Norma Chavez 2nd generation El Pasoan, her grandparents 1910 Mexican Revolution immigrants, is an El Paso woman of many firsts:

 

 

 

  • First Latina elected to the Texas Legislature from El Paso.

    "I am honored to have served with State Representative Irma Rangel, of Kingsville Texas who serves as the first Latina elected to the Texas Legislature in the history of Texas.  She was a mentor and friend and deskmate of State Representative Paul Moreno. We took this picture on the Texas House Floor."

 

 

 

 

  • First Latina from El Paso to serve as a Chair of a standing committee in the Texas House of Representative, (Chair, Border & International Affairs Committee)

    "The Speaker of the House selects the Chair and Vice Chair, usually a Democrat and Republican. Here I am with my Vice-Chair State Rep. Bob Griggs, a Republican from Tarrant County. He and I worked closely together for good government, for the Border as well as for bills referred to my committee."
     
  • First Latina female from El Paso to serve on the Appropriations Committee  
    "A
    s a member of the Appropriations Committee, I served as lead legislator securing the $48 million needed to open the Texas Tech Medical School, I removed a contingency measure, thereby releasing $18 million for the Texas Tech Medical School and I passed an appropriation rider naming the Texas Tech Medical School the "Paul I. Foster School of Medicine". On the Appropriations Committee I restored $9 million needed to restore solvency to the Fire Fighter’s Pension Fund. On the Appropriations Committee I secured $1 million needed in debt service to issue $12 million in bonds for the Economically Distressed Areas Program (EDAP) for Colonias."
  • First and only Latina female in Texas to serve as Vice Chair of the Calendars Committee, the committee that determines what bills are considered on the House Floor, and a Speaker Appointment Committee (under two Speakers)
  • First Latina from El Paso to serve as Vice-Chair of three standing committee in the Texas House of Representatives: Calendars, Human Resources, and Rules and Resolutions

 

Norma's Legislative Accomplishments 1997-2011

 

Texas House of Representatives, Member 1997 – 2011

Served in the 75th, 76th, 77th, 78th, 79th, 80th, and 81st Texas Legislature

Committees Served:

  • Border & International Affairs (Chair); Financial Institutions (Chair Budget & Oversight); Calendars (V-Chair); Human Services (V-Chair); Rules & Resolutions (V-Chair); Appropriations, Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government; Appropriations Subcommittee on Business & Economic Development; Appropriation Subcommittee on Stimulus; Electric Generation Capacity-Select Committee; Higher Education; State Federal & International Relations; Public School Sub-Committee on Facilities; Defense & Veteran Affairs

Collaborated, lead, and fostered effective partnerships in a bi-partisan manner between state legislators, state agencies, local governmental entities and political and community leaders, to pass legislation or kill legislation that negatively impacted El Paso. Worked collaboratively with statewide coalition partners for or against proposed legislation.

Institutional knowledge of the Texas House of Representatives, House Rules, and Texas legislative process including the passing of legislation, amendments, appropriation riders, constitutional amendments and understanding the importance of working in a bipartisan manner for balanced public policy. 

Legislative Career Highlights

 75th Texas Legislature

  • Amended the Texas Constitution by passing an amendment to the home equity lending bill that prohibited lenders from redlining. 

76th Texas Legislature

  • Passed legislation creating a state felony for human trafficking, known as the "Coyote Bill"

  • House Sponsor of legislation creating Cesar Chavez Day, a Texas optional holiday. 

77th Texas Legislature

  • Passed legislation authorizing the Texas Workforce Commission to establish and implement a pilot adult technology training program for first generation citizens or NAFTA displaced workers.
  • Passed legislation authorizing the County Commissioners Court to award a 20 year retirement option for County employees.
  • Passed legislation creating the Texas Tech Diabetes Research Center.
  • Passed legislation creating a Class A misdemeanor if a notary public states or implies he/she are a licensed attorney in Texas.
  • Passed an appropriation rider establishing the Center for Law and Border Studies at the University of Texas at El Paso.
  • Passed legislation clarifying the motorcycle helmet law.

78th Texas Legislature

  • Passed legislation as House Sponsor expanding the Texas Department of Transportation Commission from 3 members to 5 members and secured the first commissioner from El Paso.
  • Passed legislation modifying procedures for customs brokers by streamlining the process.
  • Passed legislation expediting the approval process for bridge construction over the Rio Grande River by allowing a political subdivision or entity to get concurrent approval from state and federal governments.
  • Passed legislation for the Council of Judges to improve court proceedings.

79th Texas Legislature

  • Passed legislation increasing the Skills Development Fund from $25 to $40 million by creating a formula utilizing 1/10 of 1% of the Unemployment Insurance Fund.
  • Passed legislation requiring local workforce boards to incorporate financial literacy into workforce training programs.
  • Passed a study bill to determine the causes for the state’s high residential foreclosure rates.
  • Passed legislation protecting recording artist’s product and proceeds from claims.
  • Passed legislation creating a priority reimbursement formula for graduate medical education.
  • Passed legislation to streamline the process for local governments requesting matching funds for federally funded transportation projects.
  • Passed legislation for the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, transferring the “La Loma del Espejo” tract of land from the Texas Department of Transportation to the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo.

80th Texas Legislature

  • Lead legislator as a member of the Appropriations Committee, securing the $48 million needed to open the Texas Tech Medical School.
  • On the Appropriations Committee removed a contingency measure, thereby releasing $18 million for the Texas Tech Medical School.
  • On the Appropriations Committee passed an appropriation rider naming the Texas Tech Medical School the "Paul I. Foster School of Medicine
  • On the Appropriations Committee restored $9 million needed to restore solvency to the Fire Fighter’s Pension Fund.
  • On the Appropriations Committee secured $1 million needed in debt service to issue $12 million in bonds for the Economically Distressed Areas Program (EDAP) for Colonias.
  • Passed legislation requiring the Bond Review Board to comprehensively review the effect of new debt authorizations and appropriations of debt service on the state’s future debt capacity.
  • Passed legislation to allow local governments the option of exempting taxation of goods-in-transit.
  • Passed legislation to restore the personal needs allowance of eligible elderly resident of nursing home to $60 a month from $45.
  • Passed legislation expanding the Texas Department of Public Safety Commission from 3 members to 5 members.
  • Passed legislation protecting original performing bands such as the Supremes, from imposter bands. Worked with Mary Wilson of the Supremes.
  • Passed a constitutional amendment as House Sponsor, allowing voters to decide whether to authorize the state to issue $250 million in bonds for the EDAP program.
  • Passed legislation creating El Paso County Criminal Judicial District Court #1 and #2, El Paso County Criminal Courts of Law #3 and #4; and the 448th Judicial District Court.
  • Filed legislation to allow the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo to game on tribal lands. The 66-66 tie vote provides the tribe with a favorable vote to argue their right to petition the federal government to allow the tribe to be included under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

81st Texas Legislature

  • On the Appropriations Committee increased funding for the Skills Development Fund by $30 million.
  • On the Appropriations Committee passed in committee through persistent collaborative efforts, increased funding for the Program of All Inclusive Care for Elderly (PACE)
  • Passed legislation allowing the El Paso Regional Development Corporation (REDCo) to use the Skills Development Fund.
  • Passed legislation improving the accountability and transparency of the Emerging Technology Fund.
  • Passed legislation requiring the Higher Education Coordinating Board to conduct a feasibility study to determine the need for a law school along the Texas-Mexico Border.
  • Passed legislation to protect elderly or disabled victims or witnesses of crimes.
  • Passed a comprehensive motorcycle safety bill that requires new motorcyclists to take a motorcycle training course and creates a public awareness campaign for both drivers and motorcyclists.
  • Passed legislation to allow the El Paso Commissioners Court to appoint seven members to the El Paso County Hospital Board.

 

 

Legislative Career accomplishments include the authoring of 50 bills, sponsoring 22 Senate bills, and authoring 75 amendments and appropriation riders that were adopted and now law.

Professional & Political Experience

 

 


 

Texico Communications & Productions, Principal                                      2003 - current Consulting and public relations services for political and issue campaigns, incorporate strategic planning, policy analysis, social media networking, grassroots organizing, and coordinate event production and promotions. Texico Productions, produced independent music shows; produced the only local independent radio talk show in El Paso with Arbitron ratings. 

Texas House of Representatives, Member                                                         1997 – 2011 Served in the 75th, 76th, 77th, 78th, 79th, 80th, and 81st Texas Legislature

NCN Texaco Family Owned Business, Principal                                        1990 – 2006 Family owned full-service gas station. Responsible for addressing all federal, state, and local regulatory matters pertaining to the business.  Developed branding and marketing strategies. Testified to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Air Control Board against regulatory proposals under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments that mandated centralized emission testing. Was lead coordinator for the passage of the Texas Clean Air Act that saved thousands of jobs and small businesses. Pumped gas when Dad wasn't around.

United Farm Workers of America, Public ActionOrganizer                               1994-1996  Coordinate public action campaigns for a safe and just food supply. Coordinate and develop public outreach programs, organize coalition partners to establish a broad based grassroots network in Texas for farmworker issues.  Assisted Texas Director with Texas campaigns that included the renaming of schools, streets, highways, and programs for Cesar Chavez in El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, and South Texas. Staffed various UFW events and public action campaigns in Texas and California. 

Nash Phillips Copus (NPC)       1984-1990    Worked for the largest builder in the United States multi-housing division under Cherie Copus (daughter to Clyde Copus) while in college and eventually obtained a real estate license. Listed a $6 million project in San Marcos, Texas working with a builder to secure interim funding and permanent funding for the multi-housing fourplex project. 

Education & Leadership Studies

 

 

 

University of Texas at Austin                                                                                           2009         Government Major, Business Minor

Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government                                                 2002 Leadership Studies: The program provides real-life case studies and interaction with a cross section of national leaders in federal, state, and local governments to enable participants to become effective leaders through developing conceptual frameworks for addressing policy issues, examining innovative partnerships and new models of collaborative governance, and understanding the behavioral dimensions of decision making.

American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL)    1997
National Democratic Delegate to Japan, International Leadership Studies:  ACYPL is an international exchange program that introduces next generation leaders to the politics, governance, policy-making, history, and cultures of countries around the world. The exchange creates opportunities for respectful dialogue among young Democrats, Republicans, and Independents from across the United States, as well as between multi-partisan peers in dozens of countries who share a common desire to solve problems through political leadership and informed public policy making.

Center for Policy Alternatives: Flemming Fellows Leadership Institutue                  1997 Urban Education and LeadershipThe Flemming Institute develops fellowship programs that help emerging state leaders explore and formalize their individual value systems, use these values as a foundation for considering the role of state government, and apply these values to specific public policy initiatives at the state level

National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Institute (NALEO)  1996 Organizational Leadership:  The NALEO Institute is bipartisan and provides non-partisan skills development and leadership training for newly elected Latino leaders. The program includes networking opportunities with elected leaders in federal, state and local government. The program provides a comprehensive introduction to public service, introduces important public policy issues including those that impact the Latino community, and provides a process to review budget practices and public finance for future public project priorities.

Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) Leadership Training                                    1992 – 1994 Urban Education and Leadership: The IAF partners with religious congregations and civic organizations to identify leaders at the local level to build new capacity in a community for leadership development, citizen-led action and to develop public action strategies based on bipartisan relationships that cross lines that often divide communities and stakeholders.

The curriculum includes how to: understand power; discover and act on the interests of your institution; identify and develop sustainable leadership; think and act strategically; and most important, how to engage in real conversations about the mission and democratic action of your institution- including the ability to discuss, argue, negotiate and compromise- while forming and maintaining collaborative relationships that ultimately lead to action.

 

Paid for by the Norma for Congresswoman 16 Committee
Dolores Huerta, Treasurer
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