Hello, my name is Victor Treviño III. Thank you for your interest in my candidacy to become your next Justice of the Peace for Precinct 6, Place 1. I am asking for your support and vote in the Primary Election on March 3, 2020.
What is a Justice of the Peace?
When the Texas Legislature created the Justice of the Peace position back in the 1800s, knowing this position would be limited in the scope of their legal authority, they purposely prioritized our Justices being products of the community they would represent. A Justice of the Peace only hears trials of criminal matters involving traffic violations and Class C misdemeanors punishable by fine only. A Justice of the Peace also hears civil cases not to exceed $10,000 dollars; this will increase to $20,000 on September 1, 2020. Many of the cases that come before the Justice of the Peace courts are landlord / tenant disputes, towing or booted vehicle violation disputes, juvenile violations such as truancy and/or underage drinking and smoking, and writs such as re-entry to apartments and possession of property.
My Roots in Precinct 6
My family’s roots of four generations go back 100 years in Precinct 6. My great-grandfather moved his family into Precinct 6’s Fifth Ward (El Crisol) neighborhood where I still have family today. Another great-grandfather moved his family into Precinct 6’s Northside, where my 90-year young grandmother still lives today, right behind Poppa Burger.
My mother, Harris County Precinct 6 Constable Silvia Trevino, was born in Fifth Ward’s El Crisol and raised in Northside, attending and graduating from Looscan Elementary, Marshall Middle School, and Jeff Davis (now Northside) High School. My father, retired Harris County Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino Jr., immigrated to America over 60 years ago.
My father and his family settled in Precinct 6’s Second Ward neighborhood where he was raised, attending and graduating from Lubbock Elementary, Jackson (now Navarro) Middle School, and Stephen F. Austin High School.
I was born in Precinct 6’s Northside, and was baptized at Holy Name Catholic Church. It was special to attend catholic school at the same church where my parents were married over 47 years ago. Eventually my parents moved our family to Precinct 6’s East End, where I attended and graduated from Cage Elementary, Jackson (now Navarro) Middle School, and Stephen F. Austin High School. I am a parishioner at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in the heart of Precinct 6’s Second Ward, where I received the rest of my sacraments. I am extremely proud of the fact that I, along with my siblings, my parents, and all my uncles and aunts have graduated from HISD public schools in Precinct 6.
Work and Education
A strong work ethic was instilled in me at a very early age. I started earning my own money cutting grass when I was only 13 years old making money for the summer, eventually becoming a grocery sacker at Fiesta on Wayside at 16 years of age. After graduating Austin High School, I worked in the corporate world at EZ Pawn, becoming their youngest manager in the history of the company running one of their multimillion-dollar pawn shops at only 20 years of age. After five years with EZ Pawn, I decided to go back to college, beginning at Houston Community College (HCC), eventually transferring to University of Houston Main Campus. During my time in college, I waited tables at Pappasito’s (Richmond and Kirby). After a couple of years of waiting tables, I accepted a role as bar manager at The Cellar Bar on Richmond (between Kirby and Buffalo Speedway). After a year of managing The Cellar Bar, my friend and business partner Markos Pappas and I decided to buy the bar, which we owned and operated for the next five years.
After graduating the University of Houston Main Campus with a degree in History, I decided to sell my half of the bar and become a teacher at my alma mater, Stephen F. Austin High School. Throughout my 13 years here at Stephen F. Austin High School as a teacher, I have been a proud union member of the Houston Federation of Teachers (HFT); becoming one of our HFT union stewards for the past 8 years. In 2017 I went back to school and earned my Master’s in Education in Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston Main Campus. During my tenure here at Austin High, I have been elected by my school colleagues to our school wide Shared Decision-Making Committee (SDMC) for the past 8 years.
HISD also has a District Advisory Committee (DAC) which 15 teachers throughout the district are elected by their 12,000 colleagues to represent them on this committee; I have been elected to the DAC for the past 6 years.
For the past 3 years during Austin’s construction process, I have had the pleasure of serving on our Project Advisory Team (PAT). Throughout my 13 years here at Austin, I have gone before the HISD school board countless times fighting for more equitable resource allocation for our students, fair pay standards and treatment for our teachers and support staff, and ensuring our students did not get bussed to schools far away during the construction of our new building.
I have also been a relentless advocate for the preservation of my community’s established history, culture, and identity during so many changes that have recently taken place in the surrounding neighborhoods around the City of Houston.
Goals as Justice of the Peace
Along with adjudicating cases in a fair and impartial manner, I want to redefine the role of the Justice of the Peace in Harris County. I plan to use this position to empower our students and residents through engagement and knowledge with a better understanding of our judicial system. I plan to go back to our schools with programs similar to Judges at Work in Schools (JAWS). I want to help all our community become more informed of the difference between a criminal and civil procedure, the difference between a state and federal statue, and how some overlap. I want to ensure our community know the difference between misdemeanor and felony violations, and the range of penalties that apply to each respectfully. I plan to go out to our schools and communities and make sure our parents and students are aware of the new truancy laws and how these laws affect them. I want everyone in our community to know as a landlord or tenant, each have certain rights, as well as responsibilities under the law.
Knowing your rights and responsibilities are crucial in having our laws work for everyone, especially to ensure everyone has an opportunity to have their voice heard. I plan to continuing to use my voice to bring awareness to concerns and advocate for my community on issues that affect us all as residents of Precinct 6.
With your support and your vote on March 3, 2020, I look forward to serving you and continuing to fight for you, your loved ones, and our community as your new Harris County Justice of the Peace for Precinct 6, Place 1.
Thank you for your support and God bless,
Victor Trevino III