Dr. Elba Garcia
First Lady of LULAC
Dr. Elba Garcia embodies a new breed of professional women in the 21st century. She is not only a community leader, but is also a mother and wife, a dentist with her own private practice, and a role model for Latino women from all walks of life. Dr. Garcia is a former Dallas City Council Member and the current Dallas County Commissioner for District 4.
Born and educated in Mexico City, Dr. Garcia earned her Doctorate in Odontology from the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in 1984. She later immigrated to the United States, where she had to recertify her Degree at Baylor College of Dentistry, earning her second Doctorate in Dental Surgery (DDS) in 1990. She is a small business owner, having run her own private practice since 1998. Dr. Garcia also served as an assistant professor at the Baylor College of Dentistry. She is married and has two sons.
Dr. Garcia has always dedicated herself to community service and began her service in public office in 2001 when she was elected to the Dallas City Council to represent the residents of District 1. While serving on the Dallas City Council, Dr. Garcia was instrumental in steering a number of important public projects to completion, including securing critical funds for the Latino Cultural Center and spearheading the development of a new Animal Shelter and the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. Additionally, she worked with the Environmental Committee to institute LEED standards for City of Dallas buildings. When she was chosen unanimously by her colleagues to serve as Deputy Mayor Pro Tem and Mayor Pro Tem, she was the first Latina to serve in those positions.
Dr. Garcia was elected to serve as Dallas County Commissioner by the citizens of District 4 in November 2010, becoming the first Latina ever to serve on the Dallas County Commissioners Court. During her first term in office, Dr. Garcia focused on making Dallas County government more transparent, saving millions in tax dollars by fixing the Dallas County’s bail bond system, pushed for the completion of the long-delayed Hunter-Ferrell Road project in Irving and Grand Prairie, building and extending trails in District 4, championing initiatives like the District Attorney’s Animal Cruelty Unit, and educating constituents about Dallas County services. During her second term in office, Dr. Garcia was instrumental in updating the Dallas County purchasing rules and ethics policies, the expansion of the MWBE certification, Dallas County adopting “ban the box” in its hiring policies, starting the “Homes for Hounds” program in the jail, completing the $20 million improved MacArthur Blvd project, and leading the renovation of the Records Building Complex. She also created the Facilities Management Committee to address issues with Dallas County’s aging buildings and dangerously high level of deferred maintenance. Through long-range planning and prudent investment in facilities, Dallas County’s deferred maintenance has been reduced from $100 million when she took office to $28 million today.
Now in her third term as Dallas County Commissioner for District 4, Dr. Garcia is looking forward to completing the $5.7 million Northaven Trail project, the $15.35 million Cockrell Hill Road, the $27.2 million Medical District Dr. project and $200 million Dallas County Records Building Complex Renovation Project and many other projects she currently has underway.
Dr. Garcia is the Chair of the Dallas County Criminal Justice Advisory Board(CJAB), DWI Task Force, New Life Opportunities and the Dallas County Facilities Management Committee. She is Vice-Chair of the North Texas Behavioral Health Authority (NTBHA). She is also a board member of the Public Employee Benefits Cooperative (PEBC), Benefits Review Committee, and the Continuous Improvement Steering Committee. She formally served the Dallas County Civil Service Commission and was an alternate for the Regional Transportation Committee (RTC). In her role as Dallas County Commissioner, Dr. Garcia also appoints community members to various Dallas County Boards, including the Parkland Board of Managers, the Dallas County Trail and Preserve Program Board, the Citizen Election Advisory Committee, the Dallas County Historical Foundation, as well as several other boards and commissions.
In addition to her service to constituents, Dr. Garcia bears a myriad of other public service responsibilities. She currently sits on the Safer Dallas Better Dallas Board and is an Advisory Board member of New Friends New Life, Methodist Dallas Medical Center and HOPES Advisory Council. She formerly served on the Boy Scouts of America Circle Ten Council, Dallas Convention Visitors Bureau, Dallas Zoological Society, and the Salvation Army boards.
She is also a current and/or past member of the Oak Cliff Lions Club, Grand Prairie Rotary Club, Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce, Greater Grand Prairie Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Greater Irving/Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce, Greater Southwest Black Chamber of Commerce, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Henry Holmes Breakfast Group, Irving Heritage Society, Irving Women’s Network, Irving Hispanic Forum, League of Women Voters of Dallas, Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, Irving Texas Democratic Women, Irving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Summit, Hispanic 100, Dallas Assembly, Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, Heritage Oak Cliff, West Dallas Chamber of Commerce, and St. Cecilia’s Catholic Women.