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Born December 25, 1956, in Crystal City, Texas, Roberto Alonzo is an attorney with the Dallas firm of Rich and Alonzo. He was the first Mexican American elected University of Texas at Austin student body president, was voted state president of Mexican American Democrats in 1991, and was the first Mexican American elected state representative from Dallas. Elected in 1992 to represent Dallas County's District 104 in the Texas Legislature, Alonzo lost his seat in 1996 but was re-elected in 2002.
In the interview, conducted over a three-day period, Alonzo talks about growing up Mexican American in Texas, his family and their work as migrant laborers, and his education (including his school, university, and law school activities, in which he demonstrated political leadership at an early age). Alonzo discusses at length his political career, including his activities with Mexican American Democrats (MAD), his role as organizer of the La Causa chapter of MAD in Dallas, his relationship and interactions with Domingo Garciá, and his participation in Dallas area politics and redistricting efforts. His descriptions of Democratic politics in Texas and his service in the Texas Legislature, including his efforts to obtain funding for the University of Texas at Arlington's Center for Mexican American Studies, provide insight into the inner workings of state politics.
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