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Sylvia R. Garcia
Sylvia R. Garcia was elected to Harris County
Commissioner's Court in November 2002.
The first Hispanic and first woman to be elected in her own right to the
office, Garcia replaced Commissioner Jim Fonteno who served nearly 30
years on the Court.
Prior to her election, Commissioner Garcia served as Controller for the
City of Houston where she earned a reputation as the taxpayers' watchdog
who fought to protect people's pocketbooks.
Garcia also served as Director and Presiding Judge of the Houston
Municipal System for an unprecedented five terms under two mayors.
Commissioner Garcia is a native of the South Texas farming community of
She attended Texas Woman’s University on a scholarship, graduating with
a degree in social work, and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree
from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University.
The eighth of 10 children, she learned at an early age the value of
education and hard work. She also learned to be frugal with a dollar; a
lesson which serves her well as a County Commissioner.
Active in the Houston community, the Commissioner has served on more
than 25 community boards and commissions, including the San Jacinto Girl
Scouts, the Houston Hispanic Forum, the American Leadership Forum, the
Texas Southern University Foundation and the Institute of Hispanic
Commissioner Garcia has been named "Humanitarian of the Year" by the
National Conference of Communities and Justice and chosen as one of
"Houston’s 25 Power People" by Inside Houston magazine. The Houston
Press also named her "Politician of the Year."
Commissioner Garcia is a recipient of the Texas Woman’s University Board
of Regents Woman of Distinction Award, the Hispanic Scouting
Distinguished Citizen Award from the Sam Houston Area Council/Boy Scouts
of America, and the Board Award from the San Jacinto Girl Scouts.
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