Austin has been home to my family since the 1920’s. At the core of that family is a commitment to activism and service to others, and I am proud to be part of my family’s legacy in this city. From hosting poll-tax dances to ensure minorities had access to the voting booth and working to keep East Austin families in their homes, to fighting alongside senators at the Texas State House and advising past presidents on Hispanic issues. From creating spaces for Mexican-American culture, to being part of the early leadership of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber that worked to provide access to capital for entrepreneurs. This example and legacy of service to the community has molded me into an advocate, an activist and a dedicated son of Austin.
Along with my three siblings, I was raised in East Austin by a hardworking, tenacious single mother who instilled in me a commitment to service and the heart to fight for my community. My mother worked two and three jobs to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, but still found time to serve her community. Through her example, my mother taught me that hard work and service to others was the only way to navigate life.
Austin helped mold me into who I am today. I’m a proud Metz Cobra, Martin Eagle, Austin High Maroon, and HT Ram. Austin will always be my home. I take its fight, its beauty, its struggles, its hope, its energy, its activism and its heart with me everywhere I go. But the promise and the idea of an Austin for all is still out of reach for too many of the hardworking families that keep our city moving. While Austin continues to grow and succeed, many Austinites are being excluded from that same growth and success.
Austin is at a crossroads as a city. Will our actions mirror our values, or will we remain content with the status quo? Austin needs a fighter that can marry the rich history of our district with the bright future of our city; someone that understands the struggles of the people that have no voice at City Hall.
I believe in the spirit of Austin, I believe in the foundation of Austin, and I believe that together we will bring more fight and purpose to the direction of Austin. We are stronger together and can do big things as a city, but we all have to be at the table and we all have to be part of the process.
As your next City Council member for District 3, I will always fight to ensure that every voice is heard as we work together towards an affordable, accountable and equitable Austin for ALL.
- José M.A. Velásquez