Commission application number 368 submitted by Barbara Garza on 09/30/2020

First Name Barbara
Last Name Garza
Voter Unique Identification number 1140339759
Ethnicity Hispanic or Latino
Gender Female
Age 45-54
Education Level Post-Graduate Degree
Major Pursued Fine Arts and History / MBA
What is your occupation? Marketing Consultant
Submitted Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78745
Verified Address
City Austin
State TX
Zip 78745
Do you have a spouse or domestic partner? No
Are you applying to be the student member of the commission? No
Have you been continuously registered to vote in the City of Austin for the last five years? Yes
Have you voted in 3 of the last 5 City of Austin general elections (or corresponding runoff if applicable)? Yes
Been appointed to a state or city office? No
Been elected to a state or city office? No
Been a candidate for a state or city office? No
Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a political party? No
Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of the campaign committee of a candidate for elective state, county, or city office? No
Been a registered state or local lobbyist? No
A paid employee of the City of Austin? No
A person performing paid services under a professional services contract with the City of Austin? No
A person performing paid services under a professional or personal services contract to the City Council of the City of Austin or to any individual member of the City Council of the City of Austin? No
A controlling person of a person performing paid services under a professional or personal services contract to any member of the City Council of the City of Austin? No
Contribute or bundle one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more in aggregate to candidates for City of Austin elective office? No
Please describe your relevant analytical skills. I know how to process large amounts of data and deliver in-depth analysis and insights. I also pride myself on my research skills to compliment and lend validity to my conclusions. Having developed an insurance company's sales and trend reporting tools, I synthesized 30 years of client and product data and delivered 20 KPIs and real-time sales analysis. As part of an organization that worked on peace building, community development and employment initiatives in Colombia, I familiarized myself with the complex and sensitive political climate and worked on assembling 2 large scale conferences addressing Restorative Justice and Microfinance, bringing over 150 national and international experts, including Nobel Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the President of Colombia. The events, attracting over 1,800 attendees, led to important legislative decisions in the peace accord process. I have also worked on the development of several consumer product lines, and know how to bring together details, suppliers, and processes to deliver results in a timely manner.
Please describe your ability to be impartial. I recognize that we all have preconceived notions and ideas, and finding that imperfectly perfect middle ground depends on being able to understand the opposing view. I have long-standing friendships with individuals who have opinions that are almost diametrically opposed to what I believe in, and yet, after so many years, they want to continue to debate issues and discuss them with me. I do believe that this would not be the case if I were to always be closed-minded to their side. I believe it is important to recognize that in a situation such as this one, it is critical to be open, listen to all available facts, data and opinions, and then render a statement that best suits the situation, and not just one party or group of interests.
Please describe your appreciation for the City of Austin's diverse demographics and geography. Having spend my formative years in Austin, the city's fast-changing landscape is something to admire and yet observe with some caution. I went to Porter Jr. High (Go Panthers!) and graduated from Davy Crockett High School (I was TexAnn) at a time I was one of the few Latinx students. The change in demographics is one that needs to be considered at the highest level given that many do not even know that Austin is a minority majority town. Even more shocking, that is not reflected in the main living areas of this city. When people visit Austin, they do not see this, and that is extremely concerning if we are to address the ever growing disparities in income, in particular as related to race and the ethnic neighborhoods in this city that are quickly disappearing through development and gentrification. The unofficial southern border of Austin was once Ben White, when it was a major lane street, and not a highway. The city's expansion into the areas of our southern and northern city/town neighbors should be considered as steps to taken to ensure inclusivity, historical preservation and equitable access to opportunities for economic growth for all industries and residents.
Please provide your employment history. I have worked as a marketing consultant for the past 5 years as I care for my mother, who has lived in Austin since 1980 and suffers from Parkinson's. Prior to that I worked in various industries: financial services, consumer products and non-profit as a strategy and product development expert. I have been part of various organizations looking to successfully develop and launch initiatives. My achievements include: Ÿ- Facilitating company’s transition from start-up to growth stage by leading digital transformation encompassing sales, marketing and policy administration, reducing operational costs by 25%. - Spearheading planning and execution of symposium on Microfinance as a Tool for Peacebuilding. Conducted in-depth research and led diverse 8-person committee in development of cohesive agenda for 16-panel conference relevant to current political and economic climate in Colombia. Ÿ - Leading complex cross-functional teams from 6 to 40 and influenced key stakeholders to focus on innovation, results and teamwork. Ÿ - Developing digital, content and product strategies across three organizations, defining roadmap to transform new ideas into launched products and online initiatives. Ÿ - Full accountability for product development lifecycle, including a line of men’s grooming products to 200 retailers and 3 line extensions for a skincare line, which exceeded revenue goals by 45%. I have also always valued my activities outside the workplace, having served as a mentor for a student at the Ann Richards Academy for Young Women Leaders and being an alumni interviewer for applicants to Harvard University.
Please provide any other information you wish to be considered during the selection of the most qualified applicants for the Commission. I speak Spanish fluently, and given my background, I consider it important to stay current on issues affecting the Latino community. As I mentioned before, I grew up here before moving to Boston for college, New York for work, and Los Angeles for business school. I have also lived in Sydney, Buenos Aires, Guadalajara and Cali, Colombia. All this experience has given me good insights as to what is attractive and successful in a city, and what could be done to make it better. I feel I could put those insights to use in this commission.
How did you hear about redistricting/Applicant Review Panel? Social media
Disclaimer Agreement Checked
Disclaimer Signature Barbara Garza
District District 5
Does this application qualify? Yes