Garcia says civic service is honorable; Medrano says Stonewall officer is well-qualified, highly recommended
Jesse Garcia, spokesman for Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, was recently appointed by the Dallas City Council to serve on the Permit and License Appeal Board.
Garcia, who is also a member of the board of directors for National Stonewall Democrats, was recommended for the position by District 2 City Council member Pauline Medrano.
His appointment came about because he responded to an e-mail from a Medrano advisor who was seeking candidates for city boards and commissions, Garcia said.
He advised Medrano of his interest in serving because he wants to provide a civic service and learn more about the inner workings of City Hall, he said.
“I think it’s honorable to do that,” said Garcia, who is a public relations representative for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutri-tion Service.
“I’m giving back to the city, making sure taxpayers’ money is being used wisely and business are being good corporate citizens and obeying city regulations.”
Service on the board requires Garcia and other members to hear cases two mornings each month.
The Permit and License Appeal Board hears appeals of city departments’ denials, suspensions or revocations of licenses or permits.The appeals involve operations such as animal shelters, billiard halls, shuttles, dance halls, late hours permits, sexually-oriented businesses, food service, massage parlors, special events, parks and water reservoirs, taxi cabs and motor vehicle escorts.
Medrano said she selected Garcia for the position because he was well qualified and highly recommended.
Members on the board need to be fair, savvy people who are involved in the community, she said. “I had no second guessing with Jesse. He will do a good job.”
In addition to his political activism, Garcia is involved with the gay Latino group Valiente and League of United Latin American Citizens.
Medrano said she is confident Garcia is familiar with District 2 and its issues.
Although Garcia did not move into District 2 from District 3 until April, he has worked in downtown Dallas for seven years.
“I already felt like I was a part of the community,” Garcia said. “I just made it official in April.”
Garcia said his work on the board would be a learning experience to help prepare him for running for an elected office later. All of his volunteer work until now has focused on advocating for GLBT rights, he said.
“I’m doing networking now and getting to know how things run before launching something,” Garcia said. “I really want to do my homework.”
Garcia said he hopes to gain a greater understanding of how City Hall works through his involvement with the board.
Garcia was raised in Brownsville, was educated in San Antonio and moved to Dallas in 1999.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 16, 2006.