May 12, 2022

Ron Nirenberg delivers a State of the City address at Tech Port Center

Photo by Steven Santana

Mayor Ron Nirenberg says the city is on a long road to recovery, but there is hope for San Antonio’s future.

Steven Santana | MySA

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the city is strong as it moves toward recovery from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the road to recovery is still long.

The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce held its first in-person State of the City Address on Tuesday, April 26, ending two years of the event being broadcast virtually. This year, the chamber decided to think big, hosting the event at Alamo City’s newest state-of-the-art event venue, the Tech Port Center + Arena in Port San Antonio.

For the first time after two years of live streaming the Chamber of Commerce's State of the City event, the San Antonio business community finally came together in person for the event.

For the first time after two years of live streaming the Chamber of Commerce’s State of the City event, the San Antonio business community finally came together in person for the event.

Steven Santana | MySA

While Nirenberg reflected on the victories of the past year, he also explained how the pandemic has set back progress, if any, in tackling poverty, inequality and the housing crisis. He pointed to the city’s $1.2 billion bond which he says will only spur the recovery.

Here are some of the highlights from the event.

The Tech Port Center + Arena promises a cutting-edge experience.

The Tech Port Center + Arena promises a cutting-edge experience.

Steven Santana | MySA

The pandemic trauma

  • Nirenberg reminded attendees of the impact of the pandemic on the business world.
  • The San Antonio Metro lost 138,332 jobs from March to April in 2020.
  • Only half of those jobs have been recovered.
  • Some 60,000 families a week relied on the San Antonio food bank at the height of the pandemic.
  • Food bank use remains 50% above pre-pandemic levels.
  • San Antonio has provided more than $200 million in emergency housing assistance to struggling residents impacted by COVID-19.
  • An estimated 95,000 households in Bexar County are burdened with the costs.

Just down the hall from the main event area, there's a food court with a full-service bar in the middle.

Just down the hall from the main event area, there’s a food court with a full-service bar in the middle.

Steven Santana | MySA

“Eyes wide open, we move forward”

  • Nirenberg says San Antonio’s historic recovery will only be sustained by historic investments.
  • This includes investments in workforce development, housing affordability needs, infrastructure, economic development, and public health necessities.
  • In November 2020, 77% of San Antonio voters approved the $200 million SA Ready to Work program.
  • More than 1,500 interns, the majority of whom are Hispanic women, have new jobs.
  • Nearly 1,900 have gone through the admissions process and are awaiting placement and training.
  • More than 170 employers in the region who have signed the commitment to support the program.

Technicians work on game setups in the LAN game room, where competitive gamers can play the latest video games at optimal internet speeds.

Technicians work on game setups in the LAN game room, where competitive gamers can play the latest video games at optimal internet speeds.

Steven Santana | MySA

SA’s Biggest Bond Yet

  • The city’s $1.2 billion bond is on the ballot this month, divided into six proposals.
  • One of those proposals, says Nirenberg, is $150 million for affordable housing.
  • The 2022 bond package also includes 62 street and sidewalk projects, 23 drainage projects, 82 parks and recreation projects, nine projects for the library and Cultural Paseo facilities, and six public safety projects.
  • Early voting is still ongoing until May 3.


“Not only did we survive, but we’re going to promise to come back stronger than ever,” Nirenberg said as he closed the ceremony.