In our June Advocacy Team meeting, Senator Royce West (D-Dallas) and Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) will discuss important legislation and policy developments from the 85th Legislative Session.
Senator Royce West, District 23
Royce West was first elected to the Texas Senate in November 1992. Since taking office he has represented the 23rd Senatorial District on behalf of the citizens of Dallas County in the Texas Legislature. During his tenure, Senator West has been named by Texas Monthly as one of the 25 most powerful people in Texas politics, been selected for the magazine's biennial "Ten Best Legislators in Texas" list, and has twice been named as an "Honorable Mention." Senator West has also received mention on the Associated Press' "Movers and Shakers" list, and Texas Insider named Senator West to its 2009 "Best Legislators" list.
On April 17, 2006, Senator West was sworn in by his fellow state senators to serve as President Pro Tempore of the Texas Senate until January 2007. As President Pro Tempore, Senator West was second in the line of succession to be Governor of Texas, and assumed the top leadership position whenever Governor Rick Perry and Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst were out of the state.
Senator West is Vice Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee and is a member of Senate committees on Administration, Education and Finance. Senator West recently joined the exclusive World Travel & Tourism Council Dallas Host Committee for the 2016 Global Summit to be held April 5-7, 2016. Senator West has been appointed to serve on the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth, and Families and also serves on the following national and regional organizations:
Education Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC);
Education Commission of the States;
Southern Regional Education Board Commission on Career and Technical Education
Senator West's key initiatives include the creation of college admission opportunities for all students, including the establishment of the University of North Texas at Dallas and a new law school in downtown Dallas. His legislation created the Texas Juvenile Crime Prevention Center at Prairie View A&M University; increased funding for at-risk youth programs, awarded greater compensation to victims of violent crime, established new standards for child care, enhanced enforcement of protective orders and instituted more efficient uses of criminal justice resources through legislation that created a system of progressive sanctions. During the 2009 Legislative Session, Senator West passed legislation that created a kinship care program whereby qualified relatives can receive state support to help raise children who could otherwise become part of the foster care system.
Since 1993, Senator West has sponsored the Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program. The program has provided college students from Senatorial District 23 with paid employment in their respective fields of study. In 1996, Senator West established a Student Advisory Committee (SAC) to obtain the perspectives of junior high and high school students on legislative and community issues and to expose them to volunteer opportunities in the community.
To promote inclusiveness in the procurement practices of state agencies in working with Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs), Senator West created the "Doing Business Texas Style - Spot Bid Contract Fair" and regularly sponsors procurement workshops and seminars.
In addition to his senatorial duties, Senator West is a partner in the law firm of West & Associates, L.L.P. He is also a caring father to his children and devoted husband to Carol R. West, CPA, as well as an active deacon of Good Street Baptist Church.
Representative Jason Villalba, District 114
Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) will begin his third term as a Member of the Texas House of Representative on January 10, 2017. Representative Villalba serves House District 114, which covers a large swath of North Dallas and includes the communities of Lake Highlands and Preston Hollow. During his initial term in office, Representative Villalba was appointed to serve on the Business and Industry Committee and the Environmental Regulation Committee. After the completion of his first legislative session, Speaker Joe Straus appointed Rep. Villalba to serve on the Select Committee on Redistricting and the Select Committee on Economic Incentive Programs. During his second term in office, Representative Villalba served on the Business and Industry Committee and the Economic Development and Small Business Committee.
Representative Villalba focuses his legislative initiatives primarily on key issues facing all Texans — education, economic development, water, transportation and public safety. Because of his exemplary performance as a Member of the Legislature and based on the passage of several important pieces of legislation, Representative Villalba has received a number of recognitions and acknowledgements that are listed below.
Recognitions and Acknowledgements:
- Dallas Police Association Legislator of the Year
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Outstanding Legislator
- Texas Conservative Roundtable Lone Star Conservative Leader Award
- Texas Association of Business “Fighter for Free Enterprise” Award
- Texas Medical Association "Friend of Medicine" Award
- Texas Municipal Police Association Champion of the Year
- American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network "Advocacy in Action" Award
- Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas “Best of the House” Legislative Award
- Dallas Police Association Rookie of the Year
- Texas Advocacy Project Vision Award
- ASPCA Freshman of the Year Award
- Capitol Inside “Best Freshmen Legislators”
- Dallas Morning News “Best of Dallas-area´s freshman class in Texas House”
- Texas Observer “Legislators to Watch”
- Dallas Observer “30 Most Interesting People”
- WFAA “Sparkler Award”
Representative Villalba has exhibited consistent leadership during his time in the Legislature. During his first term, Representative Villalba founded the Freshman Delegation, a bipartisan group of first term Members who met for the purposes of exchanging ideas, building relationships, and increasing their knowledge of the legislative process. In addition to taking a lead role among the freshman class, Representative Villalba was committed to the long-standing tradition of working with colleagues on both side of the political aisle to find consensus and pass legislation that benefits all Texans and positively affects the future of our state. As a result, Representative Villalba has had over fifty percent of his legislative initiatives signed into law.
Representative Villalba is a fourth-generation Texan, born in Dallas. Growing up, Jason´s parents taught him the value of hard work, integrity, academic achievement and personal responsibility. The first in his family to graduate from college, Jason worked his way through Baylor University where he studied economics and finance. Jason then went on to receive his Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law. Representative Villalba is now a partner at one of the most respected law firms in Texas, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP. His practice focuses on the areas of public and private securities law, private equity, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate law.
Jason has been a politically active, conservative Republican for over three decades. Representative Villalba was recently named to the Republican State Leadership Committee to serve as an Executive Committee Member of the Future Majority Caucus. He is the past Vice-Chair of the Dallas County Republican Party and the Chairman Emeritus of the Dallas Chapter of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. As a member of the Texas Legislature, Representative Villalba continues to be an active voice for streamlining government, providing educational options for parents and reducing burdensome government regulation and he has been a vociferous advocate for enhancing and strengthening our state’s infrastructure and fostering a client for continued economic growth and development.
Jason is married to his wife of 15 years, Brooke, and they are the proud parents of daughters Sophia and Elena, and son, George IV. In addition to his role as a loving father and husband, Jason has been committed to serving in his local community for more than a decade. He has served on the Development Committee of the Dallas Zoo, the Dallas Children´s Trust, the Board of the Dallas Housing Finance Corporation and he was a member of the Dallas County Citizens Election Advisory Committee.