Axios San Antonio

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😴 It's Monday, and Fiesta is over. Now what?

Today's weather: Foggy and cloudy in the morning, then clearing up for a high of 88.

Situational awareness: A shooting at a Fiesta event at Market Square early yesterday morning left two people dead and four injured, police said.

Today's newsletter is 847 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Impact of no-strings-attached cash

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A local guaranteed income pilot program wasn't as impactful for people in poorer neighborhoods as it was for those in neighborhoods with higher incomes, a new evaluation shows.

Why it matters: San Antonio remains one of the most impoverished major cities in the country. Evaluations of programs aimed at changing that can help local officials decide how best to address poverty.

State of play: Proponents of universal basic income say it can help lift families out of poverty without as much red tape as traditional social safety nets.

How it works: In San Antonio, 1,000 families received over $5,100 from December 2020 to January 2023 in a pilot program administered by the nonprofit UpTogether. People spent the money however they needed.

  • They received an up-front payment of $1,908 followed by eight quarterly payments of $400 each.

Reality check: While the money made a noteworthy impact on the lives of the participants, they continued to experience significant hardship, including financially, according to the report.

By the numbers: In neighborhoods with higher incomes, participants saw their average monthly income increase from less than $300 at the beginning of the program to more than $400 at the end.

  • In the poorest neighborhoods, the average monthly income rose from less than $300 to about $350.

What they're saying: "It secured my housing. It secured my transportation. And it did it by keeping my dignity by not having to fill out papers and tell people my struggle," participant Ingrid Sullivan said in a statement.

What's next: A second pilot in San Antonio is ongoing now with 25 of the original participants, UpTogether spokesperson Rachel Barnhart tells Axios.

  • They're receiving $500 a month for 18 months, a total of $9,000 each, until December.

Impact on education

2. Majority of Texans don't want school vouchers

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

A majority of Texans likely to vote in the November election disapprove of using public dollars to subsidize private school tuition, according to a new survey.

Why it matters: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott continues to support school vouchers despite fractured opinions within his party and the Legislature's inability to pass a bill after two special sessions on the topic last year.

Driving the news: The findings come from the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation, which surveyed 1,600 people this month on contested issues like vouchers, abortion and the border.

  • The foundation released its findings last week.

The intrigue: 57% of respondents said they disapproved of using tax dollars to provide school vouchers to all Texas parents. Only 36% signaled support.

  • 77% of Democrats, 56% of independents and 43% of Republicans surveyed opposed the idea.

Fun fact: The largest consensus was supporting Texas teacher pay raises, which 90% of participants supported; 7% of respondents opposed the idea.

Meanwhile, 56% said abortion should be legal in Texas for any reason at some stage of pregnancy.

  • 29% said abortion should be legal through 12 weeks, while 27% said the procedure should be legal through 23-24 weeks.
  • 15% said abortion should be illegal unless the pregnant person's life is at risk, and 29% said it should be illegal unless the pregnant person's life is at risk or the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.

Go deeper

3. Inside the Loop

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

⚖️ A Bexar County judge tossed a lawsuit that anti-abortion activists filed against the city over its Reproductive Justice Fund and the use of taxpayer money for out-of-state travel for abortions. (Express-News 🔒)

💸 The group hashing out possible changes to San Antonio's city charter, which would eventually have to go before voters, is proposing to undo limits on salary and years of service for the city manager. (TPR)

🍻 The now-closed Second Pitch Beer Co. will turn into a new concept called Silver Lining Brewing. (MySA)

4. 🍅 Let's settle this: Free chips and salsa

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

To many diners, complimentary endless servings of chips and salsa at Mexican restaurants are as expected as silverware and a napkin.

  • And when patrons are asked to pay to enjoy the pre-meal crunch fest, many scoff, balk and sometimes vow to never return. But should they?

Here in San Antonio, where Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants are on seemingly every other block, we curiously watched this conversation play out in Atlanta.

How it works: Carb-heavy chips help pass the time while you wait on main dishes — and can actually make you even hungrier.

  • Their added cost to the restaurant — which is baked into the other items on the menu — comes with a potential trade-off: customers will also order high-margin alcoholic drinks to address the salt-induced thirst.

Let's settle this debate once and for all.

  • Should really good chips and salsa still be free, or are you willing to pay for them?

📬 Reply to this email to tell us where you stand.

Empower our community

Illustration: Andrew Caress/Axios

Become an Axios San Antonio member and fuel our mission to make readers smarter and faster on the news unfolding here.

Why it's important: The generosity of our members supports our newsroom as we work on the daily newsletter.

What's in it for you: Insider notes from local reporters and other perks.

Thank you for trusting us.

5. 📸 1 parting shot to go

Photo: Kirsten Voinis

A recent snapshot of springtime in Texas, from Axios reader Kirsten Voinis.

  • She captured the image of longhorns and calves standing among bluebonnets on a ranch northeast of San Antonio.

What they're saying: Voinis tells us the photo was taken with her iPhone 15.

  • "With the beautiful weather and wildflowers, and the awesome longhorns, getting a good shot was like shooting fish in a barrel," she adds.

Thanks to our editor Chloe Gonzales and copy editors Steven Patrick and Yasmeen Altaji.

😐 Madalyn is suffering the post-Fiesta blues but is happy to add another year of memories to her collection.

😴 Megan is ready to sleep all week after a long Fiesta weekend.