Council Member Garza comes from a very civically engaged family. Her parents, a firefighter and a stay-at-home mom, were very involved in their community and encouraged their three daughters to give back and pursue higher education. Council Member Garza’s upbringing inspired her to dedicate her career to public service and advocating for working families.
Following in her father’s footsteps, she became an Austin Firefighter. She was one of the first Mexican-American female firefighters in the Austin Fire Department. Her entire career was spent in fire stations that serve the South Austin community, most notably, fire station 17 at South 1st and Ben White, one of the busiest in the city (an assignment she requested). Council Member Garza lived in Dove Springs while a fire cadet and in 2003, she purchased her home in her responding territory near the Sweetbriar neighborhood.
As a firefighter and member of the Austin Firefighter Association, Local 975, Council Member Garza worked tirelessly for her union advocating for fair wages and safe working conditions. She represented firefighters during two contract negotiating cycles, was elected to the local’s executive board, and was the first female appointed to chair the local’s political action committee.
Remaining committed to public service, Council Member Garza left the Austin Fire Department in 2007 after 6 years of service to pursue a law degree and extend the reach of her advocacy. She served as an Assistant Attorney General where she advocated for Texas families in the Child Support Division. Council Member Garza has also been involved in numerous community-based efforts surrounding affordable housing, education, and fair and equitable district representation. She is a mentor at Rodriguez Elementary in Dove Springs through the Seedling Foundation, and has served on several boards and committees including Hermanos de East Austin, the Dove Springs Recreation Center Advisory Board, the Capital City A&M Club Scholarship Committee, and the City’s Charter Revision Committee. She has a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and a law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law.
Council Member Garza's years of work as a firefighter, community advocate, and attorney for social services has afforded her extensive experience in addressing injustices, mediating competing groups and interests, and solving complex problems. She will continue to fight for working families struggling to stay in Austin and is committed to improving the lives of all Austinites.
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