LSA 48 Talks Quality of Life

Challenging Conversations in Beautiful Places

The Quality-of-Life team was excited to host the first class day of Leadership San Antonio Class 48. Understanding Quality of Life often means many different things to different people. The team created a day that touched on the wide spectrum of Quality of Life, including housing, local experiences, and arts and culture.

As the class day commenced, the team met at The Rock at La Cantera where they were greeted with flamenco dancers and breakfast tacos– two things that highlight the zest of San Antonio’s culture. Classmates contributed to the LSA 48 theme of Year of Service by bringing donations for the nonprofit, AVANCE. After coffee, tacos, and mingling, the class was greeted with a welcome message by former mayor of San Antonio and former HUD secretary, Julian Castro. In addition to kicking-off our class day, Julian also shared his thoughts on Quality of Life and what it can be for San Antonians.

Following his speech and touching on the day’s theme of “Challenging Conversations in Beautiful Places,” the first conversation of the day began– a panel on accessible housing moderated by Blake Hastings, Chief Economist at SWBC. The panel included several respected local housing SMEs including Mark Carmona, Chief Housing Officer of the City of San Antonio; Edward Gonzales, Executive Director at HFCC Inc., Towne Twin Village; Brandee Perez, Chief Real Estate and Development Officer at Opportunity Home; and La Juana Chambers Lawson, Board President at Close to Home.

Once the panel concluded, the class made their way to their second location, Hopscotch, a local immersive art experience. Here the class got to make their way through the installations in Hopscotch while enjoying mocktails. When the class was not in the exhibit, they had the opportunity to have conversations on Quality of Life with community leaders including Georgette Chapa of AVANCE, Dave Krupinski of Visit San Antonio, and Ana Ruiz-Salazar of San Antonio Ready to Work.

Moving on to the third location, it was lunchtime! The team arrived at Make Ready Market, a new food hall in San Antonio. The class got to enjoy their choice of meal from the four food vendors in Make Ready: Pescado Bravo, Four Brothers, Thai Bird, and EET-UP. While enjoying lunch, representatives from United Way discussed Quality of Life by walking the class through a simulation of ALICE, their tool that demonstrates the struggles of individuals who earn above the Federal Poverty Level yet struggle to afford basic expenses.

After lunch, the team made their way to their fourth and final location, the west side of San Antonio. Here they set out on a mural tour hosted by San Anto Cultural Arts. The class learned about the importance of murals on the city’s west side and how they tell many stories of the community.

The day concluded with a social hour back at The Rock where the class got to enjoy a beautiful performance by local musicians, Agarita. Conversations surrounding Quality of Life continued until the day ended.

Special thanks go out to LSA 48 Quality of Life Day sponsors including Spurs Sports and Entertainment, NuStar, Hausmann Millworks, Make Ready Market, Hixon Properties, Hopscotch, Embrey, Stewart Title, Vantage Bank, Dykema, SWBC, SAWS, Ready to Work, and Bexar County Economic and Community Development. This day would have not been possible without them!

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