In 2012, the city of Tyler began an initiative of creating a more beautiful place by planting trees throughout the area. Introduced by the mayor, this Tyler Trees proposal wanted to plant 5,000 trees over the following 5 years, an effort that received the collaboration of the entire community. Tree events were held, a tree planting day was created, students at the local schools donated their lunch money to plant more trees, and together, Tyler planted 5,000 trees 2 years before the planned goal. Such a successful plan to enhance and extend the natural beauty of Tyler can be attributed to the woman who organized the initiative: former mayor Barbara Bass.
As a woman in East Texas politics, Kristen Ishihara is making a difference in her community and giving back in every way she can. Though not raised in Texas - or even in the southern region of the United States, for that matter - Kristen Ishihara has found that her family, friends, and Christianity have shaped her into the politician she is today. After graduating from Western Michigan University, Ishihara moved to Waco, Texas, where she attended Baylor Law School. She moved to Longview, Texas, and was first exposed to small-town politics when she noticed there was not a public dog park in the area.
Katie Hicken is student at the University of Texas at Tyler where she also shines as a top player for the collegiate golf team and serves as President of the PERIOD @ Tyler chapter. On top of her many accomplishments as a student-athlete and leader, she was also recently elected as Vice President for the UT Tyler Student Government where she made now serves in a majority-female executive cabinet. Katie has hit the ground running since being elected, leading projects dedicated specifically to alleviating financial burden on students including menstrual equity policy, accessible childcare services, and food insecurity alleviation. When tackling obstacles like these with her campus administration, Katie lives by this philosophy: “Don’t be afraid to have the tough conversations”.