Ron Nirenberg

Last updated
Ron Nirenberg
Ron Nirenberg.jpg
Mayor of San Antonio
Assumed office
June 21, 2017
Preceded by Ivy Taylor
Member of the San Antonio City Council
from the 8th district
In office
July 1, 2013 June 21, 2017
Preceded byReed Williams
Succeeded byManny Pelaez
Personal details
Ronald Adrian Nirenberg

(1977-04-11) April 11, 1977 (age 42)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Independent
Spouse(s)Erika Prosper
Education Trinity University, Texas (BA)
University of Pennsylvania (MA)
Website Official website
Campaign website

Ronald Adrian Nirenberg (born April 11, 1977) [1] is an American politician who is the mayor of San Antonio, Texas. He was elected following his defeat of the incumbent mayor Ivy Taylor in the runoff for the 2017 mayoral race. Prior to his election, Nirenberg served as a member of the San Antonio City Council for District 8 for two terms. [2] He was sworn into office on June 21, 2017. [3]

Ivy Taylor Mayor of San Antonio, Texas

Ivy Ruth Taylor is an American politician and urban planner who served as the mayor of San Antonio, Texas from 2014 through 2017. She was a nonpartisan officeholder, although she is registered as a Democrat. She was also the first African American to be elected mayor of San Antonio and only the second woman in that position. In addition, Taylor was the first female African-American mayor of a city with a population of more than one million.

The San Antonio City Council is the legislative arm of the municipal government of the city of San Antonio in the U.S. state of Texas.



Nirenberg is of Ashkenazi Jewish descent (from Poland and Russia) on his father's side and of mixed Filipino, Malay, Indian, and British heritage from his mother’s side. [4] Nirenberg's father met Nirenberg's mother while the couple was serving with the Peace Corps in Malaysia. [5] His paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States before World War II, passing through Ellis Island. His Roman Catholic mother is half-Filipino and was born in Penang, Malaysia (then part of the colonial British protectorate of Malaya). His maternal grandmother was Anglo-Indian, born to a Scottish father and an Indian mother, while his maternal grandfather was a Tagalog-speaking Filipino musician with possible roots in Mindanao. [6] Nirenberg, who is Methodist, was raised in the capital city of Austin, Texas. He has been a long-term devotee of weightlifting, having participated in the sport since he was fourteen. He frequently works out at the Barshop Jewish Community Center in San Antonio. He was on the wrestling team in high school, and for seven years, he competed as a strength athlete, having developed an interest in the sport from watching the syndicated television series, American Gladiators. [7]

Ashkenazi Jews Jewish ethnic group

Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or, by using the Hebrew plural suffix -im, Ashkenazim, are a Jewish diaspora population who coalesced in the Holy Roman Empire around the end of the first millennium.

History of the Jews in Poland spans the period 966 to present times

The history of the Jews in Poland dates back over 1,000 years. For centuries, Poland was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world. Poland was a principal center of Jewish culture, thanks to a long period of statutory religious tolerance and social autonomy. This ended with the Partitions of Poland which began in 1772, in particular, with the discrimination and persecution of Jews in the Russian Empire. During World War II there was a nearly complete genocidal destruction of the Polish Jewish community by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, during the 1939–1945 German occupation of Poland and the ensuing Holocaust. Since the fall of communism in Poland, there has been a Jewish revival, featuring an annual Jewish Culture Festival, new study programs at Polish secondary schools and universities, the work of synagogues such as the Nożyk Synagogue, and Warsaw's Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

History of the Jews in Russia aspect of history

The history of the Jews in Russia and areas historically connected with it goes back at least 1,500 years. Jews in Russia have historically constituted a large religious diaspora; the vast territories of the Russian Empire at one time hosted the largest population of Jews in the world.

Nirenberg attended Trinity University in San Antonio and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in communication. He later attended the University of Pennsylvania, from which he procured his Master of Arts in communications. [8] After college, he was a program director for the Annenberg Public Policy Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. [9]

Trinity University (Texas) University in San Antonio, Texas

Trinity University is a private liberal arts university in San Antonio, Texas. Founded in 1869, its campus is located in the Monte Vista Historic District adjacent to Brackenridge Park. The campus is three miles north of downtown San Antonio and the River Walk and six miles south of the San Antonio International Airport. The student body consists of approximately 2,300 undergraduate and 200 graduate students. Trinity offers 42 majors and 57 minors among 6 degree programs and has an endowment of $1.29 billion, the 89th largest in the U.S.

A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.

University of Pennsylvania Private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence and the first institution of higher learning in the United States to refer to itself as a university. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.

Election history

2017 San Antonio mayoral race

On December 10, 2016, Nirenberg became the first primary challenger to Ivy Taylor for her position as mayor of San Antonio. [10] On May 6, 2017, the first round of voting was held, with no candidate reaching the required majority of 50% of the vote. Nirenberg and Taylor finished with the two highest vote totals and advanced to a runoff election held June 10, 2017. Although Nirenberg trailed Taylor in the primary vote, he went on to defeat Taylor 54.59-45.41%. [11] In so doing, Nirenberg became the first person in twenty years to defeat an incumbent mayor of San Antonio who sought re-election. [12] [13]

2019 San Antonio mayoral race

Nirenberg officially declared his candidacy for re-election to the office on January 29, 2019. [14] His primary opponent was identified as Greg Brockhouse, a member of the San Antonio City Council who also took office in 2017 and frequently objected to Nirenberg's platform. [15] The election was scheduled for May 4, 2019, but since no majority was reached by any candidate, a runoff election was scheduled for June 8. [16] In the runoff, Nirenberg was elected to a second term, defeating Brockhouse by a 51.11% to 48.89% final vote. [17]


Although Nirenberg ran for office as a nonpartisan politician (in Texas, all municipal elections are officially nonpartisan), he was considered to have run on a more progressive platform. In 2013, Nirenberg endorsed a city ordinance which bans discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Taylor, then also a member of the city council, voted against the ordinance. Taylor also opposed the city's filing of a lawsuit against the new state law which defines a misdemeanor offense for municipal officials who refuse to cooperate with federal authorities seeking to halt illegal immigration. Signed by Governor Greg Abbott, the law targets the sanctuary city movement. Nirenberg, conversely, backs the lawsuit. [5]

Progressivism in the United States is a broadly based reform movement that reached its height early in the 20th century. It was middle class and reformist in nature. It arose as a response to the vast changes brought by modernization, such as the growth of large corporations, pollution and fears of corruption in American politics. In the 21st century, progressives continue to embrace concepts such as environmentalism and social justice. While the modern progressive movement may be characterized as largely secular in nature, by comparison, the historical progressive movement was to a significant extent rooted in and energized by religion.

Gender identity is the personal sense of one's own gender. Gender identity can correlate with assigned sex at birth or can differ from it. All societies have a set of gender categories that can serve as the basis of the formation of a person's social identity in relation to other members of society.

Sexual orientation is an enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to persons of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or to both sexes or more than one gender. These attractions are generally subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, while asexuality is sometimes identified as the fourth category.

As mayor, Nirenberg has focused on the challenges of significant growth being experienced in San Antonio, including transportation reform, housing, crime and public safety, and economic development. His transportation agenda includes improving air service in San Antonio through more direct and nonstop international connections and enhanced airport infrastructure, traffic congestion relief, and building a modern, multimodal transportation system for San Antonio. [18] As mayor-elect, Nirenberg called upon the city council to endorse the Paris climate accord even though U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to remove the United States from the agreement. Nirenberg said that he has ideas of how to fund the accord: "I hope that as a community we will all agree that being driven by science and data is a good thing." [19] The San Antonio City Council approved a resolution to sign the Paris climate accord one day after Nirenberg's election, and in November 2017, the City Council approved the creation of a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. [20] This would lead to San Antonio being one of 25 cities awarded the American Cities Climate Challenge grant in 2019 by Michael Bloomberg. [21]

In 2019, Nirenberg led the charge to have a Chick-fil-A restaurant removed from the concessions contract at the San Antonio International Airport, citing a conflict with the company's opposition of same-sex marriage. Councilman Greg Brockhouse opposed this decision and called for a re-vote on the decision but it was defeated. [22] [23] Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton later began an investigation on the actions of Nirenberg and the San Antonio City Council, claiming the decision was in violation of existing Texas laws, the U.S. Constitution, and even San Antonio's own ethics code. [24] The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also opened an investigation on this action. [25] [26] On June 10, 2019, Texas governor Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 1978 [27] , colloquially known as the "Save Chick-fil-A Bill", which forbids local governments from taking adverse steps against companies or individuals based on their religions beliefs. [28] [29] On September 5, a group of five individuals filed suit against the City of San Antonio citing this new law. [30] [31]

Personal life

Nirenberg is married to Erika Prosper, director of customer insights for H-E-B. The couple has one son, Jonah. [32] [33]

See also

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  31. Puhak, Janine (September 10, 2019). "Chick-fil-A supporters file lawsuit against San Antonio for airport ban". Fox News . Retrieved September 11, 2019.
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  33. Rodriguez, Ken (July 27, 2017). "Erika Prosper: From Field Work to First Lady". The Rivard Report. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
Political offices
Preceded by
Ivy Taylor
Mayor of San Antonio