How DA José Garza is Transforming Criminal JusticeFrom 2PAC’s in the closing seconds of “Picture Me Rollin’” to verses by Notorious B.I.G., Boosie Badazz, and Juvenile, district attorneys have long been maligned in rap culture for their historically punitive stances, especially toward communities of color. But if Travis County DA José Garza gets his way, that may be changing in the capital city.
Raised in San Antonio, Garza’s path to becoming Austin’s chief prosecutor was an unlikely one. As a child, his parents (both of whom were involved in Texas’ Chicano movement) instilled in him a passion for advocacy and an eye for inequity. The numerous rallies and marches stuck with him until, as a law student in Washington, D.C., he decided to harness his activism through litigation.