Mexican tapestery pattern

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

Sylvia García


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(22 pages)

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Biography:

Born in 1950 in San Diego, Texas. Ms. García was the first Mexican American woman elected Controller for the City of Houston and is Houston's Chief Financial Officer. She received her degree in social work from Texas Woman's University and her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. Ms. García has been the recipient of numerous public service awards for her work with the community.

Interview Summary:

Ms. García describes the duties of the Houston City Controller's office and compares them to her previous duties as chief judge of the Houston Municipal Court System. She stresses the importance to her success of the mentoring she received from other female political leaders. Ms. García tells of her own and her nine siblings' success in education despite the modest circumstances in which they were raised, and of how her family influenced her attitudes positively about the value of education and hard work. She briefly relates her ideas as to who are the most effective Mexican American political leaders in Texas and the United States, and discusses how politicians' attitudes toward the Mexican American community have been influenced by the rapidly changing Hispanic population demographics in Texas. She expresses her opinions on the relations among Latino groups and between them and blacks, gives background on how and why she became an attorney, and briefly talks about running for other political offices. In closing, she emphasizes the importance of education for today's children.

Locations of residence or activity:

Houston

Interview Date:

7/22/1999