Judge Lina Hidalgo’s family fled their home country of Colombia as gang violence ravaged the country. Her parents had two goals: to make sure she had a good education and to get the family to a safer place to live. After living in Peru and Mexico for a time, they arrived in the United States in 2005 when she was 14. She went on to study political science at Stanford University and was the first in her family to attend college. She became a United States citizen in the same year she earned her degree.
After the 2016 elections, Hidalgo decided that she could not sit back and wait for the changes she wanted to see, so she decided to run for election in her home county. Harris County is the third largest county in our nation with a population of nearly 5 million people. Judge Lina Hidalgo is the head of Harris County’s governing body. She is the first woman to be elected County Judge and only the second to be elected to the Commissioners Court.
She has focused her time on serving Harris County’s most vulnerable communities — from working at the Texas Civil Rights Project, to serving as a Spanish-English medical interpreter at the Texas Medical Center and supporting immigrants in search of lost loved ones. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she listened to health experts and scientists to provide the best policies to save lives and prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Harris County. Despite facing significant opposition from the largely Republican county, Hidalgo called for closings and mask mandates early on in the pandemic. Hidalgo was questioned and harassed over her decisions to put the safety of the residents first.
Judge Hidalgo plays an important advocacy role for the County. Judge Hidalgo works to ensure her region remains competitive only through proactive and creative leadership on issues like flood control, transportation, criminal justice reform, and education. She is committed to ensuring that the Harris County government is transparent, accessible, and accountable to every resident. She wants Harris County to be a place where everyone can attain the American Dream.