Last week, Escobar chose a very special venue for this announcement—his first home, located at 1406 Indiana Avenue, which was part of a predominately Polish neighborhood when he was born on January 27, 19 50, after having arrived via birth at Riverside Hospital.
Escobar stood as steady and firm as the 200-year-plus aged Cottonwood tree that graces the entrance of his old homestead, which he watched grow 13 of his 55 years.
“When I considered running for the first time in 1997, it was with the hope that I might get involved in some small way in the civic discussion of our community. I had no aspiration to lead.
“But my colleagues put their faith in me to take a leadership role—first as president pro tem, and now as president. I have been honored by their trust,” said Escobar.
Escobar is serving his second term on council. Elected in 1997, he became its first Latino to serve. He was re-elected in 2001; in 2003, his peers elected him its first Latino president.
Prior to his elected life, Escobar had served as a Roman Catholic priest, teacher, forensic counselor, probation officer, mental health worker and supervisor, addiction counselor, facilitator/director of a self help group for people living with HIV/AIDS, EAP specialist, and director of a homeless shelter and of a social service/substance abuse agency.
As the former executive director of Adelante, Inc., a premier Latino social service agency now headed by Sonia Troche, Escobar doubled its budget, introduced innovative culturally-sensitive programs, and was instrumental in coordinating Adelante’s 5th year anniversary celebration and in creating a César E. Chávez Awards banquet.
Escobar has committed to assisting in the creation of a special tribute, or tributes, to Chávez prior to the expiration of his term on December 31.
Escobar is a 1968 graduate of Central Catholic High School, receiving a B.A. degree from St. Mary’s College in 1972, a Master of Divinity from SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminar in 1976, and a M.A. from the University of Detroit in 1976.
Escobar will be leaving the political arena to pursue his goal of a PH.D. While attending classes, he will be maintaining his position as the interim coordinator of the Multicultural Center at the University of Toledo.
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