All politics is local. No one understands this precept more than Norma Chávez. It has been the hallmark of her career as a community organizer and the cornerstone for her success as a Texas legislator. From the neighborhood to the statehouse, Norma has never lost her touch with the people, or her instinctive ability to bring together coalitions of stakeholders with common interests and organize them to affect change in their community. She possesses a rare, panoramic perspective on lawmaking often lacking in elected officials – a view of the legislative process not only from the inside out, but also from the ground up.
Birth Date: 06/29/1960
Home City: El Paso, TX
Today, she produces and hosts an independent radio talk show in El Paso called "Border Talk," leading an ongoing public dialogue on issues affecting borderlands, Latino interests, politics, culture, music, and the arts. Norma is the founder of Texico Communications, a public strategy and legislative consulting firm.
A community organizer at heart, Norma’s career began at the grassroots level, walking blocks and knocking on doors in her native El Paso, educating her neighbors on local issues. Her early organizing activities focused on cultural, environmental, and human rights matters. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Norma spearheaded efforts to preserve Mexican-American culture in her home city, teamed with other concerned citizens to successfully oppose efforts to build a nuclear waste site in Sierra Blanca, and spent two years as a community organizer for the United Farm Workers Union.
In 1990, Norma embarked on a citizen’s campaign that ultimately launched her career in public service. After receiving notice of federal legislation that would impact
She was elected and took office in January 1997, becoming the first Latina elected to the Texas Legislature from El Paso. As Norma gained experience and seniority, she served in increasingly influential roles, including as Chair of the House Border and International Affairs Committee and Vice Chair of three standing House committees – Rules and Resolutions, Human Services, and Calendars. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, she became intricately familiar with the budget-writing process. Norma left the Texas House in 2011.
Norma Chávez graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts, Government Major, Business Minor, and completed the Program for seniors in Executive State and Local Government at Harvard University.