Dora Olivo completed her seventh consecutive term as Texas State Representative in 2011 for the 27th Legislative District of Texas, one of the State's most diverse and fastest growing districts, which encompasses about half of Fort Bend County.
As a former school teacher, as an attorney, as an involved citizen and as a former public servant, dedication and service to her community spans more than 38 years.
Since her first election to the Texas House of Representatives in 1997, Olivo has been recognized statewide and nationally as an expert and leader in creating common sense solutions to improve public education.
Olivo served four sessions as a Member of the Public Education Committee and was appointed to the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Education Committee by the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives in 2001, 2007 and 2009.
In addition to public education Olivo has also focused on working to protect the safety and welfare of the mentally challenged, create more accessible and affordable health care for families and children, and hold government accountable at all levels to protect our environment and guard the rights of the elderly and the disabled in our communities among other issues.
Olivo served in additional leadership roles in the Texas House of Representatives including serving as Vice-Chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus (2001-2006) and also serving as Legal Counsel for the Legislative Study Group, an official Caucus of the Texas House of Representatives (2003 – 2010).
On a national level, Olivo continued to serve in leadership positions including her role as National Board Member of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (2004 – 2010) and as a member of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Education Leadership Initiative (NELI), which assists the nation's Latino elected and appointed officials with technical assistance, training, and networking opportunities designed to increase their governance skills and effectiveness as education policymakers and advocates.
In 2002, Olivo was selected as one of the Black Go Texan honorees. In 2001, Texas LULAC named her the Woman Legislator of the Year. In 1998, the Houston Area Association for the Education of Young Children named her the Elected Official of the Year. In 1997, the Center for Policy Alternatives honored Olivo with its elite leadership award of the Flemming Fellows Leadership Institute. Former Governor Ann Richards appointed her in 1991 to the Texas Punishment Standards Commission, which recommended revisions to the Texas Penal Code. In 1977 she founded the radio talk show "Lo Nuestro" on KFRD in Rosenberg and hosted the program for 15 years.
Prior to holding elected office, Olivo’s community work includes serving as Director of the Fort Bend Voter Registration Education Project; Board Member for the Fort Bend Family Health Clinic; Co- Founder and Co-Chair of the Fort Bend Interfaith Council, an IAF organization; Member of the National Democratic Committee; and Board Member of the Fort Bend Housing Finance Corporation.
Currently, Olivo serves as Chair of Fort Bend County P-16 Regional Council along with business, community, education, and faith based leaders. The Council’s goal is to form partnerships among stake holders to create a college-going culture and increase student access and success rates in post-secondary education for the Fort Bend County Region.
Olivo earned her Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1981 from the University of Houston and maintains a private law practice in Richmond, Texas. She also earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Texas Arts & Industries University, and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Houston. As a former schoolteacher, she worked for 3 years in the Corpus Christi Independent School District and 7 years in the Lamar Consolidated ISD.
Olivo and her husband, Victor Olivo, Jr. live in Rosenberg and have been married for 42 years. They have two sons, Victor III and Geraldo, both graduates of Texas A&M University. Victor III is married to Dawn. They have three children, Victor IV, Roman and Sophia Grace. Geraldo has a daughter, Analise Trinity.
ROSENBERG, TEXAS (April 5, 2012) — Former State Representative Dora Olivo has announced her candidacy for the Texas House of Representatives, District 85. Olivo, a Democrat from Fort Bend County, previously served seven terms in the Texas Legislature. The newly-drawn District 85 includes central and southern Fort Bend County and all of Jackson and Wharton Counties.
"The residents of District 85 deserve experienced leadership and representation in Austin," said Olivo. "I look forward to continuing important work on education, protecting our natural resources, and creating quality jobs for Texans. In my years as an involved citizen and as a public servant, I have found that while none of us have all the answers - we can combine our wisdom to seek the common good and build shared solutions for our children, families and communities."
Olivo previously worked as a Texas public school teacher, and she earned a bachelor's, master's and law degree from Texas universities. She is a tireless community advocate who has helped open doors and pushed for good government at all levels. Unafraid of the challenges ahead, Olivo is committed to working hard for and serving the people of District 85.
While District 85 is new, the difficult decisions facing the Legislature are not. "Our schools have become testing centers rather than the learning centers they should be. We need to let teachers teach-while assessing student achievement on multiple indicators, not limited to standardized testing-and let students immerse themselves in learning. We have to raise the expectation levels of our children, while providing them all the essential tools, in order for them to truly succeed," Olivo said.
Olivo believes economic development and jobs, especially in largely rural areas, are vital to a bright future for Texas. She will continue her fight to keep small business opportunities and incentives available for rural and farming communities.
Olivo lives in Rosenberg with her husband, Victor. They have two sons, Victor III and Geraldo- proud Texas A&M University graduates. Victor is married to Dawn. They have three children Victor IV, Roman and Sophia Grace. Geraldo has a daughter, Analise Trinity.