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Meet Natali Hurtado

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natali Hurtado.

Natali, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My path to public service began early in my career at both the City of Houston and in the local office of Congressional District 29. As an intern, I cut my first public policy teeth attending policy hearings, researching and analyzing legislation, and developing communication strategies. I expanded my community engagement and policymaking skills as a campaign assistant for a Harris County Civil District Court candidate and as a district director for a Texas State House Representative. As district director, I learned why it is so important for your representative to work and stay engaged in the community. In that job, I organized job fairs, tax assistance clinics, and community service projects for everyday people, we made sure that government worked for all the people.

I earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in both psychology and political science at the University of Houston. I received a Master of Public Policy and Administration at the University of St. Thomas as a member of its inaugural class and among the first to earn this degree.

I am currently the Deputy Executive Director for the International Management District with the consulting firm Hawes Hill & Associates. I work with our board of directors to improve the district through public safety initiatives, environmental and urban design projects and community development programs.

I am the mother of three beautiful girls, Madison, Marley, and Mae. My husband Mark supports my drive for public service and shares my passion for a better future. I am an alumnus of Leadership North Houston, have served as a volunteer for Child Advocates, and currently serve as a commissioner for Keep Houston Beautiful.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I became a young single mother not by choice, but because sometimes life throws you curveballs and you’re impacted by other’s decisions. If it were not for the love and support of my family and social assistance programs, there would have been no way I could have provided medical care such as immunizations for my daughter much less preventative care for myself. There would’ve been no way I could pick up extra shifts at work to ensure I could place Maddy in a daycare I felt comfortable leaving her at, so I could continue attending school. These are the kind of life stories that need to be told at the policy table so that we’re creating public policies that help families and not ones that hurt them.

What else should we know?
I’m a candidate running to be the state representative of House district 126. I’m proud to be a candidate that is willing to advocate for all constituents, taking into account that everyone comes with their own life story. I feel what sets me apart from others is that I have life experiences that have truly shaped and molded me into someone who feels a strong conviction to be a voice for all. I have a passion for community work and ensuring that we invest in our community for continued growth for generations to come. My “day” job is economic development through management districts and I feel this is an excellent set of skills to ensure House district 126 grows to its full potential.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I believe the most proudest moment of my career has been attaining my master’s degree while working full time and raising a family. My ultimate goal is to set the best possible example for my girls; Madison, Marley and Mae.

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