Women in Politics

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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.

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.

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.