Brockhouse Thanks Supporters Saturday at Del Bravo Records
Journey’s popular anthem “Don’t Stop Believing” blasted from loudspeakers at the entrance of the famed Del Bravo Record Shop on Saturday while former City Councilman Greg Brockhouse thanked friends, family, and supporters for their help during his mayoral campaign. As the sun drenched Enrique M. Barrera Parkway (formerly known as Old Highway 90), attendees enjoyed barbecue, cold beverages, music, and fellowship. Flanked at the entrance by rows of classic cars, the event maintained an eclectic atmosphere with attendees enjoying a variety of experiences while mingling with Brockhouse and his family.
Cars & Community
Lining the side of Enrique M. Barrera Parkway in front of Del Bravo Record Shop sat rows upon rows of beautiful relics of past vehicular grandeur. Brockhouse supporters and Westside locals alike meandered about, peeking under hoods and inspecting interiors as they admired the level of care that went into preserving vehicles that now exist as part of San Antonio’s rich automotive history.
Rudy Blanco, a Brockhouse supporter and owner of a fully-restored 1930 Ford Model A on display at the front of Del Bravo, described his enthusiasm for classic automobiles. “I’ve been collecting cars for about sixteen or seventeen years. It’s been my passion,” said Blanco, admiring his masterpiece. “And this car, I bought it in ‘76 and I finished it in 1980. It took me four years.”
“Anytime you have a party on Old Highway 90, you better have a classic car show or street rods, because it brings everybody out,” said Brockhouse as he gazed out towards the masses of supporters wandering through the car show. “Cars are part of the community, so we always try to do the car show with the party.”
The Old Highway 90 Controversy
Supporters wearing shirts emblazoned with the phrase, “Save Old Highway 90, It matters to us!” as well as “Viva! Old Highway 90” wandered throughout the party, taking pictures with Brockhouse and commiserating with each other about the days when the road directly in front of Del Bravo Record Shop was referred to as Old Highway 90 and not Enrique M. Barrera Parkway. Led by City Councilman Ray Lopez , the council voted to rename Old Highway 90 to Enrique M. Barrera Parkway in 2015 after the former District 6 Councilman and Edgewood school board member passed away in 2007. Despite fundraising from The Save Old Highway 90 group, the council reaffirmed their decision in 2016, voting 10-0 to keep the new name. Members of the Westside business community, including Greg Brockhouse, have been making their case for reverting to the original name ever since, stating that the name change has affected their business earnings due to the confusion over the new name.
“We went so far as to run an election in the area, and we mailed ballots out to everybody, and the community voted 98% to 2% with over 900 votes to change it back to Old Highway 90, but we’ll see what the city council does with that. But people want the name back. Overwhelmingly. This is designated as a cultural heritage district. The first in the city to be designated that,” said Brockhouse. “We’ve got to just keep going, make sure that the council knows how important it is to not be changing our history and culture and get it back to Old Highway 90.”
Silver Linings & Next Steps
Mauro Garza, a Brockhouse supporter, described his thoughts on the previous mayoral race as well as his optimism for the future. “There’s always a silver lining, so next time it’ll be better. We just have to gather our marbles and move forward,” said Garza. “There are no losses, but we need to build on what’s already been. A lot of people spoke and we need to build on that, and I think we can. I support Greg Brockhouse!”
Brockhouse himself maintained a markedly relaxed and jovial attitude, shaking the hands of supporters and exchanging embraces with friends and family members. “We’re just meeting people, telling them thank you, hanging out, catching up, and yeah a little bit of lamenting over that close of a defeat, but you know, it’s just a good time to say thank you to everybody and hang out,” said Brockhouse.
Despite his loss, Brockhouse said that he can already see the effect that his campaign had in shifting the attitude of the new city council and the mayor. Referring to the $5,000 “no strings attached” homestead exemption recently put forth by Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Brockhouse described it as a visible result of the campaign he ran against the incumbent Mayor.
“For two years he voted against it. Let’s be honest here. For two years he voted against it. We got into a close race with him and we made it a race. And my number one issue was property tax relief and you know, we didn’t pull it out at the end, but we’re winning the issues,” said Brockhouse. “Now he said he’s going to be the people’s mayor. That was my talking point. Neighborhood Mayor. People’s Mayor. My talking point was property tax relief. Now he’s gone and done property tax relief. So you don’t have to win an election to change a conversation.”
Brockhouse is succeeded by Freshman District 6 Councilwoman Melissa Cabello Havrda who defeated opponent and former Brockhouse political associate, Andy Greene in the runoff election. Recounting his time in city council, Brockhouse stated that he hopes his successor will continue to carry on the example of community outreach he implemented in his four years serving the district. “As a councilperson, I spent ninety percent of my time out in the community. I went downtown as little as possible,” stated the former District 6 Councilman. “Get out in the neighborhood and they’ll love you, even though they may not agree with you all the time. We solidified that in my two years. My team did a great job. We’re sad to see it go, but looking forward to the future.”
Elaborating on his plans going forward, Brockhouse reiterated that he intends to remain involved in the community. “We’re going to be doing podcasts, political shows, we’re going to be working on all that, making sure we’re staying engaged and active, calling out city hall on the things we think (they) need to be called out on, and just really getting after it,” said Brockhouse. “We’re not going to stop. So we’re not just going to lose and go away. We’re going to call it out where we see it, to put that information out there for voters and residents and keep hustling.”