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Mission

The job of the District Attorney is to keep our communities safe, to treat all people with dignity and respect, and to build a system that fosters mutual respect and trust between the District Attorney’s Office and the people we serve. In order to accomplish this, we:

  • Use research and evidence based data to design policies to keep us safe;
  • Treat all victims with dignity and respect;
  • Not use wealth to determine public safety;
  • Treat substance abuse and mental health disorders as public health issues;
  • Hold powerful actors accountable, regardless of their job title or the size of their bank account; and
  • We value families, we value communities, and we value the right of every person living in Travis County to feel safe.

District Attorney José Garza Biography

District Attorney José Garza

José Garza was elected Travis County District Attorney on November 3, 2020.

As a former federal public defender, immigrant rights activist, and leader of the systemic change organization, Workers Defense Project, José Garza has a unique view into how our broken criminal justice system works and how it impacts our communities. He believes we can fix it together.

José attended law school at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and worked for Judge Richard W. Roberts in federal district court for the District of Columbia. He returned to Texas to work on the border as an assistant public defender in the first multi-county public defender’s office in Texas at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid. Subsequently, José served as an assistant federal public defender in the Western District of Texas, where he represented people accused of misdemeanor and felony crimes. In those experiences, he saw first hand how our system weighs most heavily on people of color, working people and poor people, and immigrant families.

José later returned to Washington, D.C. to serve as the Deputy General Counsel for the House Commit­tee on Education and Labor. He went on to work as Special Counsel to the National Labor Relations Board where he represented the agency against legal attacks brought by a Republican Congress. He eventually served Secretary Tom Perez as a senior policy official at the U.S. Department of Labor where he worked to ensure that working people and people of color were able to find safety and stability in good jobs. 

José brings to the office of the District Attorney extensive experience building power with communities of color, working families, and immigrant communities across Texas. During his tenure as the Executive Director of Workers Defense Project, the organization won significant criminal justice reform in Travis County, won paid sick leave policies in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas, and advocated for the creation of a Public Defender Office alongside community allies in Travis County.

TAX RATE: TRAVIS COUNTY ADOPTED A TAX RATE THAT WILL RAISE MORE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS THAN LAST YEAR’S TAX RATE. THE TAX RATE WILL EFFECTIVELY BE RAISED BY 3.5 PERCENT AND WILL RAISE TAXES FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS ON A $100,000 HOME BY APPROXIMATELY $10.39.

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