Texas needs a voice that represents our families, our communities, and our businesses.
Celina is a lifelong resident of San Antonio, and a product of its public schools. Graduating from Alamo Heights High School, she briefly left Texas for Chicago where she worked her way through college at Northwestern University to earn her Bachelor of Science in Journalism. Upon graduation, she returned to San Antonio, where she worked as a reporter and married her high school sweetheart, Luke Girdley. They have been married for almost 11 years and have two children. They work together growing their business and giving back to the community.
Celina has had a number of roles and is currently the Vice President of Community and Government Relations at her family’s business, San Antonio-based Alamo Fireworks, the oldest and largest family-owned fireworks company in the state. She has developed ties to the business community and amassed a deep understanding of the issues that business owners face. She has spearheaded negotiations on behalf of the Texas Fireworks Industry with state and local governments to develop legislation that ensures the rights of small businesses and landowners.
Celina makes service a priority. She serves on multiple nonprofit boards and charities, including the Landa Garden Conservancy and is the President of the Junior League of San Antonio. She is co-founder of Literacy San Antonio, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using research-based methods, including science-based reading instruction (SBRI), to identify, implement and improve literacy levels in San Antonio. She engages her family in service through various opportunities, including by leading her daughters Girl Scout Troop. Some of her dedicated areas of interest and service include: The Doseum, The San Antonio Public Library Foundation, The San Antonio Book Festival, and The San Antonio Area Foundation.
Celina can be seen regularly on SALive, where she contributes a craft segment on behalf of Alamo City Mom’s Blog and demonstrates her belief in the role of creativity and art in developing young minds.
In her downtime, Celina can be found spending time with her extended family enjoying the art, culture, and food associated with San Antonio.
Celina is running for the Texas State Legislature to serve as a Representative for District 121.
ON THE ISSUES
Celina graduated from Alamo Heights High School in the Top 10% of her class and with national academic recognition. She and her husband, Luke Girdley, are raising their two children in Alamo Heights, where they will also attend Alamo Heights public schools. High quality education is important to Celina and she has a personal stake in ensuring that public education is fully funded and providing quality results.
As your legislator, Celina will work to ensure that the State is paying its fair share and investing intelligently in education, rather than passing the buck onto homeowners. Raising property taxes cannot be the solution for fully funding our schools.
Celina’s business acumen developed over more than a decade of working in the family business, San Antonio-based Alamo Fireworks, the oldest and largest family-owned fireworks company in the state, where she now is the Vice President for Government and Community Outreach. In this capacity she has led the Texas Fireworks industry in their negotiations with lobbyists, interest groups, and policy-makers to develop strong relationships with our legislators and to push for legislation that ensures the rights of small businesses and landowners.
She regularly meets with the small towns and municipal agencies where Alamo Fireworks conducts business to understand their needs and how establishing a presence in their small communities can promote economic development and directly impact their ability to fund community needs.
Celina knows that healthy families contribute to a healthy economy. Adequate health care is necessary to enable a fully-engaged work-force and to promote academic success. Too often, the most vulnerable among us are left to fend for themselves or simply go without. This leads to a break-down in academic attainment, workforce engagement, and family stability. The threats from the current administration and the continual destruction of the federal government’s commitment to provide healthcare, puts thousands of Texas families at risk beyond their health. Notably, the recent decrease in Medicaid funding and the inaction that allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to expire, are examples of negligence and a poor strategy for cost-savings that ultimately ends up costing tax-payers more.
Texas is a proud state, and is committed to honoring our veterans at sporting events, public parades, and even through special public consideration. But this honor stops short of respect when we refuse to provide our veterans with the resources to live healthy, productive lives. We are doing a disservice when we refuse to honor our end of the bargain; when these men and women have put their lives on the line and have left their families for months at a time and don’t get the dispensation they deserve and are entitled to. Texas veterans are left with the scars of conflict without the proper resources to recover from it. As a member of the Texas House, Celina will fight for increased funding to help veterans find jobs, access mental health services and promote opportunities that keep Texas’ veteran populations healthy and productive.