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.
Dr. Jennifer Cantu, a Laredo, Texas native, is a democrat challenging incumbent Phil Stephenson for Texas House of Representatives District 85,  encompassing the more rural areas of Wharton, Jackson, and Fort Bend counties. Currently, Cantu works as an early-childhood intervention therapist and service coordinator for a Texas nonprofit and is a co-founder of Fort Bend For All, another nonprofit dedicated to serving the needs of indigent and minority members of the Fort Bend county community. Cantu is a dedicated mother of twin girls and her husband, Fernando, lives in Mexico.
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.
Born and raised in Boston Massachusetts, Alexsandra Annello grew up in an outspoken Italian household with her single mother. Her mother worked hard to support her family and at a young age, Annello was exposed to many social issues her family and community faced. Growing up in public housing, her mother was heavily concerned and aware of the issues and what policies the government were planning on creating. Being very outspoken and politically orentiated, Annello’s mother was a huge influence to Annello and made her realize her voice did matter. Now with the political and social flame burning inside a young Annello, she decided it was time to get involved. Excited and ready to conquer the world, Annello organized a mock election for her second grade class to participate in. This was during the first time Clinton was elected as president and Annello was already getting her hands dirty with organizing.
Somewhere on the campaign trail in the 25th congressional district of Texas you’ll find Julie Oliver, the democratic nominee taking on incumbent Roger Williams. A year ago in July of 2017, Oliver watched congress attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no plan of replacing it; as a woman who has worked in healthcare and taxation for over 20 years, Julie knew it was time for a change. Oddly enough, she first she asked her husband, Matt, to run...but after enough “No’s,” she knew it was up to her.
Aylin Segura, an entering freshman at Mountain View College and aspiring dentist, gained her first insight into politics during her freshman year at Skyline High School after campaigning for Wendy Davis in the 2014 Texas Gubernatorial Race. From there, she has testified on legislation affecting sex education in schools, received statewide news media attention for her work with gun violence prevention on campuses, and, now, chartered the first ever menstrual equity initiative in Texas. She is passionate vessel for student welfare and can’t be stopped. This is (HER)story.
Honorable Lana Myers currently serves in Place 4 as a Justice for the 5th District Court of Appeals, covering a large portion of North Texas. Her journey as a conservative elected official has spanned for more than two decades, including terms on the 5th District Court of Appeals and the 203rd Judicial District Court, a criminal district court in Dallas County. Her passion for politics spurred in her childhood but did not avail to fruition until she began working for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor. As a candidate who has faced both an appointment and an election process, she recognizes the partisan and politically-charged challenges of becoming an elected official. Lana advises young women interested in pursuing office to “exude your own credibility.”
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.
Juli Mathew is running for County Court of Law #3 in Fort Bend County which encompasses twelve cities outside of Houston, Texas. As an immigrant woman from India, Juli has led an uphill battle to bring more intersectional Asian representation across elected office in the area. Her journey hasn’t been easy: she has faced a variety of disparaging remarks during her time campaigning, especially regarding her comingling roles as a mother and candidate. Her campaign focuses on cost-saving measures that can be brought to the Fort Bend County court system with hopes of embracing the diverse community and understanding the obstacles they may face. But to accomplish this, Juli must stand strong in the face of adversity.