Jessica Ortega-Ochoa, born and raised in Mission, has filed for re-election for Mission City Council, Place 1 for the May election. Councilwoman Ortega-Ochoa was elected to a four year term in 2014 and would like to continue to promote safety, school district partnerships and economic development.
“I will continue to do what is in the best interest of our beautiful city of Mission. I will listen to the needs of my constituents and fight for what is fair for our employees and their families,” Ochoa said.
Councilwoman Ortega-Ochoa is the daughter of Luis and Adela Ortega of Mission. She has been married to Rafael Ochoa Jr. for 17 years, and they have two children Ralph and Lauren.
Ortega-Ochoa attended Pearson Elementary, Mission Junior High School and graduated from Mission High School in 1992. She attended the University of Texas–Pan American where she received a bachelor’s’ degree in Communication-Journalism in 1997. She later entered a master’s program and received a Master of Science in Social Work in 2005.
Councilwoman Ochoa is employed as the Life Skills Coach at La Joya I.S.D. Juarez-Lincoln High School. She helps students to increase daily attendance, decrease the dropout rate and ultimately receive a high school diploma.
“I have enjoyed providing support interventions to families and students by providing them skills to help be a successful member of our society,” said Ortega-Ochoa. “This is a rewarding vocation.”
Councilwoman Ortega-Ochoa is also the Secretary of the Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association. The mission of RGVDA is to promote a health community by minimizing the impact of diabetes in Hidalgo County.
“Being a part of an organization like this, that helps to enhance the quality of life for people impacted by diabetes through education is extremely gratifying and worthwhile,” she said. “We want to make a difference and encourage people to stay healthy.”
Over the years, Ortega-Ochoa has received numerous recognition awards for her service to her community. She was named 2007 Mission Woman of the Year for her service with victim advocacy. In 2016, she received the Public Official of the Year Award from the National Association of Social Workers Texas LRGV Branch.
“One of my goals is to bring social services and area agencies into Mission to help our citizens with their needs,” Ortega-Ochoa said. “With over 90,000 citizens in our city, we should not have to refer to surrounding cities for assistance. I would like to establish a Neighborhood Center to provide a variety of social services to low- and moderate-income families in need here at home.”
“We have the Mission Food Pantry that helps those in need with food and clothing. I would like to see seasonal program services and crisis intervention incorporated to help assist all those families,” she added.
Ortega-Ochoa said she wants to continue her work as a public servant, to be the voice of the community and its constituents.
“Mission has been the community that has made me the proud woman that I am today. I believe that every opinion counts and all voices should be heard, which is why I am seeking re-election,” said Ortega-Ochoa. “I want to continue to be your voice. I want to combine my experience, dedication, leadership and life experience to work together in uniting Mission.”
Councilwoman Ortega-Ochoa said her proudest accomplishment is finding homes for cats and dogs that the Mission Animal Control Department picks up daily.
“I vividly remember the day I visited our animal shelter. I left that day saying that I had to act to make sure all the furry animals found homes. I immediately called our City Manager Martin Garza and shared my ideas with him. Then the city began a campaign called Mission Pawsible,” Ortega-Ochoa said.
Mission Pawsible is a website that lists animals available for adoption or that may be lost.
“I’m so proud of all the committee members who helped make this project so successful,” Councilwoman Ortega-Ochoa said. “Our employees work so hard in the care of these animals. I can’t wait to have our actual adoption center. For now we host adoption days so the community can come and see the animals that are available and help them find forever homes.”
Ortega-Ochoa also strongly believes in continuing to revitalize the heart of the Mission downtown area.
“There is so much culture in our city. The increase of activity in our downtown area will give us the opportunity to attract new business,” she said. “I’m looking forward to our new 2.5-acre Leo Pena Placita Park Mobility Improvement Project. This will bring families together in a traditional outdoor stage setting for numerous community events.”
Ortega-Ochoa said her family has a long legacy of public service.
“My family has always instilled in me that it is so important to give back to our community. I have followed in the footsteps of the many inspirational leaders in my family. Giving back is something I love. I will continue to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the office with the utmost competency, integrity and dignity,” she said.
“It will be my honor to receive your vote to continue to be your voice on May 5, 2018.”