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

Rafael Anchia

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(39 pages)

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Rafael Anchia was born in 1968 in Miami, Florida, and graduated from Miami Coral Park High School where he was a member of the Young Democrats (Young Democratic Clubs of America). At the time of the interview, Rafael Anchia was an attorney for the firm of Patton Boggs and a member of the board of trustees of the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) for District 7. He attended Southern Methodist University and Tulane University Law School. In 2004, he was elected to the Texas House of Respresentatives, honored by the national League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) as 2005 "Man of the Year," and chosen Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) in 2006. In 2009, he was with the firm of Haynes and Boone.

Interview Summary:

Rafael Anchia begins with his family's history and his educational background. He compares the makeup of the Hispanic community of Dallas, Texas with that of Miami, Florida and discusses Dallas Independent School District (DISD) redistricting options for Mexican American and African American communities in Dallas. He mentions Oak Cliff resident Ramiro López and notes the lack of cohesion among the Hispanic community and throughout Dallas in general. He explains his preference for the Democratic Party and applauds the work of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). He speaks at length on his accomplishments as a DISD board member and expresses particular concern for recruiting bilingual teachers and decreasing the drop out rate. He talks about his exposure to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) while working with former Texas Secretary of State David Dean and details his wife's family's political connections in South Texas, specifically referring to his father-in-law, Horacio Ramírez. He tells about creating the Southern Dallas Leadership Forum to mentor students at Sunset and Adamson High Schools and contrasts the bilingual education program in Dallas with that of Dade County, Florida. He argues against the voucher system as a means of improving educational opportunities in Texas and debates the validity of the Texas Education Agency's assessment tests. He tells about his campaign finances and comments on prominent Mexican American politicos Henry Cisneros and Tony Sánchez.

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