Meet Philip

A San Antonio Story

Philip Cortez grew up on McNarney Street in the Palo Alto neighborhood of San Antonio, where his parents instilled in him love for education, a sense of duty to his country, and a determination to improve his community.

Philip graduated from Central Catholic High School and earned his associate’s degree from Palo Alto Community College in 2000 before continuing to a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2002. He later earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2007, and is currently studying for a PhD in Educational Administration at the University of Texas at Austin.

Philip has previously served as a Community Resource Advocate for the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, as a guest reader at Frank Madla and Kindred elementary schools, as a member of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and as a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Philip currently serves as a board member on the USO-San Antonio board of advisors.

Philip was recently chosen by Palo Alto College as a distinguished alumni. Numerous alumni were nominated but only 30 individuals were selected by the Board of Directors to be recognized.

Working Hard for San Antonio

Philip has always been a leading voice in his community. In 2007, he was elected to the San Antonio City Council representing District 4 where he served until 2011. As Councilman, he focused on the development of District 4 neighborhoods and on improvement projects citywide. Philip fought to improve police and fire departments, clean up parks, and modernize libraries throughout his district. Mayor Julian Castro selected Philip to serve as chairman of the Audit, Infrastructure and Growth Committees, President of the San Antonio Housing Trust Public Facility Corporation, and as a member of the Governance Committee.

Philip was elected to serve as State Representative for District 117 in 2012. He has been a lifelong resident of the district, and will continue fighting for the interests of the residents.

Philip was elected by his Senate and House colleagues to serve as the Chair of the Texas Veterans’ Caucus, and was selected to serve as Deputy Whip for the House Democratic Caucus. He served on the House Committee on Public Health and the House Committee on Homeland Security & Public Safety.

Sergeant to Captain “Serving Our Country”

Since 1999, Philip proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force. He served for seven years as an enlisted airman with the 433rd Airlift Wing at Lackland Air Force Base, eventually rising to Staff Sergeant. In 2006, Philip was commissioned a Second Lieutenant. He continues his duty to his country as a Captain in the Air Force Reserve.

From Our Community, Serving Our Community

  • Elected to San Antonio City Council in 2007 with 71% of the vote
  • Re-elected in 2009 with 78% of the vote
  • Elected in 2012 to the Texas House of Representatives
  • Former Chairman, Texas Veterans’ Caucus
  • Captain, U.S. Air Force Reserve, 433rd Airlift Wing
  • Former Adjunct Professor, Texas A&M San Antonio
  • 4th year Doctoral Student, Educational Administration, University of Texas at Austin
  • Masters Degree, Public Administration, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Bachelors Degree, Political Science, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Parishioner at St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church
  • Born and raised in District 117


bio3Philip Cortez is a member of the U.S. Reserve, use of his military rank, job titles, and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Air Force or the Department of Defense.

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