Ana Sandoval was San Antonio’s vocal environmental advocate on city council

Ana Sandoval announced on Tuesday, January 17, a day before city council candidates could file for reelection, that she would not run for a fourth term nor would she finish out her third term, instead choosing to leave at the end of January. In a statement, the outgoing District 7 councilwoman said it was time for her to step down, taking a job with University Health after a tumultuous past two years for her and San Antonio. 

Sandoval was first elected to the city council in 2017. Since then she has had nearly three terms to advocate for the issues she ran on and won with: transportation, housing, healthcare, the climate, and addressing inequities in public systems. Sandoval served on the council during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. During Sandoval’s tenure, her father, Tomás Mauricio Sandoval, died in November 2021.

She was also on the receiving end of Councilman Mario Bravo’s public outburst last year. Sandoval will step down on January 30 to take up a post with the Bexar County-owned University Health to look at health equity. Depending on who takes her seat next, San Antonio stands to lose one of its most vocal environmental advocates.

But MySA is going to look back at the MIT and Stanford grad’s time and efforts on the city council. 

District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval weighs in as the San Antonio City Council considered a funding agreement and contract amendment on the design and construction of protected bike lanes  in 2019. 

District 7 Councilwoman Ana Sandoval weighs in as the San Antonio City Council considered a funding agreement and contract amendment on the design and construction of protected bike lanes  in 2019. 

Marvin Pfeiffer /

Climate action plan

This effort was first brought up and pushed by Sandoval in 2019. The Climate Action and Adaptation Plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make San Antonio “carbon neutral” by 2050 through policy and technology changes on the city, businesses, and residents. 

The climate action plan was mulled heavily in 2019 until it passed in October 2019 with a singular “no” vote from now embattled Councilman Clayton Perry.

Regulate CPS Energy

In April 2022, Sandoval banded with other environmental advocates to urge the city of San Antonio to come down harder on CPS Energy in its operation of the J.K.Spruce Plant. 

The Spruce power plant is San Antonio’s largest, coal-powered plant that is also a source of pollution. 

Housing and developer incentives

Sandoval, along with other council members, has been an advocate for protecting low-income homes and housing from being pushed out by developers enticed with economic incentives.

In December 2018, Sandoval and former councilman Rey Saldaña voted against amendments to the Inner City Reinvestment and Infill Policy and the Center City Housing and Incentive Policy. Changes still allowed for developers to receive portions of property tax revenue and fee waivers on “affordable housing” projects that could still boost market rate housing. 

Women-led council

When Sandoval was reelected in 2019, she served on a majority women-led San Antonio city council with a total of six members out of a 10-person council being women. 

She joined Jada Andrews-Sullivan, Adriana Rocha Garcia, Melissa Cabello Havrda, Rebecca Viagran, and Shirley Gonzales. That shifted over the years, with currently only five women on the city council, including Sandoval. The balance could shift even more depending on who fills her spot. 

Rosie Castro, a civil rights activist and the mother of former mayor Julián Castro and current Congressman Joaquin Castro, has expressed interest in running. Marina Gavito, the current executive director of SA Digital Connects, filed for candidacy as of Wednesday, January 18. Dan Rossiter, who serves on the Brooks development board of directors, filed to run for Sandoval’s seat on Wednesday, January 18.

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