Vision Zero ATX - United States
I am a Mexican immigrant to the United States and grew up on the U.S.-Mexico Border which is still the poorest region of the United States and still today exhibits conditions of poverty equal to global south levels of poverty. My family has a long history of displacement across several continents, countries and generations. Informed by these experiences and family history I worked to earn 3 bachelors degrees (Economics, Finance and Spanish language and literature) and a Master in Community Administrative Leadership- Social Work and the management of not for profit (NGO) organizations. I also hold a certificate in Diversity Education
My career has taken my practice from direct social service with marginalized individuals in the U.S. to the Office of the High Commission for Refugees. I have been active in equity and social justice work now for 16 years.
Today I practice in Austin, Texas as a community organizer and director of a coalition of 8 NGO's and 1600 member resident leaders who work on improved conditions for their communities. Our work is cross sectorial dealing with everything from public transport to physical activity, food access and housing conditions and affordability. I am also a professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the subject areas of Social Justice and the Dynamics of Organizations and Communities. Austin, Texas is a unique practice setting because we are the most economically and racially segregated city in the United States, even though we continue to have some of best overall economic statistics in the country. We also have more children in poverty than any other major city in our state including Houston, TX which is the most diverse city in the U.S. and the 5th most populous in the U.S. Austin was one of the last cities to desegregate schools after the mid 1950's U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on desegregation; Austin forcibly desegregated more than 20 years later. For these and many other reasons it is imperative that our community is able to hold accountable and work with our subnational city level government to the principles of open government.
Aside from my employment my current volunteerism includes:
Backbone lead with our city's mayoral office for the formation and implementation of a special task for on racism and inequity eradication in our city.
Founding board member of Vision Zero ATX, a traffic and mobility safety advocacy group.
Civil society partner to the City of Austin Office of Innovation for open government initiatives.
Board Member of Furaha House, refugee founded and led nonprofit for African refugees in central Texas.
Vice Chair and Commissioner for the City of Austin's Commission on Immigrant Affairs, advising the city if Austin's governing council on policy and funding decisions for immigrant constituents of our city.
Antiracism Workshop Facilitator for the One Human Race Collective