Mark Rockeymoore: Candidate for San Marcos City Council, District 6

Mark RockeymooreMark Rockeymoore is a father, a soldier, and an educator who teaches English at Del Valle High School. “My children are my highest priority, making sure they are OK and able to make their way forward in a world that doesn’t automatically exclude them from achieving their dreams, whatever they may be.

“Service is my calling. Being in Scouting as a child and growing up an Air Force brat on bases all over the world, beating witness to my father’s service to our country as well as being an Army communications expert myself, serving my community comes naturally to me. I’ve taught at the college and university level for 14 years and now at the secondary level for 3. Educating others as well as being committed to being a lifelong learner myself is who I am.”

HCDP: What is your main reason for seeking this elected office?

MR: A number of respected and honorable members of my community have asked me to seek this office, City Council Place 6, to continue the work and support the same issues as the seat’s previous and most recent holder, Melissa Derrick.

HCDP: Should you be elected, what are your top three priorities for this office?

MR: 1. To protect the established and successful neighborhoods from unrestrained developer interests. By so doing, making sure that the elderly do not get priced out of their homes by rising taxes or that present residents, no matter their cohort, do not become victim to irresistible invasion and succession, a form of modern-day economic redlining.

2. To continue to represent the populations whose voices are unheard in the arena of criminal justice reform, making certain that the current threats to repeal Cite and Release do not succeed as the program continues to prove itself successful.

3. To continue to bring environmental responses to our current climate emergency to the table and work with city staff, local businesses and community organizations to implement necessary energy diversification procedures in preparation for the burgeoning shift from a semi-arid to a fully arid environment we are undergoing here in Central Texas, according to scientific estimates.

HCDP: Based on the new census data, in your opinion, do you believe the city has addressed progressive and equitable growth? Why or why not?

MR: I believe that from 2018-2020, when I was on Council, we began to address many issues of this nature that had lain fallow for decades. Hays County and San Marcos in particular have turned blue, but there is little party unity when it comes to many local issues that often benefit the few, regardless of party, rather than the many. This is not progressive at all and I see it as my mission, as encouraged by those who support me, to put San Marcos firmly on the path toward representing all of its increasingly diverse population. This is not the time for things to be done the way they always have, controlled by the folks who have always run things. It is time to make a decisive change in direction if we are going to respond adequately to the regressive attack upon some of the foundational components of our shared American Experiment the entire state and nation is currently experiencing. I have been effective in the past and will be again, when re-elected to City Council.

HCDP: Based on the new census data, has the City of San Marcos done enough to meet the needs of the diverse population? Why or why not?

MR: The city, under the leadership of Bert Lumbreras as City Manager, has proceeded along the path of considered responses to the perceived needs of a diverse and growing population. The City Planners have entertained numerous plans to increase our housing stock and provide housing in the form or rentals and single-family dwellings for all residents who require it. The “Missing Middle”, comprised of Condominiums, Duplexes, Townhomes and other developments of that ilk have been brought to the table and, if planned in the right locations around town – outside of the currently existing and successful neighborhoods – I support continuing to provide this housing as the shortages we are experiencing here in San Marcos are actually nation-wide in scope. As far as providing the intangibles that speak to people of diverse educational and entertainment needs, San Marcos continues to attract cutting-edge musical and artistic performers and crafts-people that appeal to a diverse population. As we continue to prepare for the climate and cultural shifts that mark our entry into a new way of living as a city, nation and world, under the right leadership, San Marcos will continue to make giant steps into that unknown future.

HCDP: If elected, what will you do to address infrastructure inequities in San Marcos?

MR: Currently, the city is working with the university to provide a free, unified bus system that can be used by all residents of San Marcos. One of my pet interests has been regional transportation and the implementation of high-speed commuter trains along the I35 Corridor. I’d like to see public transportation become easy to access In order to alleviate traffic on the highway. The work the city has and is doing on our road systems continues apace and cooperation with TXDOT is resulting in real progress in creating more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly roads. Adding sidewalks has been on the agenda for the city for years and neighborhoods slated for sidewalk insertion can communicate with the city to find out when their neighborhood is scheduled to be worked on next. I will continue to monitor the construction projects undertaken by the city and listen to citizen concerns about pacing, given the inevitable stoppages caused by weather and other unforeseen events.

HCDP: Do you believe the City of San Marcos has responded appropriately to the COVID pandemic?

MR: I do believe so, yes. Having been on Council when the pandemic started in early 2020 I bore witness to the concern and dedication our city staff and other council members gave to making sure San Marcos residents were as safe as is humanly possible to be during these uncertain times.

HCDP: What are your priorities for the role of council member or mayor?

MR: My priorities are in the area of serving the entirety of the San Marcos population and make certain that we create a sustainable pathway forward for our city in all areas of people activity, to include development, business, entertainment, environmental sustainability and livability.

HCDP: How do you differentiate yourself against the other candidates?

MR: I don’t, necessarily. We are all human. We all seek the best for our communities. We are all citizens who represent certain aspects of our overall communities, some of us more generally than others but al of us with full sincerity and dedication.

HCDP: What will you do to support the quality of life for LGBTQ+ folks, immigrant communities and people experiencing homelessness in City of San Marcos?

MR: I will support all efforts in equality of access and representation for all populations that may experience these negative externalities in their lives. I have a voting record and life history of fighting for the rights of all Americans as well as those seeking that status. I aim to make certain that the City of San Marcos (COSM) and all entities it does business with are equally responsible in providing equitable access to all people no matter their immigrant status, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity and homed or unhomed status.

HCDP: Can you commit to mentoring young progressives into the Hays County Democratic Party?

MR: Sure! I would love to mentor folks, of any age persuasion, education and communication are my fortes!

HCDP: How do you plan to stay in communication with the voters who elected you once you are in office?

MR: I plan to host regular town halls where I can be accessed by members of the community as well as respond diligently to all requests for access and information by members of our community and beyond.

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