Making History, And Eating Cake, In Farmers Branch | KERA News

Making History, And Eating Cake, In Farmers Branch

May 21, 2013

For the first time in the history of Farmers Branch, a Hispanic council member has been sworn in. Ana Reyes, 39, will represent District One – which has a majority of Hispanic residents.

Reyes isn’t the first Latina to run for city council in Farmers Branch, but she is the first to make it all the way in this Dallas suburb.

Last year, a voting rights suit on behalf of ten Latino plaintiffs brought Farmers Branch its first single-member district elections – and the district Ana Reyes now represents.

Along with the mayor, Bill Glancy, the majority of city council members opposed single-member-districts in Farmers Branch. Jeff Fuller has been on city council for a year, and showed up for the swearing in ceremony of newcomers Ana Reyes and Kirk Connally.

“I don’t believe Farmers Branch is big enough for single member districts,” Fuller said, “But the judge ruled, let’s abide by it and move forward.”

Which is what everyone at the reception seemed to be doing – in between sips of pink punch and bites of chocolate cake, the new council members smiled for photos. Reyes thanked everyone for their support, including her parents and sister, who came to witness the historic event.

“Our family has been here for 37 years here in Farmers Branch,” Reyes said, “And I just am so honored to have the opportunity to serve the city and the citizens that have given me and my family so much. I’m honored and I’m ready to get to work.”

A first test for this new, more diverse council will be whether to pursue the controversial – and so far unconstitutional -- ordinance banning undocumented immigrants from renting housing in Farmers Branch.