AUSTIN — The Austin City Council on Monday elected its first Latina mayor pro tem, Delia Garza.
Garza was first elected to the city council from District 2 in Southeast Austin in 2014 as part of the first 10-1 council. She is also remembered as the first Latina council member in Austin.
“I want young Latinas in Austin to look at our leadership and see themselves and know that they can serve in this capacity or achieve whatever goals they set their minds to,” Garza said after Monday's vote. “I’m proud to be the first Latina elected to this council, but I’m also saddened that it’s taken us this long to have a Latina on council.”
Garza won unanimous support from the Austin City Council and Mayor Adler.
"Delia’s passion and caring for the people of Austin has moved the council forward,” Council Member Ann Kitchen of District 5 said. “I look forward to her leadership as mayor pro tem as we take on the difficult challenges facing the city.”
“Since before we were on council, I have known Council Member Garza as a progressive leader who never forgets who she is or where she came from,” added Council Member Greg Casar of District 4. “As our city’s first ever Latina mayor pro tem, I am confident that she will continue her advocacy and leadership for those who need it most across our city.”
Before serving on council, Garza was a firefighter with the Austin Fire Department. With a degree in law, she also served as an assistant attorney general in the Child Support Division of the Office of the Attorney General.
Garza advocated for the change to the 10-1 council system as a way to ensure improved representation of the areas of Austin that had often been overlooked by the at-large council.