About Texans Together Education Fund
Texans Together Education Fund (TTEF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in August of 2006 to work on actively engaging Harris County communities. Since that time, Texans Together has worked across the Greater Houston Area empowering leaders in communities, promoting civic engagement, and organizing for the good of communities.
Our organization specializes in civic engagement of historically disengaged citizens and underserved communities. Texans Together works alongside residents all over the Greater Houston Area to help them develop essential civic skills, learn the value of organizing in their communities, and promote civic engagement in their communities. We believe that people become civically engaged to improve their communities and lives when they work to address issues that are personally important to them, learn concrete skills that allow them to address these issues, and see measurable results from their efforts.
Board of Directors
Julie Dokell - Treasurer
Frances "Sissy" Farenthold
Mary Flood Nugent - Secretary
Jan Fox - Chairman
Fred Lewis - President
Keith Watson Wade
Chief Executive Officer
Since its inception, TTEF has civically engaged residents in large, historically disengaged, modest-to-lower income minority areas outside Harris County’s urban core, including Aldine, Alief and Gulfton, South Central Houston, North Spring Branch/Northwest, Magnolia Park, and Pasadena/Channelview. We have knocked on the doors of over 45,000 lower-income homes, held hundreds of community meetings, and engaged thousands of modest-to-lower income residents in dozens of projects to improve their communities. Because the civic engagement projects are chosen by the residents, they include a wide variety of activities, from supporting an area health clinic for young families in Aldine, to establishing neighborhood crime watch programs in Pasadena and Alief, to working with Harris County to fix drainage problems in Aldine, to creating a community garden in Magnolia Park in order to promote healthy lifestyles, to petitioning the City of Houston to improve Alief’s community centers, to developing a resident-led Resource Center at a large apartment complex in Alief.
Teaching and Guiding Public Policy Participation
TTEF engages modest-to-lower income people in public policy education and issue advocacy of their choosing and in non-partisan, get-out-the vote programs. In fall 2012, we organized 175 grassroots leaders, trained and mentored by TTEF to emphasize the importance of voting to young minorities..
TTEF has worked closely with residents on state public education and health care advocacy. In 2009, as part of a large state coalition for universal pre-k for disadvantaged 4 year olds, TTEF and volunteers phoned 7673 modest-to-lower lower income residents; over 400 of these residents contacted their representatives and 27 visited them in person. TTEF also delivered 8100 pre-k petitions to the House Public Education Committee. Since 2011, TTEF has served on the executive committee of Save Texas Schools (STS), a large grassroots education coalition to oppose severe budget cuts to public education. In spring 2011, TTEF recruited 100 lower income residents to attend by bus STS’s Capitol Rally, as well as recruited several hundred more residents to take their own cars.
Since September 2012, TTEF has fielded one trained, experienced organizer promoting health coverage expansion and collecting petitions. She is speaking regularly at community centers, fairs, churches, and neighborhood groups
Residents, with our guidance, also have held well-attended forums in historically disengaged areas on expanding health coverage and on increasing funding for their public schools. Aldine residents hosted in 2009 a national health insurance forum, attended by over 100 residents. Alief residents have hosted three, non-partisan forums with state legislative and school board candidates. In the fall of 2011, 79 residents attended one of these forums on public education – a large number for Alief. In the spring of 2012, TTEF and residents hosted a forum with Save Texas Schools with 60 area attendees on the impact of school funding cuts.