Dalila Reynoso, 36, says she’s running to represent District 3 on the Tyler City Council because she knows what it’s like to be dismissed.

Reynoso grew up in the district near the corner of Selma and Border streets. She now lives in a neighborhood near John Tyler High School and Boulter Middle School.

She went to Texas College and works as the program director for Justice for Our Neighbors, a ministry of the United Methodist Church that promotes immigrant rights.

“I’m running because I know what it feels like to be dismissed or for individuals to not take the time to listen to the concerns or ideas that you may have in the community,” Reynoso said.

She would be the second Hispanic person and first Hispanic woman to sit on the City Council, an achievement she takes pride in and says would represent the district’s growing Hispanic community. She is fluent in Spanish.

“One of the reasons I feel we should be championing for District 3 is I’ve always heard all my life, ‘Oh we’re going to make north Tyler grow,’ but I have yet to see that. It saddens my heart.”

She said her campaign is focusing on engaging residents of the district to share ideas and educating them on the importance of local elections. She said that means knocking on doors nearly every day and riding public transportation with neighbors.

“We say we know what’s in the best interest of District 3 or what they want when we’ve never knocked on their doors,” she said. “We’ve never broke bread with them. We’ve never sat down with them. We’ve never engaged them. We’ve never taken the time really to educate that community.”

Reynoso will not pinpoint one issue that is most important for the district. She said there are several neighborhoods within the district that have different issues, and one may value public safety while the other is worried about roads.

“We don’t have to take humongous, big steps to make progress because those small steps will add up to a big progress that is going to impact the community from Super 1 (Foods) all the way to John Tyler,” Reynoso said.

She has stories of advocating for people on the bus to help get a bus driver to turn the heater on during the winter, and of how it felt to knock on the door of a woman who was so poor that the hinges of her house were falling off.

Reynoso said the city government’s campaign, #TimeToBuild, is focused on infrastructure, but should be focused on building relationships with her community members because they are so marginalized.

She said she would like to be a council member who engages her constituents on important issues like the budget and taxes when making decisions on how to vote.

She said she routinely gives out her phone number and address and corresponds with people through social media. If elected, she said she would continue to engage constituents in whatever way they want.

“You put me in that seat for a reason,” Reynoso said. “If I don’t do my job at the end of the day, then please, take me out.”

TWITTER and INSTAGRAM: @_erinmansfield

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Government Reporter

Erin came to Tyler from Vermont, where she worked for VTDigger.org and previously the Rutland Herald. She received her B.A. in Economics and Spanish from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she also attended journalism school.

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