Moya, Richard, 1932-

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Richard Moya was born in Austin, Texas in 1932 and graduated from Austin High School in 1950. He was president of the national Junior League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), served in the National Guard, and was a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army in Korea. He helped form the Mexican American Democrats of Texas, served as their chair from 1981-1983, and served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1972. He was the first Mexican-American elected to the Travis County Commissioners' Court and served in that capacity from 1970 to 1986. He was director of Field Operations for Texas Agricultural Commissioner Jim Hightower before he served as Deputy Chief of Staff under Governor Ann Richards from 1991 to 1995. At the time of the interview, he was a member of the Tejano Democrats, and in 2009, he was a public affairs consultant with Adelánte Solutions Consortium.

From the description of Oral history interview with Richard Moya, 2003 [videorecording]. (University of Texas at Arlington). WorldCat record id: 401296053

Native Austinite, Richard Moya, (1932- ), son of Bertha and “Pete” Moya, was the first Mexican American elected to the Travis County (Texas) Commissioners’ Court representing Precinct 4. Moya served four full terms, or sixteen years as County Commissioner beginning in 1970 to 1986. He was appointed as one of three Deputy Chiefs of Staff under Governor Ann Richard’s administration from 1991 to 1995. Moya served as delegate to the National Democratic Convention in 1972. Moya has been active as a civic leader all of his life and is still active in national, state, and local politics. He is well known as a man of action and a problem solver. Moya is a principal partner in the small business, First Team, a company that specializes in marketing research.

Moya grew up in predominantly Hispanic East Austin, attending Austin’s “Mexican School” Zavala Elementary. Later his family moved south of East First Street (Caesar Chavez), near Metz Elementary, the “White School.” He and his sister, Christine Irene, were still expected to attend Zavala Elementary because of their Mexican ethnicity. His mother Bertha wanted them to attend the school closer to their home. She confronted the Superintendent of Schools about the matter, and Moya and his sister were reassigned to Metz Elementary School.

He attended Allen Junior High, which had a mixed white and Hispanic student population. He then went on to Austin High School, where he graduated with the Class of 1950. It was in high school that he met his wife to be, Gertrude Garza. They were married in Februrary 15,1953 and had two children, Danny (deceased) and Margaret Lorraine.

Mr. Moya was drafted into the armed service from 1953 to 1955 as a Sergeant 1st Class in the Korean War and later was in the Army National Guard. He learned the printing trade when working at Best Printing on East 19th Street in Austin. He remained in the printing business for almost 15 years and became a union journeyman printer. In 1966 he took the job as Investigator for the Travis County Legal Aid Society and worked with the Office of Economic Opportunity. It was here that he was exposed to the intricacies of county government and made the decision to seek elected office. While announcing for a seat on Travis County Commissioners Court, Precinct 4 in 1969, he stated “I feel that I must run for this office, with the goal of seeking a more efficient form of local government, one that will respond readily to the needs of the people of this community.” [Austin American 12-15-1969]. In 1970, he won the election and became the first Mexican American to be elected in Travis County as County Commissioner, Precinct 4. He helped form the Mexican-American Democrats (MAD) between 1972-1973 and from this group, the Tejano Democrats formed.

Moya’s political career spanned over 20 years in county and state governments, serving in both elected and appointed positions. However, his role as a community leader covers an even broader span of time. Moya has served as treasurer of the Austin Aces Athletic Club, the Pan-Am Advisory Board, as well as the Capital Area Planning Council and the Century Club. He has remained active in national, state, and local politics.

From the guide to the Richard Moya Papers AR. 2002. 024., 1948-1992, 1969-1986, (Austin History Center. Austin Public Library. Austin, Texas.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Richard Moya Papers AR. 2002. 024., 1948-1992, 1969-1986 Austin History Center. Austin Public Library. Austin, Texas.
creatorOf Moya, Richard, 1932-. Oral history interview with Richard Moya, 2003 [videorecording]. University of Texas at Arlington, Central Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Anderson, Joe. person
associatedWith Austin Aces Athletic Club. Capital Area Planning Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Austin High School (Austin, Tex.) corporateBody
associatedWith Austin Independent School District (Tex.) corporateBody
associatedWith Barrera, Manuel, -1997. person
associatedWith Barrientos, Gonzalo. person
associatedWith Barrientos, Gonzalo, 1941- person
associatedWith Bernal, Joe, 1927- person
associatedWith Bode, Mary Jane, 1926-1998 person
associatedWith Bonner, Cathy, CableTelevision and Communications consultant. person
associatedWith Boothe, Lawson. person
associatedWith Booth, Lawson, 1st elected County Commission, 1949 person
associatedWith Briscoe, Dolph, (19 ), Governor. person
associatedWith Brown, Bo. person
associatedWith Bucklin, Dr. Robert, 1st Travis County Medical Examiner - 1978 person
associatedWith Bullock, Bob Robert Douglas, 1929-1999 person
associatedWith Cantu, Gilbert, Principal of Zavala Elementary School. person
associatedWith Cantu, Oswaldo, “A. B”, 1930-1996 person
associatedWith Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Austin, Tex.). corporateBody
associatedWith Castleberry Food Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Century Club (Austin, Tex.) corporateBody
associatedWith Chaves, Cesar Estrada, 1927-1993 person
associatedWith Cisneros, Rudolph, -1995, Owner of “Cisco’s” restaurant. person
associatedWith Citizens Jail Bond Advisory Committee April 2, 1978 - June 1978. corporateBody
associatedWith Colson, Charles, author of “Born Again”. person
associatedWith Cotera, Martha, 1938- person
associatedWith Daniel, Marion Price Jr., 1941-1981 person
associatedWith Deas, Jim. person
associatedWith de la Rosa, Albert City Attorney. person
associatedWith Democratic National Convention. corporateBody
associatedWith Doggett, Lloyd, 1946- person
associatedWith Dyson, Frank, City of Austin Chief of Police. person
associatedWith Earle, Ronald “Ronnie”, 1942- person
associatedWith Economy Furniture Industries (Austin, Tex.) corporateBody
associatedWith Estelle, W. J. person
associatedWith Farenthold, Francis Tarleton “Sissy”, 1926- person
associatedWith Fernea, Elizabeth Warnock, author, U. T. professor of Women’s Studies. person
associatedWith Frank, Raymond, Travis County Sheriff. person
associatedWith Frasier, Margo, Travis County Sheriff person
associatedWith Gamboa, Carmen, Govalle Elementary School Principal. person
associatedWith Garcia, Casimiro “Spike”, 1946-1992 person
associatedWith Garcia, Phillipe Ray “Red”. person
associatedWith Gault, N. L., 1898-1983 person
associatedWith Gomez, Margaret, 1944- person
associatedWith Gonzalez, Henry B. (Henry Barbosa), 1916-2000. person
associatedWith Goodman, Richard, (1949-19 ), Councilmember Austin, Texas. person
associatedWith Guerrero, Lena, 1957- person
associatedWith Guerrero, Raul. person
associatedWith Guerrero, Roy, 1919-2001 person
associatedWith Gutiérrez, José Angel, person
associatedWith Han, James. person
associatedWith Hernandez, Paul, 1946- person
associatedWith Hickie, Jane. person
associatedWith Hightower, Jim, 1943- person
associatedWith Hill, Gerald Wayne, 1947- , Texas State Representative District 49. person
associatedWith Hontz, Bob. person
associatedWith Human Opportunity Corporation (HOC). corporateBody
associatedWith Ivey, Frank Candidate, Justice of the Peace, Travis County Precinct 5. person
associatedWith Jones, Charlie, Austin Policeman, Deputy Sheriff, Constable, Candidate for Sheriff. person
associatedWith Kuhn, Bob, Justice of the Peace. person
associatedWith League of United Chicano Artists (Lucha). corporateBody
associatedWith League of United Latin American Citizens. corporateBody
associatedWith League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). corporateBody
associatedWith Leberman, Lowell, 1939- person
associatedWith Legal Aid and Defender Society of Travis County. corporateBody
associatedWith Love, Dan, Councilman, City of Austin. person
associatedWith Macias, Juan, 1884-1986, 103 person
associatedWith Maldonado, Juan. person
associatedWith Manor, Carrie E., 1895-1987 person
associatedWith Martinez, Matt, 1916-2003 person
associatedWith Mattox, Jim, Attorney General. person
associatedWith McClellan (Rylander), Carol, 1939- person
associatedWith McGovern, George S. (George Stanley), 1922- person
associatedWith Medina, Ralph. person
associatedWith Mellon, John Woodrow, 1917-1988 person
associatedWith Mendez, Willie, Travis County employee. person
associatedWith Mexican American Council for Economic Progress. corporateBody
associatedWith Mexican American Democrats. corporateBody
associatedWith Mexican American Democrats of Texas. corporateBody
associatedWith Minton, Roy, Attorney. person
associatedWith Moore, Della Mae, Austin Community College Board of Trustees member. person
associatedWith Moore Morris, Margaret, first female public defender in Travis County. person
associatedWith Morales, Dan. person
associatedWith Morales, Victor. person
associatedWith Moya family. family
associatedWith Moya, Richard, first Hispanic to be elected in Austin, County Commissioner Travis County Precinct. 4. person
associatedWith Navarro, Manuel, Austin Independent School District Board Member. person
associatedWith Nobles, Henry, Travis County Legal Aid Society and Probation Officer, Director of Social Services. person
associatedWith Oden, Ken, Travis County Attorney. person
associatedWith Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO). corporateBody
associatedWith O’Hair, Madalyn Murray, (1919-1995, presumed murdered) President of Society of Separationist Inc., American Atheists. person
associatedWith Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church (Austin, Tex.) corporateBody
associatedWith Pan-Am Advisory Board. corporateBody
associatedWith Perkins, Bob, State District Judge. person
associatedWith Pickle, James Jarrell “Jake”, U. S. Representative, State of Texas. person
associatedWith Polanco, Lee, Accountant. person
associatedWith Polk, Jack. person
associatedWith Quinney, Harry O., Deputy Tax Assessor Democratic Candidate. person
associatedWith Raza Unida Party. corporateBody
associatedWith Renfro, Mike. person
associatedWith Renfro, Mike, 1994- person
associatedWith Reyes, Lonnie, 1942 person
associatedWith Richards, Ann, 1933- person
associatedWith Ritchie, Carl. person
associatedWith Robertson, Rob Candidate for County Judge. person
associatedWith Ruiz, David, Activist. person
associatedWith Ruiz, Santos “Buddy”, Candidate for City Council, Austin. person
associatedWith Samelson, Daniel, Travis County Commissioner. person
associatedWith Sanchez, Tony. person
associatedWith Shipman, Sally, Council Member, City of Austin. person
associatedWith Simon, Margarita, Radio journalist and community activist. person
associatedWith Smith, Frank H. Bail, bondsman. person
associatedWith Soto, Tiburcio M., -1974, killed by policeman. person
associatedWith Spaeth, Mark Edward, -1985, Council Member, City of Austin. person
associatedWith Taylor, Carol, Austin Community Television. person
associatedWith Taylor, Leslie, Travis County Court-at-law Judge. person
associatedWith Tejano Democrats. corporateBody
associatedWith Texas. Dept. of Agriculture. corporateBody
associatedWith Texas Farmworkers Union. corporateBody
associatedWith Tijerina, Felix, 1905-1965. person
associatedWith Travis County Democratic Group. corporateBody
associatedWith Travis CountyGrand Jury. corporateBody
associatedWith Treviño, John. person
associatedWith Trevino, John, 1938- person
associatedWith Turner, Joe. person
associatedWith University of Texas at Arlington. Center for Mexican American Studies. corporateBody
associatedWith Valdez, Raul, 1947- person
associatedWith Vela, Joe Boxer. person
associatedWith Velasquez, Carlos, 1947- , Television show host, 1975-89 son of Roy’s Taxi founder, Roy Velasquez. person
associatedWith Villanueva, Dan, Reverend. person
associatedWith Ware, Browning, 1928-2002 person
associatedWith Webb, Charles, Justice of the Peace, Travis County Precinct 2. person
associatedWith Weddington, Nagel Sarah, 1945- person
associatedWith Weimer, John, Administrative Director of the Austin-Travis County Mental Health-Mental Retardation Center. person
associatedWith Williams, Mary, Travis County Judge. person
associatedWith Wisser, Jon, Travis County Court-at-law Judge. person
associatedWith Yarborough, Donald, Texas Supreme Court Justice. person
associatedWith Yeakel, Lee, 1945-1997, Appointed Chief Justice for the 3rd Court of Appeals. person
associatedWith Znotas, Joe, Activist Priest. person
associatedWith Zuniga, Diana, Austin Housing Authority Board. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Del Valle (Tex.).
Texas--Travis County
Montopolis (Tex.).
Webberville (Tex.).
Onion Creek. (Tex.).
Austin (Tex.)
Travis County (Tex.)
Bastrop (Tex.)
Oak Hill (Tex.).
Texas, South
Travis County (Tex.).
Austin (Tex.).
Hippie Hollow. (Tex.).
Lubbock (Tex.)
Minority business enterprises--Texas--Austin
Developmentally disabled--Care--Texas--Austin
Williamson Creek Watershed (Tex.)
Jails--Texas--Travis County
County budgets--Texas--Travis County
Political parties--Texas--Austin
Austin (Tex.)--Floods
Finance, Public--Texas--Austin Metropolitan Area
Roads--Texas--Travis County--Planning
United States. Office of Economic Opportunity Community Actions Programs
Town Lake Park (Austin, Tex.)
Mexican American youth.Mexican Americans--Biography
Colorado River (Tex.)--Floods
Travis County (Tex.)--Officials and employees--Pensions
Drug abuse--Treatment--Texas --Travis County
Community Action Program (U.S.)
MoPac Boulevard
Floodplains--Texas--Walnut Creek Watershed (Tex.)
State governments
County government
Travis County (Tex.)--Politics and government
County government--Texas--Travis County
Affirmative action programs
Colorado River (Tex.)
Sewage disposal
Jails--Overcrowding--Texas--Travis County
Mexican American soldiers
Waste disposal
Mexican Americans--Interviews
Mexican Americans--Civil rights--Texas--Austin
Emergency medical services--Texas--Austin metropolitan area
African American neighborhoods
Democratic Party (Travis County, Tex.)
Elections--Texas--Travis County--Statistics
Economic assistance, Domestic--Texas--Austin
City planning--Texas--Travis County
Elections--Texas--Travis County
School integration
Labor unions
Black-capped vireo--Texas--Travis County
Texas--Ethnic relations
Mentally handicapped--Care--Texas--Austin
Travis County (Tex.)--Appropriations and expenditures
Mexican Americans--Politics and government--20th century
Austin (Tex.)--Politics and government
Mexican Americans--Politics and suffrage
Capital Area Planning Council (Austin, Tex.) Regional
Express highways--Environmental aspects--Texas--Austin
Endangered species--Texas--Austin
Fire ants--Control
Mental health services--Texas--Travis County
Transportation--Texas--Austin metropolitan area--Planning
Aged--Services for--Texas --Travis County
Wildlife refuges--Texas--Austin
Education, Bilingual
Agriculture--Texas--Travis County
Regional planning--Texas--Austin Metropolitan Area
Immigrants--Civil rights--United States
Travis County (Tex.). Sheriff.Water--Pollution--Texas--Austin
Drug abuse--Prevention--Drug abuse--Prevention
Democratic Party (Tex.)
Local government--Texas
Wild Basin Preserve
Adult Services Council (Austin, Tex.)
Mexicans--Crimes against--United States--History--20th century
Boats and boating
Regional planning--Texas--Travis County
Onion Creek Watershed (Tex.)
Flood control--Texas--Travis County
Prisons--Texas--Travis County--Overcrowding
Water quality management--Texas--Austin
Floods--Texas--Colorado River Watershed
Water quality management--Texas--Austin region
Austin--Travis County Mental Health--Mental Retardation Center
Austin Aqua Festival
County government--Texas--Travis County--Evaluation
Mexicans in Texas--Civil rights--Texas--Travis County
Social service--Texas--Austin Metropolitan Area
Criminal justice, Administration of--United States
Metropolitan government--Texas--Austin Metropolitan Area
Floodplains--Texas--Williamson Creek Watershed
Travis County (Tex.). Commissioners Court
Mexican American business enterprises
Mental health services--Texas--Austin
Mexican Americans--Civil rights--History - 20th century
Housing--Texas--Travis County
Municipal powers and services beyond corporate limits--Texas--Austin Metropolitan Area
Civil rights workers--United States
Crime and criminals--Texas
African American politicians
Mexican American neighborhoods
Mexican American politicians
Savings and loan association failures
Alcoholism--Treatment--Texas--Travis County
Prisoners--Texas--T ravis County
Mexicans--Civil rights--United States
Capital Area Planning Council (Austin, Tex.)
McKinney Falls State Park (Tex.)
Spanish language--Study and teaching
Children of immigrants--Education (Secondary)--Texas
Race discrimination
MoPac (Highway : Austin, Tex.)
Colorado River Watershed (Tex.)--History
Mexican Americans--Texas--Austin
Budget--Texas--Travis County
Correctional institutions--Texas
Flood control--Texas--Onion Creek watershed
Motor boat racing
Floods--Texas--Travis County
Travis County (Tex.) Jail
Mexican Americans--Education--Texas--Austin--History
Airports--Texas--Austin Region--Planning
Bonds--Texas--Travis County
Town Lake (Austin, Tex.)


Birth 1932


Related Descriptions


Ark ID: w6fb94bv

SNAC ID: 34823185