Sinclair San Antonio and Folo Media have partnered to bring viewers a 30-minute news special called “Inequality: San Antonio’s Silent Crisis” — an introduction into the complex topic of economic segregation. The program aired Friday October 13, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. on WOAI-TV and at 9:13 p.m. on KABB-TV.
The special includes voices from the city’s mayor to residents who live in San Antonio’s most distressed and prosperous zip codes.
Last year, a national study called the Distressed Communities Index, put out by the D.C.-based Economic Innovation Group, showed that San Antonio leads the nation in spatial inequality — meaning this city had the largest disparity between the poorest and richest zip codes — 78207, the near West Side; and 78258, largely Stone Oak.
“We are so proud to be a part of this vibrant community, but there’s a reality here we need to face,” said John Seabers, Sinclair Broadcast Group Manager for Texas and Oklahoma. “The geographic economic inequality in San Antonio impacts all of us. We cannot ignore it any longer. We feel it needs to be discussed and we need to work towards solutions together. That’s why it’s so important that Sinclair San Antonio, made up of News 4 San Antonio, Fox San Antonio and The CW 35, give this important discussion a larger platform.”
This year’s index did not calculate spatial inequality, but did update the zip codes. Released a few weeks ago, the 2017 index names 78208, the Government Hill neighborhood on the East Side, as the most distressed and 78248, inside Loop 1604, between Shavano Park and Hill Country Village, as the most prosperous.
“Inequality: San Antonio’s Silent Crisis” also includes a roundtable discussion — moderated by WOAI reporter April Molina — composed of Folo Media Editor in Chief Patton Dodd; Mayor Ron Nirenberg; Trinity University professor Christine Drennon; and St. Mary’s University economist Steve Nivin. The discussion dives into San Antonio’s history of economic segregation, how it impacts the local economy, why every resident of Bexar County should care, and what the City of San Antonio is doing to correct the problem.
“When you understand that not everyone that lives on your street and in your city has the same backgrounds, the same exceptions, the same challenges, we begin to understand that we’re in this together,” Nirenberg said in the special.
“Through a little bit of give and take, we’re going to work on those challenges together. We can all thrive, I think that’s how we build that connectivity. We talk a lot about connectivity as just being transportation, but it’s really about understanding that we are connected. My destiny as a resident in one part of town is intimately tied to whether people on the other side of town are thriving, as well.”
This article was originally published by the H.E. Butt Foundation’s Folo Media initiative in 2017.