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VOTE EARLY: OCT. 24 - NOV. 4

ELECTION DAY: TUES. NOV, 8

 

My name is Dr. Manny Gonzalez. I’m a husband to my wife Andrea, the father of three beautiful children, and Austin Community College Trustee #5. I’m running for re-election to the ACC Board of Trustees because I believe that every student should have abundant and affordable access to higher education and guided pathways for economic & social mobility.

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As the son of immigrants, my parents instilled the value of education in my brother and me at a young age. We grew up on a community college campus, watching my mother juggle work and life responsibilities while earning her associate's degree. Watching her grit and resilience as an adult learner left a lasting impression on me and ultimately inspired me to work in the areas of college access, student advocacy, and student success.

Throughout my professional career, academic journey, and civic service, I’ve sought out opportunities to support historically excluded communities in higher education. Seeing first-hand how education opened up pathways for socio/economic mobility in my family, my central goal has always been to increase college enrollment rates and improve credential/degree rates in communities that have been similarly impacted by systemic barriers to success. My B.S. in Management from Trinity University and my M.Ed. & Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership & Policy from the University of Texas-Austin have given me the foundational tools that I’ve used to work in institutions such as the University of Texas at Austin, the Texas Association of Community Colleges, the Texas House of Representatives, and the White House. In each of these roles, I worked to find administrative and policy solutions to removing systemic barriers impacting access, success, and affordability for students. These same areas are central pillars in my service as an ACC trustee. 

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A higher education credential or degree is key to generational prosperity for many historically underserved communities. My passion will always be to work in spaces where I can help address the complex issues of educational equity and access. All students deserve to the opportunity to an academic pathway that leads to their career and life goals. As an ACC trustee, I dedicate my efforts to ensuring Austin Community College lives up to its potential in serving as a positive catalyst for all students and community members in Central Texas. 

my priorities

encouraging student advocacy

Austin Community College must assist students during periods of extreme vulnerability by expanding campus-based advocacy centers that provide robust services and proactive solutions. Vulnerable students facing insecurities of basic needs are often forced to put their education on hold. To combat this, we must provide strategic resources to address the growing needs related to housing, childcare, transportation, emergency financial aid, mental health services, and other issues impacting student success.  

expanding career & technical opportunities

Austin Community College must expand its Career & Technical Education programs in order to meet the workforce demands of Austin. Through program expansion, ACC will create more opportunities for students to enroll in high-demand, critical-need programs in fields such as nursing, manufacturing, and cybersecurity where our graduates are able to earn competitive industry wages while also bolstering the local economy. Program growth can be accomplished by expanding existing CTE training pathways throughout the district and by creating bew accelerated programs that teach high-demand skills. These efforts will lead to post-secondary industry certifications, degrees, and other workforce credentials valued in Central Texas’ growing economy. 

supporting
stop-out students

Austin Community College must play a critical role in re-recruiting, enrolling, and supporting stop-out students in effort to help them complete their credential or degree.  There are over 2 million Texans who have some college credit, but no credential or degree. These students placed their hopes and aspirations on the promise of higher education but have been unable to reap the benefits afforded to graduates, often due to life circumstances. Supporting these students will greatly improve their life and career outcomes and will help grow Austin’s talented workforce.

supporting acc
staff and faculty

Austin’s cost of living is soaring and our staff & faculty pay has not kept up. As more and more Austinites are priced out of their home, we must ensure that the people who are educating our students are shown respect and appreciation by providing staff & faculty pay that acknowledges their commitment to our students. I will work to increase ACC staff & faculty salaries, to explore strategies to tie salaries with market conditions, and to seek additional support services and policies that will aid in the retention of our talented staff & faculty.