Mexican tapestery pattern

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

Amalia Rodríguez-Mendoza


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(45 pages)

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Biography:

Ms. Rodríguez-Mendoza was born February 17, 1946, in Del Rio, Texas. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1972 and received a master's degree from Juarez-Lincoln University in 1974. Ms. Rodríguez -Mendoza was the first Mexican American woman elected District Clerk in Travis County, Texas. She was elected to a second term in 1998.

Interview Summary:

Rodríguez-Mendoza discusses her days as a student at the University of Texas at Austin and her involvement in the creation of UT MAYO (Mexican American Youth Organization), the campaign for its presidency, and her work as its vice-president. She also tells of her support for Gonzalo Barrientos, including managing his campus campaign. Rodríguez-Mendoza recounts her early work history, especially her work with the Mexican American Catholic Alliance, with SER (Service, Employment and Rehabilitation), and as director of voter registration in Travis County. She recalls her interview and hiring for the latter position, Bill Aleshire's role therein, and the support she received from him on the job. Rodríguez -Mendoza describes her first race for Travis County District Clerk, her political base, the election results, and her campaign and its funding. She explains the structure and functions of the District Clerk's office and highlights her achievements during her first term. She comments on the then upcoming race for re-election, providing some information about her opponent and her opinion of the possible effects on election results of the influx of people to Austin. Rodríguez-Mendoza describes the Texas grand jury and Travis County jury systems, as well as her role the consolidation of jury selection in the county. She briefly addresses her hopes to someday run for statewide office and her preparations for doing so. She also recollects her long-term friendship with and support for former Texas governor Ann Richards.

Locations of residence or activity:

Travis County

Interview Date:

2/8/1998