Tania Chozet, El Paso City Council District 7 candidate
NAME: Tania Chozet
OFFICE YOU SEEK: City Representative, District 7
OCCUPATION: Attorney/Policy Analyst
EDUCATION: Pasodale Elementary, Ysleta High School, Yale University (B.A.), University of San Francisco School of Law (J.D.)
FAMILY: In El Paso, I have my mother Linda, father David and significant other Kevin. My younger sister, Tara, lives in Connecticut, where she works for ESPN.
1) NUMBER-ONE CAMPAIGN FOCUS: As it relates to El Paso, my number one campaign focus is bringing more jobs, and high wage jobs, in particular, to El Paso by attracting new corporations and industries here. We owe it to El Pasoans to give our children the option to stay in El Paso, curb the “brain drain,” and give our local residents a higher standard of living through better paychecks, which, in turn, will give the City more tax dollars for amazing quality-of-life projects.
As it relates to District 7, my number one campaign focus is getting back to the basics: ensuring that the City is regularly repaving and restriping roads, fixing potholes and maintaining our parks and recreational facilities so that local taxpayers get full advantage of their tax dollars at work.
2) WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM YOUR OPPONENTS? What sets me apart from my opponents is my experience in the public and private sectors and proven track record. Prior to law school, I spent eight years working in the private sector. I worked for a software company outside of Washington, D.C., where I consulted at various Fortune 500 companies. Following that experience, I worked at Gap Inc., the clothing company, where I managed a multi-million dollar technology project and earned recognition in the top five percent of employees for my effective management of that project.
After law school, I did federal policy work on immigration and border issues at a local non-profit until I was appointed County Commissioner, after former County Commissioner Willie Gandara resigned in disgrace in early 2012. I gave up my previous job to served on the County Commissioners Court for nine months full-time, during which time I was part of an administration that was focused on cleaning up the mess of so many inefficient and ineffective administrations before it. We instituted many accountability measures for employees like the Staffing Review Committee, which I was on, which required all management to justify their need for any additional employees requested by proving that their current processes were efficient and that adding an additional employee was the best use of resources.
For my precinct, my priorities were the many constituent requests that I received and accomplished during my short time in office: a community garden for which the local residents and I did all the labor (with the help of the juvenile probationers), paid for with a grant from the YMCA; three new mid-day bus routes, paid for with a federal grant; replacing over 100 missing street signs; and installing new street lights in front of previously vandalized mail boxes.
3) RELEVANT EXPERIENCE THAT QUALIFIES YOU FOR THE POSITION YOU SEEK:
See the answer to question two above.
4) IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO REVOKE ONE ORDINANCE IN EL PASO IMMEDIATELY UPON TAKING OFFICE, WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE? I would revoke the ordinance related to prohibition of aggressive panhandling. It seemed to me to be such a waste of time, because it’s really a non-issue here in El Paso. Tell me, how many of us have ever been subject to aggressive panhandling here? I’ve never witnessed it. Let’s get to work improving the local economy and providing effective and efficient services instead of spending time on non-issues!
5) DESCRIBE A MOMENT THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE:
One moment that changed my life was when I was appointed County Commissioner in March of 2012. I never imagined that I would want to serve in public office. While it’s been a sacrifice in terms of my personal life, it’s so satisfying to serve the community I was raised in. I’m not doing this to pad my retirement, add to my resume or because I’ve always dreamt of being in public office. Quite the contrary: I am doing this because I believe in this community and because I believe we deserve better and honest leaders.
6) IN WHAT WAYS IS EL PASO ON THE RIGHT TRACK, AND IN WHAT WAYS DOES IT NEED TO CHANGE COURSE?
El Paso is on the right track in terms of its desire to progress, but that progression needs to start with more and better paying jobs. The more companies and new industries we bring to El Paso, the better our local economy and standard of living will be. Importantly, this will also broaden our tax base and give the City more money to afford those quality-of-life projects that we want to be able offer our residents.
7) IF ELECTED, HOW WILL YOU BALANCE THE NEEDS OF FAMILY, YOUR CAREER AND YOUR OFFICE? I don’t have children, so that won’t be an issue, but I tend to work more than I should. Luckily, I have a partner who has a similarly busy schedule, so it works out.
8) WHEN AND WHY DID YOU COME TO EL PASO (IF APPLICABLE)? I was born and raised in El Paso, but left after high school to attend college at Yale. I moved back to El Paso after law school and after being away for sixteen years, because I missed my family and I missed home. I love El Paso, and it was time for me to move back and invest in its future. All those years I lived away, my mother never failed to remind me that, “El Paso needs me more than any other city needs me.”
9) PLEASE INDICATE WHETHER YOU HAVE A WEBSITE, TWITTER OR FACEBOOK ACCOUNT:
My web site is at http://www.chozetforelpaso.com.
My Facebook page is at http://www.facebook.com/TaniaChozet.