Domingo Garcia is the son of Mexican immigrants and has had a life and career that seems to cover it all. He’s worked as a newspaper boy, shoe shine boy, and dishwasher. Growing up, his family lacked the resources needed to easily pursue higher education.
Fast forward a few decades and he rose through the ranks to become the youngest Mayor Pro Tem of Dallas and now operates a multi-million dollar network of law offices across the state of Texas. He’s also the president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, aka LULAC.
When asked what drove him to overcome the obstacles he grew up with, he recounts working with his father as a concrete contractor in the sweltering heat.
“When you’re pouring concrete and digging ditches, and it’s a 105 degrees in July in Dallas Texas, you start looking at those people walking into those sky scrappers in suits and going in to air conditioning buildings, and what are they doing that we’re not doing?” he says, “and I figured that education was the key.”
Garcia says that education is truly the key to success and is what opened the doors for him and others as well.
Garcia’s success is a story we’re highlighting as part of Hispanic Heritage month, something that’s significant to him personally and as a leader in the North Texas Hispanic community.
For him, it’s about celebrating the history and contributions Hispanic and Latinx cultures have brought to the U.S. From BBQ, to the lasso, to cowboy culture – the influence is deep and often unseen.
Texas especially has a long and varied cultural development greatly influenced by Hispanics. Garcia says “we’re not immigrants, we’re not strangers, we don’t need to go back from where we came from. This is where we came from.”
It’s his passion for heritage that brought Garcia to an organization like LULAC. Founded in 1929, LULAC was the driving organization for civil rights for Latinx people, especially in Texas. They fought to end segregation, to allow Latinx people on juries, and to integrate schools.
“That’s what LULAC has been doing, we just want to be equal and fair, and for American to live up to its promise that all men and women are created equal,” he says, “just because your last name is Lopez, Sanchez, Garcia, or Castro doesn’t mean you should be treated as a second-class citizen.”
For more information on LULAC, visit Lulac.org