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Paul Elizondo: El Maestro, Musico, Comisionado
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Imagine a young Mexican-American boy walking through Bexar County Courthouse. It’s just another day at work, shining shoes for those walking in and out of this busy workplace.

(Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo has enjoyed a sterling career as politican, public servant and artist. Our correspondent Diana Arevalo profiles Elizondo in this interview.)

His father works at Kelly field as a watch repairman and his mother

 works at a sewing factory.

Those strolling by don’t look like him or have a Spanish surname. The blond-headed women walk by and ask if he is lost. He smiles and laughs. He knows he won’t shine shoes for the rest of his life. His dreams and ambitions are bigger than any of these people could imagine. He knows that one day he (too) will be like these people and work in the Courthouse.

This is the story of Paul Elizondo.

Today, Paul Elizondo is known to the public as a Bexar County Commissioner, a musician, a teacher and a Marine Corps veteran.

As a child, his parents taught him the importance of being servicial. The idea of serving others was an integral part of his character as a young man. He served as a Cub Scout with Henry B. Gonzalez as his Cub Scout Leader. He was inspired by Gonzalez and men like Gus Garcia.

Elizondo began venturing into music in high school.

“I started in the ninth grade. I was a late bloomer” claims Elizondo whose education continued at St. Mary’s University with a major in music.

He soon embarked on a teaching career that began at Callaghan Middle School in Edgewood ISD.

“I didn’t make much money, but the greatest thing about being a teacher was seeing your students compete in competitions and win,” explained Elizondo. “Even seeing your students jump reading levels were some of the happiest memories of being a teacher.”

While teaching, Elizondo worked as a musician with his band the Paul Elizondo Orchestra to support his family. “Looking back it feels good to know that as a musician, I inspired many of the great Tejano musicians that people see today.”

He enjoyed teaching, and was able to share his passion for music with students as a Band Director in Edgewood ISD and in San Antonio ISD.

Elizondo soon began a career in the political world to change school funding and help his students. According to Elizondo, his mother called everyone she knew and told them that mijo was running for office and his father told everyone at Kelly.

He ran to serve the people as a State Representative and won. “When I won, I felt like Robert Redford in the movie, The Candidate.”

Elizondo explains, “Once I was in the Texas Legislature, I was able to change some things when it came to school funding. I wanted to help the kids. But, overtime and after I left school funding changed. It’s the nature of politics.”

Running to serve on Commissioners Court was an opportunity to be servicial.

“Most of the people who run for office are mostly doctors and lawyers. People go to them when they have problems. I was different. I am a musician and was with people during the happiest moments in their lives whether it was performing at a wedding, a birthday, or



 

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