Board Member
Council Member
Austin, TX

Vanessa was raised in Central Texas by an immigrant mother from Mexico and a military veteran father. Before joining the Austin City Council in 2021, Vanessa worked at a nonprofit focused on mobilizing and empowering the everyday Texan to engage in the policymaking process and pass lifesaving policies that make communities healthier and safer.

In her years at the American Heart Association, Vanessa advocated for improved healthcare systems and programs rooted in health equity. She has dedicated her career to public service and has been nationally recognized for her innovative work in advocacy and community organizing.

Since taking office, Vanessa has committed to making government work for us, the people. She has led on issues including raising the minimum wage to $20 for city workers, expanding paid parental leave to 12 weeks for city workers, and expanding access to full-day Pre-K in Del Valle ISD.

Vanessa has also championed the creation of a Trauma Recovery Center focused on providing services for victims of violent crime, the Displacement Prevention Housing Navigators, and led the workforce development program focused on Community Health Workers.

Vanessa attended public schools growing up. She is a first-generation college graduate, earning a Bachelor’s in Public Relations from The University of Texas at Austin. Vanessa and her husband live in Southeast Austin with their rescue bulldog, Axel.