AUSITN, TEXAS - On Jan. 6, 2015 Delia Garza made history when she became the first Latina elected to the Austin City Council.
In the newly adopted 10-1 form of geographic representation, Garza was voted to represent District 2, which is made up of southeast Austin.
"It's humbling," said Garza. "It's a great honor. It's a little sad that it took that long, frankly. You know, I stand on the shoulders of many other Latinas who had attempted it and because of the at-large system weren't able to do that."
During her term, the former Austin firefighter turned attorney has focused on affordability and increasing health and human services offered by the city.
"When families are having to choose between paying the rent or paying for daycare or keeping the lights on, many of these programs help them," Garza said.
Garza believes there is more work to be done, but her days on the dias could be numbered.
Wesley Faulkner and Casey Ramos are challenging Garza in the upcoming election.
Faulkner is a Social Media Marketing Manager, currently working for Namecheap.
"I just don't like the division that I'm seeing between tech, businesses, the people that have been here, the new people that are coming in. I think there's a lot of animosity and I think that's because we're not working together and our city council's not bringing us together," Faulkner said.
Ramos is a graduating senior studying economics at Saint Edward's University and a professional boxer who is undefeated in his weight class.
"I'm born and raised in the district and for a number of years we've always been underrepresented in our district and I feel like I'm a good representative for our district. I know the district like the back of my hand," Ramos said.
Ramos believes the greatest need of people living in District 2 is retention of home ownership, something he wants the city to help with.
"Programs, home owner's assistance programs, first time home buyers programs, keeping the cost of living low, keeping those services that we're talking about low at all times," said Ramos. "There's various things and then controlling the land development codes, controlling what kind of businesses are being built."
Faulkner thinks the greatest issue facing District 2 residents is income.
"Bringing companies, bringing more diversity and income into the district will help with affordability, help with housing and also with education because the people who will work in these industries will volunteer in our schools," Faulkner said.
While Garza said the district's greatest challenge is affordability.
"The families in my district, they have a tighter budget, they have less to work with than other families do," Garza said.
"That's why I've put that attention on affordability, but affordability there's so many things that affect it. Your transportation effects it. If we can improve our bus system, if we invest in our public transit, maybe a family could give up a car or two and they won't have that monthly expense," she added.
Three very different candidates, all vying for the chance to meet the needs of District 2.
Click here to read more about Delia Garza, incumbent
Click here to read more about Wesley Faulkner
Click here to read more about Casey Ramos
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