Representative Rafael Anchia
The Legislative Session
June 6, 2007 at Bent Tree Country Club
Rafael Anchía was elected in November 2004 as the representative of House District 103 in the Texas House of Representatives. District 103 covers a western corridor of Dallas, including parts of North Oak Cliff, West Dallas, La Bajada, Los Altos, Love Field, North Park and portions of the cities of Irving, Farmers Branch and Carrollton.
Rep. Anchía maintains a genuine passion for helping people and true empathy for their struggles and aspirations. These qualities are a byproduct of his personal background and life experience, his extensive travels, varied professional training and numerous public, civic and volunteer commitments. During his first term, Rep. Anchía worked on legislation to fight crime, improve public safety, reform ethics laws and fund health coverage for women and children.
Rep. Anchía is the son of immigrants from Mexico and Spain who came to this great country in search of the American dream. As a child, he watched his mother work her way through college and was proud when she became a public school teacher. His father, who mainly worked nights, emphasized education and taught him the value of taking pride in honest, hard work. As part of his high-quality public school education in a new-immigrant community, he participated in a "court observer" program that inspired him to become a lawyer and enter public service. Rep. Anchía has always viewed educational opportunity and achievement as the gateway to personal and professional fulfillment. Expanding educational opportunities for others is a powerful, driving force underlying his public service.
His high school marks earned him a scholarship to Southern Methodist University, allowing him to triple-major in Latin American Studies, Spanish and Anthropology and graduate with Honors. During college, he attended the Centro Estudiantil Internacional in Madrid, studying Spain's, art, literature, politics and history and their influence in the Americas. A generous scholarship drew Rep. Anchía to Tulane University in New Orleans for his law studies where he concentrated on international and public law. In his legislative advocacy class, he worked on legislation that ultimately became law creating a statewide ombudsman to monitor conditions in Louisiana nursing homes. In law school, Rep. Anchía also served as a volunteer advocate for immigrant detainees denied the benefit of counsel.
Rep. Anchía began his public service at the local level where he was twice elected to the Board of Trustees of the Dallas Independent School District - the nation's 12th largest. During his tenure on the Dallas School Board, he served as First Vice President and chaired the Policy and Governance Committee. During his tenure as a Trustee, he helped lead the successful effort of the Dallas ISD to win public approval of a $1.37 billion school bond package. He is proud that thousands of children in DISD benefit from new, improved and less-crowded classrooms.
Anchía is an attorney with the law firm of Haynes & Boone, LLP. He specializes in public and corporate finance. Previously, he was an attorney with Patton & Boggs LLP for a decade. In addition to his legal work, Rep. Anchía distinguished himself in pro bono service and contributions to his community, earning the national 2000 Patton Boggs Pro Bono Associate of the Year award. The law firm described Rep. Anchía as "someone who has proven his dedication to community service at every level, inspiring partners, associates and staff at the firm."
In 2003, Rep. Anchía also received the "Rising Star" award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas for contributions made to improving the lives of young people in his community. And in 2005, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) honored Rep. Anchía as its national "Man of the Year" at its annual conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.
In November 2006, Anchía won unanimous re-election to the Board of Directors, and was chosen Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) for a three-year term. NALEO is the leading organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the American political process, from citizenship to public service. The national non-profit is a non-partisan organization whose members include the more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials nationwide.
Anchía also is a member of various professional, civic and charitable organizations, among them: the Leadership Dallas Alumni Association, the Dallas Assembly, the SMU Clements Center on Southwest Studies and the Oak Cliff Lions Club.
Most importantly, Rep. Anchía lives in North Oak Cliff with his wife, Marissa, and daughters, Sofia and Maia, and worships with the Catholic Campus Community at SMU.
During his first term, State Rep. Rafael Anchia distinguished himself for his passionate work on a various issues including education, ethics, women's health and fighting crime.
Texas Monthly "Rookie of the Year": Each session, Texas Monthly reviews the Texas Legislature and hands out awards for Best and Worst Legislators. In addition, they offer recognition for Rookies of the Year. Texas Monthly stated, "The Tulane-educated lawyer had big shoes to fill as the successor to perennial Best Legislator Steve Wolens and got off to a promising start as a force in floor debate. His finest moment came during the fight over school vouchers."
During the 79th Session, Rep. Anchia was also named "Freshman of the Year" by the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and a "Top Freshman" by Capitol Inside who wrote of him, "fellow House members got to know Anchia this year as a lawmaker who has the poise, intellect and style to be a major star on some higher level."
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) held their national conference in Little Rock, Arkansas where they awarded the National "Man of the Year" to State Representative Rafael Anchia. Leading up to the national conference, Rep. Anchia had won the Council 101 Man of the Year and the LULAC State of Texas Man of the Year.
Rep. Anchia passed various bills during the 79th Session, including legislation cracking down on prostitution, protecting children from sexual predators, initiating an emerging technology initiative proposed by the governor and giving a preference to contractors who provide health insurance coverage for their employees.