Sylvia R. Garcia was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2018, becoming the first Latina ever to represent Texas 29th Congressional district.
Sylvia is a native of Palito Blanco, a South Texas farming community. The eighth of ten children, Congresswoman Garcia saw her parents struggle to raise her and her siblings. Congresswoman Garcia’s parents taught her that with hard work and a good education she could accomplish anything. As a result of these lessons, Congresswoman Garcia dedicated herself to success at school. She earned a scholarship to Texas Woman’s University in Denton, where she graduated with a degree in social work and political science. Congresswoman Garcia then received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston, working several jobs to pay for her tuition. Just as her parents believed in her future, Congresswoman Garcia believes the children of Texas can do anything. Garcia has dedicated her life to her community and to public service. As a social worker and legal aid lawyer early in her professional career, she protected our community’s most vulnerable, old and young, and ensured no one was forgotten.
Sylvia continued her public service career by serving as Director and Presiding Judge of the Houston Municipal System for an unprecedented five terms under two mayors. In 1998, she was elected City Controller, the second highest elected official in Houston city government and its chief financial officer. She quickly earned a reputation as the taxpayers’ watchdog, fighting to protect the pocketbooks of working families and ensuring the City was transparent and accountable.
After two terms as Controller, Sylvia was elected to the Harris County Commissioner’s Court. The first Hispanic and first woman to be elected in her own right to the office, she continued her advocacy for working families and made certain Harris County took care of its most defenseless, all while making certain Harris County led the way for new jobs and economic development.
Sylvia was sworn in to the Texas State Senate on March 11, 2013, representing Senate District 6. She became the seventh woman and the third Hispanic woman to serve in the upper chambers after winning a special runoff election for the seat of the late Senator Mario Gallegos.
In 2018, Sylvia decided to take her fight to Washington. She ran to represent her community, country and family in Congress. On Jan 3, 2019 she was inaugurated to represent Texas Congressional District 29. She became the first Hispanic member of the Houston Congressional Delegation and one of the first two Latinas to represent the State of Texas in the U.S. Congress.