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Graciela Saenz Papers

Identifier: MSS 1395

Scope and Contents

The collection covers the period 1992-2000, which includes the years that Saenz served on Houston City Council. It includes address lists, agendas, appointment calendars, bank statements, brochures, checks, correspondence, greeting cards, invitations, mechanical copies of fax transmissions, memos, message logs, meeting minutes, news releases, newsletters, newspaper articles, note pads, publications, questionnaires, receipts, reports, requests for meetings, schedules, and voter analysis printouts. The collection describes the public and private service of Graciela Saenz as Council Member and involved citizen. The mechanics of the Mayoral Campaign of 1997 are described by invitations, questionnaires, and answers to issues. Some post-City Council items are included.


  • 1992-2000
  • Majority of material found in 1997

Access Restrictions

This colleciton is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Graciela Saenz Papers must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Graciela "Gracie" Saenz, nee Guzman, is a native-born Houstonian, who received both her BA in Spanish and JD degrees from the University of Houston in 1978 and 1986, respectively. After law school, Saenz was employed by the Harris County District Attorney’s office from 1986-1990. Later she moved on to the firm of Burkhardt and Saenz, 1990-1992, joining Broocks, Baker and Lange, L.L.P. in 1992, and leaving in 2000 for Oppel, Goldberg & Saenz.

Saenz was the first Latina to hold the Houston Council Member At Large Position 1.As Council Member from 1992 through 1998, she chaired three committees: Council Rules, Ethics, and Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprises while serving on nine other committees. She also served on the Joint City/County Commission for Children and Youth, 1993-1997. Saenz was the first Hispanic and woman to be elected to the position of Mayor Pro-Tem, 1996-1997. Her private activities included service on the Board of Directors of the YMCA, support of Houston Grand Opera, the Boy Scouts of America and the United Way. The mayor of Houston presented her a Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

As of 2021, Saenz works as a Special Prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney's Office.


9 Linear Feet (9 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged into four series and six subseries.

I. City Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Service i. Service on Children and Youth Committees & Commission ii. Houston City Council Member Activities II. Campaigning for Office i. Council Member Candidate Activities ii. Mayoral Campaign III. Service with Non-Profit Organizations i. Professional Non-Profit Organizations ii. Social Non-Profit Organizations and Human Welfare Organizations IV. Event Registers

Acquisition Information

Donated by Graciela Saenz, October 23, 2001.

Processing Information

Processed by: Ron Drees, November 2005.

Graciela Saenz Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository


The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002