Leader. Organizer. Coalition Builder.
The granddaughter of immigrants and lifelong community organizer, Jennifer has been on front lines fighting for Dreamers, immigrants, and our city’s most marginalized communities. She has organized people and built strategy to develop a path towards equity and access for communities of color while gearing those diverse individuals with the tools and voice needed to be the change they seek.
In 2006, Jennifer was a student lead for the 500,000 people march for immigration reform, the largest protest in Dallas’ history. She co-founded the North Texas Dream Team, the first immigration reform group in the area, which connected with students nationwide to form United We Dream. Together they created a globally recognized movement, she organized and participated in walkouts, hunger strikes, sit-ins, marches, and other acts of civil disobedience as well as led lobbying in DC. Jennifer convened meetings between activists and national leaders in Washington DC to create policy reform like DACA; as well as participated in difficult conversations with pension funds and Wall Street that resulted in allocation of millions of dollars to invest and grow Latinx and other marginalized communities nationwide. The last redistricting cycle in 2010, she spoke in Austin to help lead efforts statewide and collaborated with other leaders to increase voter turnout by over 500%, creating the Black & Brown/Latinx majority serving Congressional District 33. Locally she is a leader in education justice, serving as a founding board member for the Magdaleno Leadership Institute and executive staff for IDQ, Inc (I Don't Quit). Together they impacted thousands of Dallas ISD students across the city as well as empowered over a million with their national and global efforts.
Nearly a decade later, she stood in solidarity with friends who led a march against police brutality in Downtown Dallas which was interrupted by a non-involved shooter who killed 5 police officers. Then 2 years later, Botham Jean, Jennifer’s same floor apartment neighbor was killed in his living room by a Dallas police officer. This ignited her advocacy work even further, and last year their reimagining police efforts launched Dallas’ first-ever Community Police Oversight board. But historical barriers of access remain to create the level of accountability that is necessary. She continues to meet and work with families across North Texas both those forced to bury loved ones who fall victim to police shootings and those separated by deportation. She is committed to allocating the power needed for transformational change.
"Dallas needs a voice who isn’t afraid to strive for bold changes. I’ll tackle criminal justice reform and fight poverty head on."
At the wake of a pandemic, Jennifer teamed up with other community leaders to find creative ways to reach the city's most disconnected communities who due to language barriers, lack of wifi access, economic instability, and many other factors were hit the hardest by catastrophes. Jennifer connected these communities in District 2 and across the city with over 8 million masks, books and supplies for thousands of students, and over one million fresh produce boxes and meals. In April, she convened a group of community leaders who work with migrant families to create a proposal to both the city and the county demanding relief for the over 300,000 migrants that Dallas is home to but who were not eligible to any of the relief. Then in the summer, she was on the ground demanding social change, budget reform, and a public safety model that does not target our Black and Brown communities, because Black Lives Do Matter. She participated in marches, spoke to City Hall, and was a part of the People's Budget Townhalls. When the storm hit this past February, she led a group of mutual aid organizations to provide more relief than any other candidate or sitting council member in the City -- We. Are. The. Emergency. Relief. Together they rescued over 100,000lbs of produce to provide meals and fresh food to over 30,000 people in Dallas. We realized hundreds were standing in line for one spiket of water and that people were melting snow to take medications, we sent friends to other states to bring back pallets of water. This water initiative became an entire operation, distributing over 300,000 gallons of water including working with breweries to have tankers taken into communities so our people could be provided access to the water they need to survive.
The future of our city is being decided now. The current pandemic, winter storm, and other catastrophes are further proof that this city’s established leadership and whom they appoint to replace them, are not prioritizing everyone, way too many of us are left out. People are dying, being displaced from their homes, losing their livelihoods, and we need a council member who’s proven to take a stand for justice, equity, and access -- one who will continue to fight for bold change in City Hall.