Attorney Alexandra Guio said she experienced her American Dream in 2013 after officially becoming a United States citizen, passing the Texas bar exam, and earning a job in the Dallas County District Attorney’s office.
After finishing college at the University of Arlington and Southern Methodist University, Guio became involved in political campaigns, non-profit organizations, and coalitions around Dallas to serve the community she said once served her. In 2022, Guio said she wants to be a voice of leadership for her community in Austin.
The Signal spoke to Guio about her run for state rep, reproductive rights, public education, Texas Republican officials, and more.
The questions and answers in this interview are edited for clarity.
So what inspired you to run for office?
“My life experiences, growing up a lot of the values my parents taught me. Being involved in the community was a reminder of how I felt growing up. I grew up undocumented. My parents brought me and my sisters from Bogota, Colombia. My parents fled violence in Colombia, and my mom needed surgery to remove a brain tumor. One of the few places that could do it at the time successfully was in Houston. So my parents had sold everything, left their families, and we moved here. My mom recovered, and I grew up in Katy. Unfortunately, our visas expired, so I grew up undocumented for the majority of my young adult life. I really remember growing up not feeling like I had a voice. You have to be kind of living in the shadows, and you’re afraid a lot, and you feel very vulnerable. My parents taught, really taught me the importance of education and to give back because there were a lot of people that helped us growing up. I was so grateful and had decided to become a prosecutor. And I had become really involved in my community. When I became entrenched in the community here in Dallas, I could hear and feel how I felt growing up. The community was afraid. I felt like this country had given me so much that it felt like a responsibility for me to step up and do something more.”
The last legislative session can be described as interesting, to say the least. It seems that many state representatives left the house to run in different seats. What are some issues that you specifically want to address in the statehouse?
“Education is one for sure. I want to fight for public schools and get more funding. Increasing teacher pay, protect our retirees who have done so much for our students, and I stand on the foundation of a great public school. We shouldn’t just hope that you live in a great zipcode and then have a great public school. And to me, it’s just something that is a foundation of the success for our state and future generations. Reproductive justice, for me, is something that I’m really passionate about. I come from a family of all women. I’ve got two older sisters and two nieces. My grandmother was a huge matriarch in her family. Ensuring women have access to safe and legal abortions. Ensuring that women and communities have access to affordable contraception. Fact-based sexual education programs. Because without access to all three, we are really doing women and communities a disservice.”
Guio also shared a short story about her grandmother, an inspiration in her political career, who was a public servant in her own right in a small town in Colombia. “She was the first woman to serve in their version of the city council,” she said. “We’re very much a family of strong, feminist women.”
What has been your outlook on the conservative right-wingers in the statehouse and in the Texas government right now?
“It is really unfortunate that nationwide we are seeing these polarized versions of politics. We lose a lot of what we should be fighting for because there is so much of this smoke and mirrors. Because when I am going door to door, our community members are wondering: I’m trying to make sure I can send my kids to school, and are they going to be safe. Or I can make sure that I can go to work and make enough money to put food on the table. Or to pay my electricity bill because it has increased so much. Or I’m not going to be one major emergency away from being broke and not being able to pay rent. Our community has these everyday emergencies and problems. And what we see on TV is just not reality, but they want that to be the front-page story. Because they don’t want to be accountable for their actions. They put these attacks on trans children, they want to have a conversation about Critical Race Theory even though CRT isn’t being taught in our schools. They want to take away our voting rights. Their failures are what I hear at the door and the struggles of their everyday community.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s, Ken Paxton — we can do the list — have been specifically targeting transgender kids and their families. And they even got the Texas CPS involved. What do you want to represent for your district in support of the community?
“I met with a community member of my district that has a trans child, and she’s been kind enough to speak with me about the difficulties in their lives. And I let them know that if elected, they have a safe space with me. That I’ll fight for them, and they have a safe office to go to. It’s awful. We are looking at the top members of our Texas government targeting the most vulnerable of our community. And they’re just children. Normal children living their own lives, and they’re using it as political punching bags. I obviously stand against that and will advocate for them. We need to be supporting our trans children and their families. They’re making health-based decisions with professionals, and we need to bring awareness to the issue. There is a lot of misconceptions and misinformation, and that leads to the targeting and negativity.”
The election day for this runoff race is May 24, 2022.
Kennedy is a recent graduate of the University of St.Thomas in Houston where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Celt Independent. Kennedy brings her experience of writing about social justice issues to the Texas Signal where she serves as our Political Reporter. She does everything from covering crime beats, Texas politics, and community activism. Kennedy is a passionate reporter, avid reader, coffee enthusiast, and loves to travel.