Monica was first elected to the Dallas City Council in 2011 becoming the first Latina to represent West Dallas in District 6. She was re-elected in 2013 and was selected as Deputy Mayor Pro Tem by her colleagues on the council. She is known for her tenacity and zeal in representing her district. Councilwoman Alonzo has served as an active member on various City of Dallas Council Committees such as Economic Development; Budget, Finance and Audit; Quality of Life and Government Services among others In her first term of office, Councilwoman Alonzo achieved solid accomplishments including sponsoring and supporting responsible zoning ordinances for District 6 and the city, along with introducing a communications system for District 6 that encourages citizen involvement and engagement. She was re-elected to her third term in May 2015.
Judge Lena Levario is currently the presiding judge of the 204th District Court. She was first appointed to the bench in 1993 by Governor Ann Richards becoming the first Mexican-American woman appointed in Dallas County. After her appointment, Judge Levario entered private practice and was hired by the City of Dallas to investigate the unlawful arrest of innocent people. The recommendations she submitted to the city were all adopted. She was elected to the bench in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. Judge Levario is recognized for her work in the rehabilitation of defendants and for her work on the STAR court which rehabilitates women with a history of prostitution. She received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Texas Tech University (TTU) School of Law in 1986. She began her legal career as a public defender in Dallas County in 1988. Judge Levario is an active member of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) at the national level.
Celia serves on the House Transportation and Elections Committees. She is the owner of Mission Resources, a consulting firm focusing on public affairs and real estate. Raised in El Paso, Texas, Celia moved to the Austin area in 1982 and attended the University Texas at Austin. After graduating with a degree in Government, Celia served in Gov. Ann Richards’s administration, tasked with recruiting the best and brightest to public service. Since then, Cella has been extremely involved in the community, serving on the boards of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance for Public Transportation, a local nonprofit promoting mass transit options and opportunities in Central Texas. She was a member of both the Corridor Task Force and Mobility 35, both of which focus on Central Texas transportation solutions. She’s tackled issues from Central Texas growth to school safety, and led at the community level to empower young girls as a Board member of GEN Austin. Celia Israel was elected to the Texas Legislature in January 2014 in a special election to represent House District 50.
Margot Garza is the director of student support services for the TRiO Programs at TCU. TRIO Programs (TRIO) are federal outreach and student service programs designed to identify and provide college opportunities that motivate and support participants from disadvantaged backgrounds. Margot obtained her degree from Texas Wesleyan University and her Master’s degree from Texas Christian University. As a candidate, Margot’s platform included a vision on how to keep graduating students in Fort Worth to grow the city. Garza, who lives in Ryan Place area of Fort Worth, included education, transportation and protection of historical neighborhoods as top priorities in her campaign. She stays involved in her community through participation in the Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Panther Boys and Girls Club of Greater Fort Worth, and several committees of the Junior Women’s Club of Fort Worth.
Leticia has been a lifelong resident of San Antonio. Leticia attended pharmacy school at the University of Texas at Austin and upon graduation opened a pharmacy in the West Side of San Antonio. She was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives for District 115 in 1990 as served in that capacity until 1999. She has represented Texas Senate District 26 since 1999 which covers a large portion of Bexar County. From 2003-2011 she served as the Chair of the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus and currently serves as the Chair of the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee. Leticia is also a member of the Senate Committees on Education, State Affairs, and Business and Commerce. In national politics, Leticia has served as co-chair of the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Leticia and her husband, Pete, raised their six children in San Antonio.
Eliza is a proven community leader and resident of Austin for 38 years. Over the last ten years Eliza has worked to improve healthcare for women locally and nationally through community outreach, public policy and advocacy as the Mission Services Director of the Austin Affiliate of Susan G. Komen. On the local front, Eliza has worked to strengthen the outcomes of public schools through the use of family resource centers. As the president of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, she has provided organization and economic development assistance to local businesses. A strategic coalition builder, responsible fiscal proponent, and public policy advocate with comprehensive government experience at local and state levels.
Justice Benavides was first elected to the Thirteenth Court of Appeals in 2006 and re-elected in 2012. As an appellate Judge, Justice Benavides authored hundreds of opinions on civil and criminal matters. While on the bench she was recognized as the “Latina Judge of the Year” by the Hispanic Bar Association. She has also been appointed to numerous boards and commissions to assist in expanding access to the judicial system for low income citizens. Prior to being elected, Justice Benavides was a litigator with more than 17 year s of courtroom experience. She began her career at Adams & Graham Law Firm an insurance defense firm. She then joined the law firm of Gonzalez & Associates, P.C. where she served as a plaintiffs’ lawyer representing individuals and families. Justice Benavides obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin and her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center. She currently resides in the Rio Grande Valley with her husband and children.