Tom Prezelski is a University of Arizona graduate and Tucson native whose family roots in Southern Arizona extend to the 18th Century. He lives in downtown Tucson, just a few blocks from the row house on Convent Street where his nana babysat a child named Lalo Guerrero.
His interest in his heritage led him to an interest in regional history. His published work earned him special recognition from the Arizona Historical Society and an invitation to speak at an event in California commemorating the role of Mexican-Americans in the Civil War. He also served on the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission from 1995-2003, where he was involved in some of the early discussion regarding the 4th Avenue Underpass and what would become Rio Nuevo. Additionally, he is involved in a re-enactment group which interprets 18th century Spanish soldiers at the re-created Tucson Presidio.
Tom served in the Arizona House of Representatives 2003-2008 where he became known for his vocal and effective advocacy for issues of local control and economic development. His proudest single achievement there was having shut down the House in a successful effort to stop a piece of special-interest legislation aimed at undermining the City of Tucson.Tom has long been involved in Tucson’s arts and music scene, largely as a fan, though in recent years he has taken up the ukulele with the encouragement of (and in a half-successful attempt to impress) a local musician who shall remain nameless for various reasons.
Tom also serves on the boards of the Tucson’s Birthday Committee and the Tucson Artists and Musicians Healthcare Alliance (TAMHA). He currently works as a tribal planner for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, where, among other things, he is working to bring solar power to the reservation community.