Local state representative announces run for Bexar County Judge

SAN ANTONIO - A local state representative is announcing her run for Bexar County Judge.

Representative Ina Minjarez, a Democrat who represents House District 124 on the west side of San Antonio made a formal announcement Monday. She also just released a new video with her announcement.

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Commentary: SB 8 doesn't end fight for abortion rights in Texas

September 30, 2021

Senate Bill 8, otherwise known as the “six-week ban,” has been law for a month, and Texans already are feeling its insidious effects.

Fearful of frivolous lawsuits, three abortion clinics in San Antonio have stopped offering abortions. Recently, one of our own community members, Dr. Alan Braid, chose to uphold the oath he took out of a duty to care for his patient and performed an abortion despite the state’s newest restriction.

This brave decision has led to expensive lawsuits from two out-of-state plaintiffs, one seeking damages up to $100,000, plus the cost of attorney’s fees. The plaintiff is not from our community, nor does he have a vested interest in this community, but he could be awarded at least $10,000 because Dr. Braid made the right choice for his patient.

SB 8 forces Texans to make impossible health care choices and empowers anti-abortion activists to use our legal system to harass those who choose to do the right thing. As U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland stated, “Texas enacted SB 8 in open defiance of the Constitution.”

We know SB 8, and other attacks on a person’s right to choose, will not end abortions. They will only make abortion care more difficult and dangerous to obtain, especially for the most vulnerable. Abortion is, and always will be, essential health care.

SB 8 is more than just an anti-abortion bill. It is a direct challenge to our judicial system, democracy and Constitution. While the six-week ban is a massive attack on our constitutional right to choose, there are also unprecedented legal provisions in SB 8.

In May, when SB 8 came to the House floor for a vote, I was prepared to offer several amendments addressing concerns regarding the bill’s private cause of action clause. “Private cause of action” means that anyone can sue another person suspected of providing, aiding or abetting an abortion. Effectively, enforcement is not the state’s responsibility but instead is bounty-style process with rewards of at least $10,000.

The actual reach of these provisions has yet to be seen, and the bill leaves us with more questions than answers on what will constitute “aiding and abetting.” It is nearly impossible to obtain an abortion without support or assistance in some manner. A woman may interact with dozens of professionals, not just the physician performing the abortion. She may seek consultation with her family, friends and religious leaders before making a decision. And once she has decided to move forward with the process, she may need a ride — by way of public transportation, Uber or Lyft, and she may need financial assistance through her bank, a loan or donations. Under SB 8, any of the people involved, whether or not they support the choice she makes, are at risk of being sued.

The Texas Women’s Health Caucus, or TWHC, led the legislative fight against SB 8. Members of the TWHC and I prepared amendments, debated and appealed to our colleagues with data and public opinion to convince them to vote against the bill. We worked in tandem with advocacy groups to facilitate discussions about the consequences Texans would face if the bill became law and amplified the messages of hundreds of Texans who testified against the bill in committee. Ultimately, we could not stop the six-week ban from passing.

However, hope is not lost.

San Antonians, we will not waiver in our commitment to fight against these attacks in the Capitol and in the courts. SB 8 is unlike anything we have seen before — a de facto prohibition on abortions.

We can overcome this egregious barrier that seeks to divide communities and turn neighbors against each other, but it will not be a simple or short road. Please talk to the people in your networks and help spread the facts about this bill and the negative impacts it will have. If you can, please donate to or volunteer with organizations in the community doing this important work.

If you are a person seeking abortion care, please visit needabortion.org for information on abortion care in Texas. Together we will overcome this unconstitutional attack on our rights. We find solace in the knowledge that the fight for freedom is never over, but justice can be found along the way. We hope you stand with us.

Ina Minjarez has served as state representative for House District 124 since 2015 and is the Texas Women’s Health Caucus whip. The caucus has 52 members and includes San Antonio state Reps. Diego Bernal, Liz Campos, Barbara Gervin-Hawkins and Trey Martinez Fischer.

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Rep. Minjarez requests Gov. Abbott to address foster care crisis in special session

June 25, 2021

Rep. Ina Minjarez is requesting that Gov. Greg Abbott address the foster care capacity crisis in the upcoming special session.  

The special session is scheduled to held on July 8.

Rep. Minjarez tweeted Friday morning that she sent a letter to the governor, pressing the urgency of the topic.

"This morning I sent a letter to Governor Abbott requesting that the upcoming special session call include addressing the foster care capacity crisis. In the last 21 months, 23 children have died while in state custody. We cannot afford to wait another day to address this issue."

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New Texas laws aim to keep kids out of foster care who don't need to be there

June 23, 2021

“Ensuring that when parents or any perpetrator is accused of abuse or neglect, that the department do its due diligence and inform them of their rights and the processes involved,” State Rep. Minjarez explains.

Those rights include recording interactions, like the Brights did, and calling for a review of an investigation’s findings.

“We saw that those who did take advantage of an administrative review - it's like an appeal - there was a high percentage of those findings that were overturned,” State Rep. Minjarez says.

Other new laws raise the standards for neglect and allow caregivers in abuse cases to seek a second medical opinion.

Altogether, the new laws are meant to hold the system accountable.

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Stalled federal funding for schools an 'emergency item,' says San Antonio lawmaker

April 9, 2021

Ina Minjarez represents the west and northwest sides of San Antonio in the Texas House of Representatives.

She sits on the appropriations committee and is the vice chair of the federal relief funds sub-committee.

She says some states have already been sending money directly to school districts.

“For some reason leadership has requested clarity and we are waiting for answers,” Minjarez said.

Minjarez isn't sure when Governor Greg Abbott and other state leaders began asking for a closer look at the federal fine print.

“At what point do you stop waiting and start demanding answers,” Minjarez said. “As we keep waiting the clock is ticking, we’re losing these kids. There’s a learning gap there and it’s just growing.”

The current legislative session wraps up at the end of May.

Minjarez says she and her colleagues are willing to be called back for a special session, but that call is left up to the governor.

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Child deaths from abuse on the rise since beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, new report says

March 29th 2021

Texas House Member Ina Minjarez, who represents the Southwest Side of San Antonio, is authoring House Bill 1009, which would make it a felony to have knowledge of child abuse and not report it.

Rep Minjarez gave the following statement:

"Our top child abuse reporters are teachers, medical professionals, and law enforcement with family members fourth. Due to increased community messaging of child abuse prevention awareness, there has been an increase of relative reporting with them representing approximately 8% of total reports made each year. Friends and Neighbors who are often close to a child represent only 3% of total reports made each year.

"All Texan children deserve to grow up in a caring and loving environment, yet across our state, hundreds of thousands of children are neglected or abused each year, often causing lasting consequences. The purpose of HB 1009 is to encourage and create an incentive for those closest to a child with knowledge of serious bodily Injury to report more than what they do today. Child abuse can occur in any family, regardless of socio-economic status, religion, education, or ethnic background. Unfortunately, Texas continues to lead the nation in child fatalities and this bill, if passed, will help to set the appropriate tone for protection and prevention of life lost due to abuse and neglect."

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As child abuse thrives in pandemic, lawmakers considers ways to keep kids safe

January 20, 2021

They were coming across families that were struggling with domestic violence, drug abuse, substance abuse, homelessness,” Wilcoxson says.

She’s pushing for a new law to require managers to be trained in preventing and spotting child abuse.

It’s one of six bills she’s drafted alongside State Representative Ina Minjarez (D – San Antonio) to improve child welfare in Texas.

"Why is this the right time to do it? 2021, during a pandemic?” Baucum asks.

"We can no longer keep kicking the can down the road,” State Rep. Minjarez answers. "The stress level is high. And undoubtedly there is an increase in neglect and abuse back home."

Another bill they’re working on echoes the tragedy of baby King Jay Davila, found dead in a backpack. It would require people to report serious bodily injury of a child due to abuse and neglect, and stiffen penalties for those who don’t.

"This is going to capture those children that we often see on the news that were killed and somebody knew about it,” Wilcoxson says.

"If a family member outcries and brings attention to what's going on in that home, children's lives will be saved,” State Rep. Minjarez adds.

Four more bills would ensure families being investigated and kids going into foster homes are told their legal rights upfront. Those rights include calling for a review of an investigation’s findings - an extra set of checks and balances for the system.

"It's anticipated that's going to be a game changer,” Wilcoxson says.

Altogether, both advocates say the bills would streamline resources so caseworkers can focus on families with the most needs.

"There are times when a family may just need some wraparound services and then get them out of the system,” State Rep. Minjarez says.

Lawmakers have a lot on their plates this session, especially the pandemic, the budget and redistricting.

State Rep. Minjarez hopes hearings on these bills can take place in March or April. We’ll follow it the whole way for you.

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Texas lawmakers to seek LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws - and economic boost

October 30, 2020

“More than two-thirds of Texas support this basic concept of fairness, opportunity and respect for LGBTQ Texans who deserve to belong and to be themselves in every space,” said Rep. Ina Minjarez, a San Antonio Democrat.

Lawmakers, business leaders and experts joined a panel hosted by the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce to discuss the potential economic benefits of new inclusivity laws.

By 2025, the economic impact of LGBTQ protections for employment, housing and access to public places would bring in $1.4 billion and nearly 13,000 jobs to the San Antonio area, according to the study by the Perryman Group, a Waco-based economic analysis firm.

Across the state, such laws would help generate more than 180,200 jobs, said the report that calculated figures out to 2045.

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Meet State Rep. Ina Minjarez

In her Know Your Electeds interview, Minjarez talks about co-authoring a bill to protect Texas students from cyberbullying. Working in the legislature, she says, requires being understanding of others. “We’re different all over the state.”

Minjarez has represented Texas’s 124th district since 2015. On her commute she listens to Lizzo.

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A Rep’s Push For More Female Leaders In The Texas House

San Antonio Democrat Ina Minjarez, along with Rep. Donna Howard, are urging lawmakers to make gender diversity on House committees a priority.

“We’re looking at a first-time, record number of women running for the Texas House. We’re looking at bringing in possibly 14 new female members,” Minjarez said in an interview with the Texas Standard. “The composition of the House is changing; it’s starting to reflect the population of the state. And so many of the women coming in and many of my female colleagues who have served continuously for a number of sessions have been overlooked for these committee appointments and assignments.”

Minjarez said Texas has never before had a female House speaker. And while that could change as more women are elected to the House, she also said whomever the speaker is, they’ll need to prioritize equity and diversity on House committees.

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We women of the Texas House want a fair shot at leadership positions in the next Legislature

Even when factoring in party affiliation, these disparities are evident. For example, Democrats hold 12 committee chairs and only two of those are held by women — just 17% despite the fact that women make up 39% of the Democratic Caucus. Nor does the seniority system of the House explain the gender gap in committee appointments as first-year, male House members were appointed to the Appropriations, State Affairs and Public Education committees while no freshman woman was granted this distinction. There are no credible excuses for leaving women out of these appointment opportunities in the House.

When women are excluded from these leadership positions, they do not have seats at the table when it comes to the most important decisions. The late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg famously said: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” May she rest in power as her legacy and the work of so many of our fierce foremothers inspire women daily, like Shirley Chisholm who admonished, “if they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” This is our call to action.

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Local schools watching homeless student population creep into the middle class

August 25, 2020

"It's opened a lot of people's eyes,” says State Rep. Ina Minjarez (D - San Antonio).

She wants to fix the digital divide. During the switch to online learning, schools lost touch with students most at risk of homelessness.

"We were not prepared. There wasn't the technology that was needed to give to every student. The superintendents really had to step up,” State Rep. Minjarez says.

"You can buy all the Chromebooks you want. If they can't connect to the internet, they're useless,” Baucum says.

"That's right. And I think that's a discussion we're having,” State Rep. Minjarez says. "I just hope that these telecom companies understand that they need to come to the table and they're very critical in this discussion."

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New report reveals 'disjointed & dangerous' Texas child welfare system

July 9, 2020

State Rep. Ina Minjarez (D - San Antonio) wants to speak with monitors to see how they think lawmakers can help make the system better.

“It’s very disheartening,” she describes the more than 300-page report. “And it’s bringing to light deficiencies that I don’t think, as a lawmaker, I would know about.”

She says the most disturbing finding: far too many homes, shelters and centers where children are placed are not living up to their promises.

“I can’t have children keep being placed in these placements and possibly be in danger,” State Rep. Minjarez says.

Three deaths this year are highlighted in the report.

"There’s no accountability. It’s unconscionable to have children in care die,” State Rep. Minjarez says.

In February, a 14-year-old girl collapsed and died inside a residential treatment center. Staff waited 37 minutes to call 911 because they thought they needed permission.

In April, a 3-year-old boy died after being found unconscious with blood coming out of his ear. The report details how hotlines calls sparked two abuse investigations into his foster caregivers but Child Protective Services workers did not remove the boy from the home.

Later in April, a 15-year-old girl hanged herself in the bathroom of an emergency shelter. Because of her mental health history, she was supposed to be monitored at all times. But security video showed it took staff 30 minutes to find her.

“We are fully responsible if something happens to a child in our care. This is a situation that we can’t be silent on. This needs to be a priority,” State Rep. Minjarez says.

The report also found thousands of calls to the state’s abuse hotline go unanswered.

“Is that acceptable?” reporter Emily Baucum asks.

“Not acceptable at all,” State Rep. Minjarez answers. “So we’ve got to figure out what is going on here. Is there a lack of people who are available in the position to answer these calls? Ignoring possible reports of possible neglect and abuse is just unacceptable.”

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San Antonio Express-News Endorses Minjarez in Nov Election

"Minjarez deserves re-election in District 124"



Representative Minjarez Releases List of General Election Endorsements


American Federation of Teachers

Annie’s List

Bexar County Deputies Association

Bexar County Adult Probation Officers Association

Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas

Humane Legislative Network PAC

Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club

San Antonio Fire & Police Pensioners' Association

San Antonio Police Officers Association

San Antonio Professional Firefighters Association

San Antonio Board of Realtors

San Antonio Apartment Association

Stonewall Democrats of SA


Texas Association of Realtors

 Texas Farm Bureau

Texas Humane Legislation Network


Texas Society of Anesthesiologists  

Texas State Employees Union

Texas State Teachers Association

Texas Trial Lawyers Association




Texas Dental Association


I am very thankful to every organization and to their members for recognizing my commitment to the residents of House District 124, Bexar County, and Texas.