The East End District is pleased to announce that Veronica Chapa Gorczynski is one of few prominent Texas leaders proudly inducted into Texas Lyceum, a nonpartisan, statewide leadership organization focused on identifying the state’s future leaders and providing a forum for civil discourse on the policy discussions facing Texas.
Veronica’s induction into Texas Lyceum comes when various civic organizations at the local and state level have sounded the alarm about the importance of Latino leaders in the public and private sectors. Some of these organizations have identified areas such as economic development, education, housing and job training where Latinos holding leadership positions can make a difference. “It is critical to the success of our collective future that we continue to train more Latinos for statewide leadership positions,” said Chapa Gorczynski.
Today, Hispanics have become the second largest population group throughout Texas. In fact, by 2022, Hispanics are expected to become the largest population group in the state. This demographic shift will lead to more accountability and robust leadership among Latinos in Texas.
Born and raised in the border community of McAllen, Texas, Chapa Gorczynski spent her childhood living in two different cultures and traveling between two countries. She remembers visiting her maternal grandparents in the Las Milpas colonia and weekend drives to visit her paternal Grandmother in Alice, Texas. Those early experiences marked a defining moment that inspired her to serve in the public sector to improve underserved Hispanic communities throughout Texas. Chapa Gorczynski explained, “I started my career in community development because I couldn’t understand why my paternal grandmother had a water well and my maternal grandparents sourced their water from irrigation canals.” She added, “It’s important to note that it wasn’t a citizenship or utility issue. They were simply poor and under-resourced.”
Over the years, her career has progressed to include experience managing over a half-billion dollars in state and federal grants, critical work in regional community engagement efforts, and working with a team on some of the first place-based investments in Houston. Today, she serves as the president of the East End District. In this role, she manages the District’s $3.4 million budget that provides services related to capital improvements, graffiti abatement, maintenance of major thoroughfare and public safety throughout the 16 square-mile area adjacent to Downtown Houston. Houston’s historic East End is booming, attracting buyers and investors from all over the country to invest in the East End’s residential and commercial buildings. One of her biggest challenges is merging the newcomers with the existing residents in the historic neighborhood. “We have to work to honor and preserve our history as we grow into our next prominent role for Houston.
Chapa Gorczynski’s vision for participating in the six-year Texas Lyceum program is two-fold: including supporting efforts to further build the pipeline of Houston’s Latino/a leaders and raising the profile of East End Houston as the investment destination for urban manufacturing. Gorczynski holds two masters degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and two bachelors degree from the University of Texas-San Antonio.