department, and the Department of Human Services showing a map of gaps where there is a high concentration of risk for domestic violence and low concentration of services. Work continues in this area to incorporate services provided by non-profit and other organizations and evaluate the impact of prevention and intervention services with the goal of reducing domestic violence and sexual assault cases.


Positive Women’s Health Outcomes. San Antonio’s teen birth rate and repeat teen births lag behind the national average. To address teen pregnancy, the City of San Antonio Health Department convenes the San Antonio Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative, a collective impact effort focused on reducing the teen pregnancy rate. San Antonio has made significant progress in this area by reducing the teen birth rate in Bexar County by 53% since 2006, but it still remains 49% higher than the national rate for ages 15 to 19. Maternal and child health progress has stalled in recent years in San Antonio. To address this concern, the Health Department has made this a key priority in its strategic plan.


Economic and Business Opportunities for Women. On average, San Antonio women earn less money, own fewer businesses, and have less access to capital than their male counterparts. To address these challenges, the City of San Antonio has increased the number of successful female entrepreneurs and highly skilled females in the workforce through City programs and investments such as the Small Business Economic Development Advocacy Program, Launch SA and Project Quest. These programs improve the City by creating and growing business and employment opportunities for San Antonio women, while also providing role models and mentors for future generations. Through the SBEDA program alone, City contract dollars paid to local women-owned businesses have increased from 3% in 2011 to 17% in 2017.


In addition to these service areas, the City has made it a priority to improve opportunities for women to participate in local government. The City’s Equity program captures these priorities institutionally.


Equity Program: As part of the City’s strategy to embed equity in the City Organization, an equity impact assessment tool is being used to ensure city services, programs, and policies are equitable while considering the different needs and priorities of our community. In FY 2019, a train-the-trainer program will begin to normalize, organize, and operationalize equity across all City departments. Demonstrating its utility, the Equity Impact Assessment tool has addressed internal processes and practices and will continue in each city department. As an example, an equity impact assessment was conducted on the Boards and Commissions to enhance women and minority participation.


Boards and Commissions: In January 2018, Councilwoman Viagran requested a review of gender and minority inequities in the City’s boards and commissions through the City Council Request (CCR) process. An Equity Impact Assessment, completed in October 2018, revealed that 39% of the current membership of the City’s boards and commissions is comprised of women while the san Antonio population is comprised of more than 51% women. The result of the assessment is an action plan designed to enhance meaningful community outreach and engagement, to increase diversity on City boards and commissions, and reduce implicit bias.


Councilwoman Gonzales has also made it a priority to examine the gender composition of the City’s boards and commissions.


Indicative of the City’s commitment to promote women to leadership positions, the City Manager has established programs to increase the number of women executives and to equip women for leadership positions within city government. The percentage of women in executive positions (Directors, Assistant Director, and Leadership Team) within the City organization has significantly increased from 26% in 2005 to 43% today. Programs have been developed to assist employees to executive roles such as Supervisory Excellence Training and the Management Development Institute.


In 2014, the City Manager created a women’s leadership mentoring program within the city government to help develop future female leaders in the organization. Executive women are paired with a junior staffer annually for one year. Over the past four years, 122 mentees have gone through the program with 76% being successfully retained within the city of San Antonio government, and 44% having successfully competed for promotions. Mentees apply for the program, and 25 to 30 are selected annually and paired with a senior female executive. The annual program consists of lunch-and-learn sessions for the mentees with outside female executive speakers and assigned group projects that benefit the organization. Each mentor meets one-on-one with their mentee at least monthly. There are 30 mentees currently in the 2018 class.


The City Manager has also created a women focus group in the Police Department with the goal of improving opportunities for women to advance within the department. Other similar initiatives have been introduced in the Departments of Solid Waste and Transportation and Capital Improvements. Recommendations from these focus groups have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented.



The approval of this resolution is the first step toward comprehensive strategies to address priorities in the areas of domestic violence and sexual assault, women’s health outcomes, and inequitable access to economic and business opportunities.



City Council can choose not to support this Resolution. 



There is no fiscal impact associated with approval of this resolution.


Should financial resources, beyond those approved in the budget be needed to develop and implement strategies to address Women’s Safety, Health, and Economic Opportunity in the City of San Antonio, a recommendation will be prepared and brought to City Council for consideration and approval.



Staff recommends approval of the Resolution by City Council