Diego Bernal

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San Antonio's downtown building vacancy rate is too high. The statement didn't meet with any arguments during a recent interview with Pat DiGiovanni, the former executive who worked as deputy San Antonio city manager and is now the president and CEO of Centro San Antonio.

In his new role, DiGiovanni leads the collaboration of initiatives aimed at making downtown San Antonio and the central business district more desirable, active and filled with people.

He said there is a 29 percent downtown building vacancy rate, and the challenge remains clear.

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  Faith-based organization Together for the City is about to launch a new alternative to payday lending that the group hopes will help financially-strapped families get back on their feet. The one-year-old group also plans to carve out a variety ways to serve the community.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Linda Hardberger asked the group to help Green Spaces Alliance promote and build more community gardens throughout the city.

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The non-discrimination ordinance has passed, but opponents are not giving up their fight.

Opponents of the ordinance are retaliating against Mayor Julián Castro and each of the eight council members who voted to pass the measure -- they are gathering signatures for recall petitions.

On Aug. 10, District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal was holding his regular Coffee with the Councilman event at Linda’s Mexican Restaurant #2.

But this time the room was populated with opponents of the LGBT non-discrimination ordinance.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

The San Antonio City Council dissected the city’s proposed non-discrimination ordinance during a marathon B session Wednesday before turning the microphone over to nearly 500 people who signed up to speak during the citizens to be heard portion of the meeting.

City Attorney Michael Bernard defined the ordinance for the council during a brief presentation. Mayor Julián Castro then went back over many of the definitions and used examples to spell out for the audience what the proposal would do if passed.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Opponents of the city council's anti-discrimination ordinance are trying to get the author of the ordinance, District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal, out of office.

Volunteers like Cynthia Serna and other members of the Bexar County Conservative Coalition are going door to door to collect signatures -- they need 6,000 to recall the councilman.

In their view, Bernal violated his oath of office when he proposed an update to the city's non-discrimination ordinance by not preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution.