Meet JOSÉ ANGEL GUTIÉRREZ, PhD, JD
Get to know the man behind the movement, his life, what he stands for, and what his plans are for our community!
Political Experience & Personal Life
Jose Angel Gutierrez is a Crystal City, Texas native. He has degrees from Texas A&M University at Kingsville (B.A.), St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas (M.A.), University of Texas at Austin (Ph.D.), and University of Houston, Bates College of Law, Houston, Texas (J.D.). He was a Professor of Political Science at University of Texas-Arlington (UTA) until June 5, 2015 and designated Professor Emeritus on October 8, 2015. Founder of the Center for Mexican American Studies at UTA. He has authored and co-authored 14 books; three are revised editions of a text on Texas politics. The most recent publication is co-authored with his wife, Natalia Verjat Gutierrez, The Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, (Arcadia Publishing, 2013); and, has one book under contract, another in final stages of preparation. A Spanish language biography on him was written by Raul Caballero, El Activista, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, 2013. He also has written several articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries over the years. Beginning in 1996 he has conducted video interviews (only 172 digitized of 196) with significant public figures in Texas. See http://libraries.uta.edu/tejanovoices/ Currently a co-director of an NEH three-year grant to document the civil rights struggles of blacks and browns in Texas. See crbb.tcu.com/
He is a member in good standing of various bar associations and licensed to practice law in various jurisdictions, including the Texas Supreme Court, U.S. Federal Court of Claims, Federal Courts in Texas (Northern and Southern districts) and Tucson, Arizona. Dr. Gutierrez also heads the Greater Dallas Legal and Community Development Foundation, a civil rights litigation unit.
Dr. Gutierrez was a Chicano activist, community organizer, and educational reformer during the Chicano Movement. He co-founded the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO), the Raza Unida Party of Texas, and Ciudadanos Unidos (hometown association) and Obreros Unidos Independientes (labor union) to decertify the Teamsters Union in Crystal City, Texas. He was a key figure in the founding of the Mexican American Unity Council, the National Council of La Raza, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Midwest and Northwest Voter Registration and Education Projects, and the Oregon Council for Hispanic Advancement. He was elected and appointed to public offices; has served as an elected Trustee and President of the Crystal City Independent School District, Urban Renewal Commissioner for Crystal City, Texas, County Judge for Zavala County, Texas, Commissioner for the Oregon Commission on International Trade, Executive Director of the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs, Administrative Law Judge for the City of Dallas, member of the Ethics Commission, the Judicial Selection Commission, and Mayor’s 2010 Census Committee all for the City of Dallas, and State Treasurer for the Mexican American Democrats. He also was an nationally elected advisor delegate from the United States to Mexico’s Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME, 2009-2011); previously during the administration of Luis Echevarria Alvarez he founded the Becas Para Aztlan program and Mexico Hoy Seminars with the Colegio de Mexico. He is featured, cited, and quoted in several encyclopedias, books, and various documentaries for his activism and contributions during the Chicano Movement era. See these documentaries, for example, CHICANO! A History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement, 1996; SCHOOL: The Story of American Education, Episode Three, 2000; and, Latino Americans, PBS series, 2013.
In recent years he has appeared on national television and debated extremists, white and black, Muhammad X, David Horowitz, Jared Taylor (at UT Arlington campus), and Glenn Spencer on such programs as Jerry Springer, Joe Scarborough and Bill O’Reilly. He also has received many professional honors including several Life Time Achievement Awards from: Dallas Peace Center (2014); Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (2013); Texas FOCO, National Association of Chicana Chicano Studies (2012); and, International Association of Human Rights Agencies (2011).
He is a volunteer in the Bernie Sanders for President campaign in South Texas, based in Brownsville as of November, 2015 and has begun a new organizing initiative aimed at fundamental change in governmental insitutions in South Texas called V3 building an Army for the Good.