James C. “Jimmy” Mendez Jr.
Term Expires 2017
Councilman Jimmy Mendez grew up in Katy, went to all Katy schools, and now is raising his family in the same area that both he and his wife grew up in. Jimmy has been married to Darlene Ruley since 1997 and they are the proud parents of two wonderful children Justin and Natasha. The Ruley family has lived in Katy since 1942.
From as far back as kindergarten, Jimmy positively represented the City of Katy when he won ‘Best of Show’ in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo art contest, beating out artists from all over the state. A few months later, he re-shined the positive media spotlight back on Katy, Texas, when he was recruited as the ultimate representation of the “All-American” boy in TV commercials for the Joske’s Department Store chain. Then, again in 1980 Jimmy brought a lot of attention to the city of Katy by being one of only two finalists (Jimmy Mendez and Michael J. Fox) in line for a new TV series called Palmerstown U.S.A. for the part of Willy-Joe Hall. In the mid-1980’s Jimmy hurt his back and was paralyzed from the waist down and although the doctors said it would take years of physical therapy to regain mobility; due to his incredibly positive mindset and pure determination, he was walking on his own in just under 9 months.
Thankful that he was walking again, Jimmy embraced everything that life had to offer; he played football, he played soccer, he ran track, and got into the Civil Air Patrol. While in the Civil Air Patrol, he joined the C.A.P. Cadet Drill Team and represented the U.S. in an intense competition against both the Russians and Chinese military cadets and his team won. A few years after that, Jimmy got into full contact “Cage Fighting” and one day, he got noticed by some professional movie stuntmen and spent the next 23 years doing martial art fight scenes, stunt shows at Astroworld, and performing live Wild West stunt shows around the state of Texas with some of John Wayne’s old stuntmen.
In Jimmy’s spare time he raised funds for various charities such as the American Breast Cancer Foundation, Texas Children’s Hospital, Dallas Children’s Hospital, The D.A.R.E. Program, and CPEA (Child Protection Education of America), he volunteered his time teaching rape prevention classes (R.A.D.) Rape Aggression & Defense) to women of all ages, races, and income levels, and he routinely volunteered at two different VFW halls when they had events. Due to Jimmy’s D.A.R.E. fundraising background the Mayor of Houston at the time Bob Lanier, recruited Jimmy to help him save their failing anti-drug program called Houston Crackdown. Together with a few of his entertainment industry friends, they re-designed the anti-drug program to focus primarily on the elementary school aged kids. Jimmy spent the next two years travelling to both private and public elementary schools all over Houston, Katy, Pearland, Baytown, La Porte, Deer Park, and Sugarland to talk to children about the dangers of drugs and about remaining drug free.
To get some cash flow between stunt gigs; Jimmy started working for a private Katy security company cleaning out all of the patrol car ash trays, working in dispatch, records keeping, cleaning up the brass and cleaning the guns after target practice, and working the shifts and locations that nobody else wanted to work. Two years into his job, Jimmy wrote up a business proposal to the owner of the security company about how to bring the company into the modern era and get rid of all of their outdated technology, safety equipment, and filing cabinets while improving profits. The owner of the company liked the proposal but felt that the cost was prohibitive since the system that they were already using was working just fine. Instead of arguing, Jimmy put himself through computer networking school, graduated ‘Cum Laude’ and drew up two different proposals… one at normal cost and one at his cost. The owner accepted the proposal and Jimmy built all of the company’s computers from scratch, typed in every contract and document into the computer, and networked them all together. Then, he did an official demonstration to the owner of the company and presented the owner with a breakdown of all of the time and money that this upgrade to his business was going to save him.
Over the next four years, Jimmy worked his way from the lowest position in the company all the way up to “Director of Security”; during this time, Jimmy also became a licensed private investigator and specialized in conducting due diligence examinations, business and financial investigations, locating hidden assets and tracing of money, both domestically and internationally. After the terrorist attack of 9-11-2001; Jimmy wanted to add anti-terrorism training to his skill-set and sought out the top experts and instructors in the world from places such as Israel, Ireland, Pakistan, India, INTERPOL, and Scotland Yard and spent the next ten years in training. A few years later, he trained as a bicycle police officer at Rice University and worked a second security job at three different Katy schools (Katy High, Mayde Creek High, and West Memorial Elementary). Eventually, the Memorial Hermann Hospital in Katy hired him on as a security supervisor and within one year he had moved up in rank and position. As second in command over the security department Jimmy was placed on several emergency disaster planning teams for the Katy area and had to work with FEMA during both hurricanes Rita and Ike.
Political Issues at both the state and federal levels caused Jimmy to become more politically active. Jimmy originally just blogged about politics but then he decided to become more active and physically drove up to Austin, Texas to complain directly to his representatives about certain bills that were bothering him. Jimmy jumped into politics with both feet and for the first time in his life he read the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence in their entireties. Later, Jimmy joined the T.E.A. Party movement to protest the federal government’s unchecked spending of ‘The People’s’ money and to eliminate excessive taxes.
Although Jimmy never actually wanted to get into politics he felt that his hometown of Katy, Texas was in for a rough time ahead. Katy is growing and changing at an incredible rate and he did not want to see people who were not intimately and emotionally connected to the community making decisions that would affect Katy families for the next several generations. Jimmy began to go to city council meetings and listened to the people that were serving on the council; he went on-line and began to read all of the past agendas to see who voted on what bills, ordinances, and issues. When he saw the “At-Large” seat was going to become an ‘open seat’ he discussed running for it with his family to see how they felt about it.
Jimmy, walked door to door asking the people what they would like to see out of their elected city representatives, what issues they would like to see addressed, and what did they not want to see change; and after compiling a list of “the People’s issues” Jimmy campaigned and ran for the “At-Large” seat and lost. Jimmy spent the next year listening to Katy residents talk about what they wanted to see happen in Katy and how long those issues have been a problem. Since one man cannot do anything by himself he realized that to get things done in politics, he needed to become a consensus builder; so he started getting to know all of the city employees and all people who sat on the city council bench regardless of their position or title. A year later, another seat came ‘open’ for the ward that he lived in; Jimmy campaigned for the open Ward B seat using the people’s issues as his own and he won. A month later, the mayor of Katy appointed Jimmy as the chairman of an oversight committee to look into the permit process and problems that both businesses and developers kept complaining about in order to fix them once and for all.