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Mayor Turner Appoints New Director of Office for People with Disabilities

Mayor Sylvester Turner has appointed Angel Ponce as the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) Director, which provides services and advocacy for Houston residents with disabilities.

He will replace Gabe Cazares who is leaving the municipal government for a role in the non-profit sector.

Ponce is bilingual advocacy and government professional with 11 years of experience in city government. He worked as the Senior Community Engagement Liaison at MOPD between 2014 to 2021.

In 2004, Ponce suffered a spinal cord injury resulting from an automobile
wreck. He is now a wheelchair user.

“As a staunch advocate for the disability community, Angel understands the importance of equal participation and full inclusion of all citizens, including citizens with disabilities,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “I look forward to working with him to ensure that the City continues to be more accessible and inclusive for all Houstonians.”

As a Senior Community Engagement Liaison for MOPD, Ponce provided management support to the Houston Commission on Disabilities (HCOD), served as a translator between legal department attorneys and Spanish-speaking residents, conducted disability awareness workshops for employers and disability etiquette and educational presentations for youth and professionals. He also provided management support in the City of Houston Mayor’s Anti-Gang Office from 2008 to 2014.

Ponce was co-founder of the National Coalition for Latinxs with Disabilities (CNLD) and is currently the Chair for the United Way of Greater Houston, Interagency Information and Referral Network. He holds an associate’s degree from Lone Star College and is currently attending the University of Houston pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Management and Leadership.

Angel Ponce’s appointment is effective July 5, 2022.

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