I knew at a young age that public service would be a big part of my life.
I remember driving past the state capitol in Austin, looking out from the back of our family pickup truck. We were migrant farm workers traveling from south Texas to work in agricultural jobs throughout the mid-west.
I said, "I'm going to work at the Capitol someday."
I have the experience and proven record of leadership for Texas.
I served as a state legislator for twenty years. I came to be known as the "people's representative" for fighting for the working people of Texas. I worked as an Assistant Attorney General and served on community boards and commissions.
Roberto worked at the Texas Capitol as a Legislative Aide for the late Senator Carlos Truan D-Corpus Christi.
Roberto worked as a Coordinator for the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, San Antonio. He worked under the founder, the late William "Willie" Velasquez.
Roberto worked as a paralegal for Legal Aid Texas in Corpus Christi.
Roberto attended the Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University - Houston., receiving a Jurisprudence Doctorate. He was elected President of the Chicano Law Student Association.
Roberto passed the bar after clerking for the Texas Attorney General's office under the leadership of the late AG Jim Mattox, then became a full time attorney with the AGs office in Austin, Texas.
Roberto, his wife Sylvana, and infant son, moved to Dallas. He opened his law practice and has been an attorney for thirty-five years.
Roberto was elected State Representative, becoming the first Hispanic elected to the House of Representatives in north Texas. He served for twenty years, representing parts of Dallas, Grand Prairie, Irving, and the City of Cockrell Hill.
Roberto has been very active in the Texas Democratic Party. He currently serves as Chair, MAD Texas; Texas Delegate & National Delegate 8 times, Adelante Con Clinton, Chair
Roberto and his colleagues skipped the legislative session by traveling to Oklahoma to prevent a quorum - they stopped the Republicans from pushing an unfair redistricting plan and vote. Roberto and the Democratic Legislators came to be known as the Killer Ds.
Roberto served on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Board, Chambers of Commerce, Little League President, Arts non-profit member and supported countless community organizations and projects. Charter Member, Mexican American Bar Association - Dallas.
Married to Sylvana for 35 years; they have three adult children and reside in Dallas, Texas.
Roberto was born and raised in Crystal City, Texas. He was fourth of eleven siblings. Son of Maria Rivera & Emeterio Alonzo, Jr.
At age 12, Roberto participated in the 1969 school walkout in Crystal City, Texas. He joined hundreds of students, supported by family, to end discriminatory practices. They were successful in effecting change.
Roberto excelled as class president and member of the Student Council. And was active in sports and extra curricular activities, including band and theater. He graduated in the top ten of his class.
Roberto served as Student Representative on the Crystal City ISD School Board at age 16.
Roberto worked as a para-legal part-time at the Legal Aid Office, sparking his interest in becoming an attorney.
Roberto attended UT Austin where he majored in Political Science. He made history when he was the first Hispanic elected president of the UT Student Government.