Campaign links: Ciro D. Rodriguez (D-TX-23)
Ciro D. Rodriguez
Ciro Rodriguez Congressional Candidate Texas District 23
Biography of Ciro Rodriguez from Ciro D. Rodriguez for Congress
When Luvin and Aurora Rodriguez brought five-year-old Ciro Rodriguez to San Antonio, they had no idea that within 20 years he would embark on a career that would take him from a Harlandale Independent School District Board Member to the halls of the United States House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
His family came to San Antonio from Eagle Pass and moved into the Alazan Apache Courts in 1951. He entered first grade at J.T. Brackenridge Elementary not knowing any English, one of the many school challenges he faced and overcame to get his education.
Among his many jobs to help his family was selling vegetables house to house. When his mother died, Ciro dropped out of the ninth grade. He worked full time at a gas station. Pumping gas in winter, taught him the importance of getting an education. His father said “Go to work or go to school” but, Ciro did both. He lost a whole year of school. He was told it was impossible to finish his senior year on time but Ciro was determined to catch up. Often hungry and without money, he would leave early morning and return home at night, attending two different summer schools at the same time. He persevered and graduated with his class.
With a combination of work and loans, Ciro went to San Antonio College and St. Mary’s University. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University. He worked on community mental health issues as well as adolescent and adult substance abuse.
Ciro is celebrating thirty-six years of marriage to Carolina Pena, an elementary school teacher and school librarian. Their daughter, Xochil, is a graduate of Rice University and UT School of Law.
Ciro has two sisters, Rosario and Rosantina and three brothers, Luvin, Javier and Sergio. His parents were Luvin Rodriguez and Aurora Davis. All his grandparents were from Del Rio, Texas.
On his mother’s side both grandparents; Manuela Gonzales and Wilkes Davis grew up in Del Rio. Ciro’s Grandfather Davis worked on the railroads in Mexico so his mother Aurora was born there. His family traveled frequently between the two countries. On his father’s side, they were Carmelita De Hoyos and Felix Rodriguez. His parents met in Del Rio, moved to Eagle Pass and settled in San Antonio’s Southside.
Education was the issue that motivated Ciro to seek elected office. His first elected office was as a member of the Harlandale School Board. During his 12 years on the board, he earned national recognition advocating funding for a quality education for all children. He helped to establish the Mexican Hispanic Caucus of the National School Boards Association and served as its national president.
In 1987, Ciro Rodriguez was elected to the Texas House of Representatives where he served for eleven years. He served in the Higher Education and Health Committees. Speaker Pete Laney appointed him Chairman of the Local Consent Calendar Committee. Ciro Rodriguez worked to reduce the high dropout rate and drafted legislation to allow students to earn college credit while in high school. He drafted the law guaranteeing the top ten percent of graduating students a place at a Texas four-year university.
In April 1997, Ciro Rodriguez was elected to Congress. During his four terms in Congress, Ciro served with distinction as a member of the House Veterans Affairs, Armed Services and Resources Committees. Ciro served on the House Armed Services Committee from 1997 to 2005, serving on four key Subcommittees:
Military Readiness; Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities; Research and Development; and Military Installations and Facilities. On the House Veterans Affairs Committee, he was the Ranking Member of Veterans Health Subcommittee and was on the Benefits Subcommittee from 1997 to 1998.
Ciro was elected Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus of the House of Representatives during the 108th Congress. He chaired various task forces.
He was elected in 2006 to serve as Congressman from the 23rd Congressional District. Ciro D. Rodriguez was appointed to serve on the powerful Appropriations Committee, where he served as member of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Transportation and HUD from 2006 to 2010. He has served as Vice Chair of House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. He was on the House Veterans’ Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs.
Biography of Ciro Rodriguez from Congress.gov
- a Representative from Texas;
- born in Piedras Negras, Mexico, December 9, 1946
- attended Harlandale High School, San Antonio, Tex.
- B.A., St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, Tex., 1973
- M.S.W., Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, Tex., 1978
- member of the Texas state house of representatives, 1987-1997
- member, Harlandale Independent School District School Board, San Antonio, Tex., 1975-1987
- caseworker, Our Lady of the Lake University’s Worden School of Social Work, San Antonio, Tex., 1987-1996
- elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Fifth Congress, by special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of United States Representative Frank Tejeda, reelected to the One Hundred Sixth and to the two succeeding Congresses (April 12, 1997-January 3, 2005)
- unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 2004
- elected as a Democrat to the One Hundred Tenth and to the succeeding Congress (January 3, 2007-January 3, 2011)
- unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the One Hundred Twelfth Congress in 2010.