Waco: First Hispanic councilwoman steps down after 24 years

Alice Rodriguez. (City of Waco photo)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Dist. II Waco Councilwoman Alice Rodriguez is stepping down after 24 years of service.

“I really enjoyed my service to the community, it’s been a pleasure and honor to serve District II and help the city grow, it’s been an awesome experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez was born and reared in Waco.

She ran for city council because she wanted to make a change in the community so it would be a safe place for her children to grow up and live.

She says when she was younger she experienced discrimination firsthand in Waco.

“I remember being a young girl and being discriminated against; I couldn't go into some places and had to go into different places to eat,” Rodriguez said.

“My kids still experience discrimination today but not as blatant as I did.”

Rodriguez said her father was a big advocate for Latino rights and fought endlessly for equality and she wanted to do the same.

During her tenure she helped create the Waco Hispanic Museum because she wanted Hispanic heritage to be remembered.

“I wanted our younger generation to understand the fight that was fought to get to where we are now,” Rodriguez said.

“I’ve noticed our younger generation of Hispanics don’t understand why it was so much easier for them to do things, go places and reach goals in their lives and I wanted them to remember.”

Rodriguez said one her favorite memories while serving on the council was the opportunity she had to visit the White House and meet President Barack Obama.

“It was such an honor that a sitting president respected my position and what I had to go through to get where I was at…It was the biggest thrill of meeting him personally and knowing that he understood,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez says she enjoyed her time in the council and if she were to do it all over again she would.

“I really love what I was doing, taking care of the community, taking care of folks and taking care of the city of Waco,” Rodriguez said.

On Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the council chambers in the Waco Convention Center the city will recognize Rodriguez’s hard work and newly elected council members will be sworn in.

“There is so many changes happening in the city, I hate to leave but its time, it’s time for someone else to experience this,” Rodriguez said.

Hector Sabido is succeeding Rodriguez in District II.

Dist. IV Councilman Dillon Meek and Dist. V Councilman Jim Holmes will be sworn in for new terms.