Mexican tapestery pattern

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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Alex Hernández


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(80 pages)

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Biography:

Born in Monterrey, Mexico in 1951. Elected in 1986, Mr. Hernández was the first Mexican American county judge in Calhoun County, Texas.

Interview Summary:

Mr. Hernández talks about dissension in Democratic Party politics in Texas. Mr. Hernández expounds on the differences between the Democratic Party and Republican Party philosophies and politics. He gives his opinion on why the Republican Party is succeeding in Texas. Mr. Hernández identifies several key issues affecting the Mexican American community among which are the high school dropout rate, quality of education, abuse of drugs, and the rising crime rate. He attributes these problems to the lack of economic opportunity for Mexican Americans in the region. He states the Republican Party has compounded the local economic impoverishment problem when they ended Affirmative Action programs in Texas. Mr. Hernández assails the welfare system which he believes has failed in its intended purpose to help the poor and he gives his opinion as to what the actual outcomes have been. Mr. Hernández talks about his family history and genealogy and shares childhood memories that describe incidences that were racially motivated. He talks about receiving his B.A. degree at the University of Houston and tells why he subsequently attended law school at Northwestern University in Chicago. He describes the circumstances that encouraged him to run for county judge in 1986, and he details how he managed and financed his campaign. Mr.Hernández describes the problems with racist attitudes he faced as county judge trying to get improvement programs initiated. He talks about his efforts to get judicial precincts re-districted so additional precincts could be created to allow for more Hispanic county commissioners. He also tells about his involvement with statewide legislative redistricting in 1990. Mr. Hernández concludes the interview with a review of his greatest accomplishments while in office. He states his love for judicial work and his hope to be able to continue his public service work in that arena.

Locations of residence or activity:

Port Lavaca

Interview Date:

12/19/1997