City Councilman tries to connect

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District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal explains how his Hispanic heritage has helped him to empathize with the community during a presentation Sept. 18 in chemistry and geology.  Monica Lamadrid

District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal explains how his Hispanic heritage has helped him to empathize with the community during a presentation Sept. 18 in chemistry and geology. Monica Lamadrid

District 1 councilman plans a walking trail in San Pedro park.

By Henry M. Martinez Jr.

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

District 1 city Councilman Diego M. Bernal stays connected to the people of his district, he said Sept. 18 in a presentation during Hispanic Heritage Month.

As part of an ongoing plan to connect to the community, Bernal has “Coffee with the Councilman” sessions.

“Coffee with the Councilman” is like town hall meetings but instead staged in smaller venues within the district to talk about the community.

Along with these talks, Bernal also keeps in contact with the community by occasionally riding the bus.

“Growing up, I was really, really poor. Now I’m just really poor,” Bernal said.

Bernal grew up in District 1, which surrounds this college, and upon becoming a first-time homeowner he purchased a house near the home where he and his mother first lived when he was a child.

Bernal says he is committed to helping forgotten areas of town.

Although Bernal has a connection to District 1, he said once people get to know someone politically, the background becomes less important and actual work, more important.

Bernal said that city government cannot fix everything, but they can try. “We do promise our very best effort,” Bernal said.

One of these efforts includes a plan to start in 2014 a walking trail in San Pedro Springs Park. The trail is projected to be finished in 2015.

Bernal said that his work is “boring” and not as glamorous as some might think.

Bernal aims to fix problems affecting everyday life, like a pothole in the street. That may not be exciting but is important to the people affected by it.

“This job is a way to help people,” Bernal said.

At the conclusion of the talk, students were treated to taquitos with salsa and guacamole.

For more information about Bernal, visit http://www.sanantonio.gov/Council/d1.aspx. For more Hispanic Heritage Month events on campus, visit http://www.alamo.edu/sac/hhm13/.

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