For the past two years, Xavier Garcia-Molina has served as the youngest City Councilor for Lancaster, PA, while also working as the Community Mobilizer for Compass Mark, a 55-year-old science-based addiction prevention organization. As a City Councilor, Xavier serves as Chair of Public Safety. He’s led community conversations around community policing, overseen a restructure of the police department’s budget and the police department’s chief’s transition.
His work in the community stems from his undergraduate education at Penn State University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor’s in international politics. Following graduation, Xavier began his career as a social service provider at Church World Service by providing bilingual resettlement case management to dozens of refugees integrating into the Lancaster community. Acknowledging both an international and local need for LGBTQ+ supportive services, Xavier became a co-founding member of Lancaster’s first LGBTQ+ Center.
He later would be appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf as a commissioner on their PA Commission on LGBTQ+ Affairs. In this role, Xavier has led statewide initiatives to ensure that COVID-19 data collected by the state included gender and sexual orientation identity; lobbied for Pennsylvania law and federal statutes to prohibit discrimination due to gender identity and sexual orientation; and, developed a subsidized housing program in Lancaster through the LGBTQ+ center that provides affirming housing to adolescents experiences homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless.
In addition to his LGBTQ+ advocacy, Xavier serves as a board member for Partners With Purpose, an affordable housing nonprofit operating under the Lancaster City Housing Authority. He also has partnered with the Lancaster County Community Foundation to create an Equity Fund that provides capital investments to communities of color. The Equity Fund aims to empower POC residents by giving them autonomous decision-making over the fund; allowing communities of colors to decide how to invest in their communities from the beginning of the process.
Xavier hopes that by engaging in the National Urban Fellowship, he’ll further understand the impact of local, state, and federal legislation on marginalized communities. More so, Xavier is eager to participate in a mentorship and graduate program that will provide evidence-based strategies that uplift communities and would be able to be implemented in other communities.