All of our neighbors should feel respected, valued and heard. We can celebrate and continue to build on our progress, and at the same time invest in preserving and revitalizing our aging neighborhoods. This investment will restore pride in the community and encourage residents to put more effort into maintaining it.
In 2003, the Garland Police Department faced a series of police shootings involving Hispanics, a string of muggings of undocumented workers, and the killing of an immigrant during a robbery. Koni worked alongside Fmr. Garland Police Assistant Chief Steve Dye and other community leaders in a partnership creating, building and implementing UNIDOS across the Metroplex, State and Nation-a program that has built bridges and promoted open communication between the police and the Hispanic community.
There are large portions of our district that don't have recreational facilities within a safe walking distance from their home or school. We have to provide our youth with positive options for after school activities. Together we can do that through educating our neighbors on programs and activities available to them and exploring the possibility of new community/youth centers.
Koni Ramos-Kaiwi has worked, lived and raised her family in Garland for more than 30 years.
She began her career with GISD in 1986, in the Transportation Department, when seeking services for their oldest son. She made a comment about knowing how to drive a bus, and it just so happened that the district needed a driver for an older ‘standard’ bus; one that not many people knew how to drive. But Koni did, and so began her career in GISD.
After working in Transportation, Mrs. Ramos‐Kaiwi became a counselor’s secretary at one of the district’s largest high schools. She found that working to help guide students taking the next steps in the journey of life is what makes the job of an educator so rewarding. It was while working at Garland High that Koni heard about TSTA and decided to join. “I paid my dues and that’s about it, like so many of us at first,” she recalls. Then, when she transferred to Memorial Pathway Academy she decided to become more than “just a member” – Koni got involved and became the Association Representative for her new campus, learning to advocate for herself and her colleagues.
As a TSTA member, Mrs. Ramos‐Kaiwi has served as ESP representative‐at‐large, First Vice President of Communications, and President of Garland Education Association, and has also been a member of the region board. She has learned how to be an advocate within the district, making sure employee voices are heard by their employer, and observes that she has “…been able to reach out and motivate others to become present and involved in their careers, to realize the importance of being a member of a professional organization—and dare I say it, the importance of being union.”
When not working with students or her professional colleagues, Mrs. Ramos‐Kaiwi’s is working as a community leader. She has served on boards and committees for the city and school district, worked with education groups, and chaired community organizations. Koni has used her contacts with various state and local entities to promote education; get the Garland schools and students the help they need; and help ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Through civic engagement, she has advocated for those who do not have a voice and sought to further educate others on issues that affect the community and education professionals on a day‐to‐day basis
"I am so excited about supporting Koni Kaiwi for Garland City Council -District 2! I’ve known Koni since I was in high school, and we worked together on youth leadership development programs. I can attest that Koni has the heart of a public servant, a heart for helping others and standing up and fighting for disenfranchised communities. She has a long-history of volunteering and being a leader. Please like her page, share, and join me in supporting Koni Ramos Kaiwi for Garland City Council!" -State Representative Victoria Neave
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