Women in Politics

Young Women Run Houston


Senator Carol Alvarado

Texas State Senate, 6th District

Senator Carol Alvarado has been a community activist since she was 18, lobbying for regulations to improve air quality in her hometown. Over the years she has worked for her community in various capacities; as a City Council member for 5 years, a State Representative for 10 years and now as State Senator. As a Latina woman in politics, her legislative priorities focus heavily on women's rights and health issues. She is proud to represent those in her hometown community of Senate District 6 who are historically underrepresented and disadvantaged.

Marilyn Burgess

Harris County District Clerk

Marilyn Burgess is the Harris County District Clerk. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with over thirty years of experience bringing fiscal responsibility and exceptional organizational skills to public and private organizations. She ran on a platform dedicated to modernizing the jury system by going all electronic, increasing juror diversity, reforming the bail system, and decreasing waste and inefficiencies in the District Clerk’s office to ensure a living wage for the hardworking professionals that staff it.

Marilyn graduated from Louisiana State University with an accounting degree that launched a successful career in business, which has included serving as the president of the North Houston-Greenspoint Chamber of Commerce and the Chief Financial Officer at a family-owned local company. It was during her work as the Executive Director of the Texas Parent Teachers Association (PTA) that she found her true calling: fighting and advocating for causes that better the lives of teachers, working- and middle-class families, single mothers, and children.

Marilyn developed her belief in hard work and public service from her parents who both held elected office in Spearsville, a northern Louisiana town of approximately 350 people. Her father represented the region in a role similar to county commissioner for twelve years. After Marilyn’s mother retired from her position as chair of the local hospital board, she too served the community as mayor of Spearsville during the final years of her life. In Marilyn’s adult life, she worked hard to build a career while raising a child as a single mother. These days, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, Lindsey, and her two wonderful grandchildren, Reagan and Geoffrey.

As District Clerk, Marilyn oversees a budget of $36 million and a staff of approximately 600 individuals, a responsibility to her constituents she takes seriously. Marilyn now brings her seasoned, measured, smart leadership to the District Clerk’s office, where she will work to fulfil her campaign promises to improve efficiencies, reduce costs, increase community participation, and fairly compensate the employees.

Diana Davila

President, Houston ISD, District VIII

Diana Dávila was elected to the Board of Education in 2015. She previously served on the board from 2003 to 2010. She believes that every student in HISD should be provided with a high-quality education to ensure their future success.

A former teacher, Dávila is a native Houstonian and life-long resident of the East End. She also is a product of HISD, attending Park Place and Lewis elementary schools and Deady Middle School before graduating from Milby High School.

She went on to attend the University of Houston, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis on bilingual education. She also earned a master’s degree in educational management and principal certification from University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Dávila has been recognized as an outstanding volunteer by HISD Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) for a tutorial program she initiated with her husband at Tijerina Elementary School and Houston Community College. Through this program, parents, and students received tutoring in reading and math while also gaining an appreciation for the college experience.

A mentor with the Best Friends program for girls, Dávila has served as a community liaison for the Hispanic Educational Leadership Committee, for which she helped raise more than $300,000 in scholarship money within four years.

In 2015, she began volunteering weekly with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center to honor her father, who is a cancer survivor. When her father became ill five years ago, Dávila resigned from the board to help care for him. She is married with two children.

Judge Julia Maldonado

Harris County Judge 507th Family Court

Judge Julia Maldonado is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is the most senior judge on the bench with two years of judicial experience. She is a graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown with a BBA in Accounting and a JD from Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law. Judge Maldonado has been practicing for over 17 years in the areas of Family, Criminal, and Probate law.  She has run for a variety of offices, and after many years of aspiring to public office, was elected Judge of the 507th Family Court in the 2016 general election. While 77% of her Harris County cases are in criminal law, she is well respected in the family law community. Finally, given the 2018 midterm sweep of Harris County by Democrats, she has become the most senior family court judge.

Judge Juli A. Mathew

County Court at Law 3, Fort Bend County

Judge Juli A. Mathew is the first Asian American woman to win a countywide seat in diverse and growing Fort Bend County. Judge Mathew was born in India and grew up in Philadelphia before coming to Texas about 13 years ago. She has practiced in both Pennsylvania and Texas for the last 15 years in the areas of creditor rights, mass tort, oil and gas, probate, and criminal law. Judge Mathew was the Associate Municipal Judge of the City of Arcola before becoming the presiding Judge of Fort Bend County Court 3, a general jurisdiction court that handles, civil, criminal, probate and juvenile matters. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and her Juris Doctorate from Widener University now called Delaware Law School. Judge Mathew lives in Sugar Land along with her husband and three daughters and enjoys reading, current events and international travel.

Judge Tanya Garrison

157th Civil District Court, Harris County District Courts, Houston

Judge Garrison was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1997, where she met her husband. After graduation, the Garrisons moved to Houston, where Judge Garrison attended the University of Houston for law school graduating in 2000 with honors in both oral advocacy and academics. During law school, Judge Garrison began working at the law firm of Weycer, Kaplan, Pulaski & Zuber P.C., where she practiced law until being elected as Judge of the 157th in 2018. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Garrison’s law practice consisted of entirely civil litigation with an emphasis on appellate law. She is Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and a proud member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Judge Garrison is active in the legal profession and the community. In 2008, she was President of the Houston Young Lawyers Association, and in 2011 was selected as the Woodrow B. Seals Outstating Young Lawyer. Judge Garrison has served on the board of various pro bono organizations providing legal services to lower-income Houstonians.

Judge Angela D. Rodriguez

Harris County Judge Precinct 6, Place 2

Judge Angela D. Rodriguez is a native Houstonian, born and raised in Houston, Texas. Judge Rodriguez served in the award-winning Immigration clinic at her law school. She has served as law clerk for the Law Office of Harry Gee, P.C. before devoting her time as a lawyer in private practice. Judge Rodriguez has been licensed to practice law since 2013 and has represented clients in Felony and Misdemeanor Criminal courts, Civil court and Immigration court as well as in Construction Law matters. In addition to her studies in Houston, Judge Rodriguez studied law abroad in London, England and also spent one year teaching abroad in a private school in Mexico before law school. She was sworn in as the Presiding Justice of the Peace in Precinct 6, Place 2, by her Father in 2018. Judge Angela enjoys rooting for the Houston, Texans, being involved with community projects and spending quality time with family and friends.

Elizabeth Santos

Second Vice President, Houston ISD, District I

Elizabeth Alba Santos was elected to the Board of Education in December 2017. She believes children deserve outstanding teachers in every classroom, so she is focused on hiring and retaining great educators throughout the school district. This investment in educators includes offering not only competitive teacher salaries but opportunities for relevant and worthwhile professional development and shared decision-making. Her goals also include eliminating the culture of high-stakes standardized testing in schools and strengthening ethics rules for the HISD Board of Education.

Santos was born and raised in Houston, the daughter of Mexican immigrants. She attended neighborhood schools in HISD, including Janowski and Herrera elementary schools, and Burbank Middle School. She is a proud graduate of Sam Houston High School. Due in part to her positive experiences, Santos is committed to strengthening the community-schools model in HISD. She believes that building relationships between a community and its schools ensures their growth and sustainability. Santos seeks and welcomes input from school stakeholders, who have valuable insight into the strengths and needs of their community. She recognizes that student success also depends on factors that extend beyond the classroom, such as the need for basic health care and stability, so she will work to make every neighborhood school the heartbeat of its community with support services for students and their families.

Santos earned an associate degree from Houston Community College and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Houston–Downtown. Recognizing the importance of building her community and giving back, Santos returned to Sam Houston  as a teacher, where she served for seven years and was nominated multiple times for Teacher of the Year. Most recently, she taught at Northside High School, her mother’s alma mater.

 As a student, volunteer, youth counselor, and teacher, Santos has dedicated her life to underserved youth in her community. She is a community advocate and is actively involved in Community Voices for Public Education, Houston Area Progressives, the Texas Organizing Project, Boards, and Commissions Leadership Institute, the Mexican-American Emerging Leaders Organization, American Jewish Committee, and many others. Santos has served as an example to her students and hopes to create an empowered community that includes students who are self-advocates.

Rhonda Skillern-Jones

HISD School Board Trustee

Rhonda Skillern-Jones is an HISD school Board trustee who represents District II. Ms. Skillern-Jones was elected to the Board in 2011 and reelected in 2015. She serves as the Vice Chair of the Council of Urban Boards of Education, President of the Texas Association of Black School Board Members and sits on the Board of Directors for the Texas Association of School Board Members. She has held every office on the board including being President twice. Ms. SKillern -Jones is a native Houstonian and mother of 5 who has dedicated her life to the pursuit of equity in education for all students. Her belief is that a fair start with a quality education sets the stage for becoming a successful part of society.

Constable Silvia Trevino

Harris County Constable, Precinct 6

Constable Silvia Trevino is a 30-Year Law Enforcement Officer with a Master Peace Officer Certification. Constable Silvia Trevino has a deep-rooted commitment to serving her community. She is a 2nd generation Precinct 6 homegrown Houstonian who was born in Precinct 6’s historical neighborhood known as “Crisol.” She was raised in Precinct 6’s Near Northside community, and she is a proud graduate from HISD’s Jeff Davis High School. Shortly after graduation, Silvia married the love of her life, Victor Trevino. They have 3 wonderful children and 6 precious grandchildren. Silvia and Victor settled in Precinct 6’s East End where they have resided for over 30 years. 

In 1983, Silvia decided that she wanted to join the police force and became one of Houston’s Finest; a Houston Police Officer. In a class of 70 cadets, Silvia was one of only 6 females who graduated from the Houston Police Academy. She spent 16 years patrolling the streets of Houston, and 5 years serving as one of HPD’s Public Information Officers. Silvia retired from the Houston Police Department after serving 21 years with Honor. Silvia was equally proud and honored to serve as a Lieutenant for Harris County for 8 ½ years. She was the only female in an all-male Command Staff, and retired in 2013.

Silvia’s passion is God, her family, her community and law enforcement. These passions have brought her to where she is today. Silvia wanted to continue serving her community but in a different capacity. She came out of retirement and ran for public office where she beat 5 other opponents in the 2016 Primary election with 53% of the votes. In the 2016 general election, Silvia WON overwhelmingly with 77% of the votes. Constable Silvia Trevino made history by becoming the first Latina Constable in Harris County; the 4th largest county in the U.S. More importantly, Constable Silvia Trevino became the first Grandma Constable in Harris County.

In September 2017, Fiestas Patrias awarded Constable Silvia Trevino as the Distinguished Hispanic of the Year for 2017-2018. In December, 2017, the Greater Houston LULAC Council 4967 presented Constable Silvia Trevino with the Public and Community Leadership Award of Excellence for Law Enforcement. In June, 2018, The Latino Learning Center awarded Constable Silvia Trevino with a Humanitarian Award for their dedication during Hurricane Harvey.
Public Safety is and always will be Constable Silvia Trevino’s #1 Priority.