Kathie Tovo, current Mayor Pro Tem representing City Council District 9 in Austin, Texas, did not grow up envisioning herself working in politics. Kathie did not have politically involved parents, so it wasn’t until attending college that she began to figure out her political views. Those views turned out to be different than her family’s. Nevertheless, she felt free to engage in political activities on campus, such as rallies. After college, she guided her career toward teaching writing and interdisciplinary studies at the college level and working at Humanities Texas. In her spare time, she began getting involved in neighborhood affairs and became vice president and president of different neighborhood associations. Her passion for the issues she was dealing with began to grow, and even though Kathie had not explicitly decided to begin a career in politics, she decided to let her new-found passion guide her towards a path that would enable her to keep working on them. This is what led her to run for City Council member and thus begin her career in politics.
Julia O’Hanlon helped make statewide news after leading an all-female, University of Texas (UT) Student Government executive alliance ticket (the Guneez & Hannah ticket featured by Lone Star Parity Project earlier this year). She served their team as the Campaign Manager, a role she had never filled before but was eager to jump into when she learned that the Guneez & Hannah team would focus their platform efforts on marginalized communities. What O’Hanlon didn’t know was that she would face off an opposing executive alliance ticket in three rounds of voting: one general election, one recall election, and one run off election. Although her team did not come out victorious, O’Hanlon has made strides towards a transformed UT campus after the Guneez & Hannah ticket faced racial and gender discrimination during the election cycles.
Student Government elections are taking place at the University of Texas at Austin this month. The President-Vice President candidate pair that has been making the most amount of noise on campus, and across the state, is that of Guneez Ibrahim and Hannah McMorris. This all-female leadership ticket has their sights set on bringing equality to marginalized communities, if elected. According to the campaign’s website, only 20% of the student body population actually participate in student government elections. Guneez & Hannah hope to connect with the communities that regularly do not vote and emphasize their opinions in future campus-wide decisions.