Minutes – January 23, 2017


Board members present: Laura Nicol, Mary Morrison, Kathy Stabe, Marie Dobay, Edna Griggs, Barbara Gardner, and Lenora Sorola-Pohlman.

President Laura Nicol called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Elected officials and candidates present at the meeting were: Lillie Schecter for Harris County Democratic Party Chair; and Rob Collier for Harris County Democratic Party Chair.

The January speakers were Diane Trautman, Harris County Department of Education trustee, who spoke about changes happening at HCDE since the November 2016 elections, and announced her candidacy for Harris County Clerk in 2018; and Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Houston Independent School District trustee for District 2, who spoke about the five seats on the school board which will be up for election in November 2017 and how to run for those positions. We also enjoyed a surprise visit from Wanda Adams, president of the Houston Independent School District Board of Trustees, who informed us about the recapture process to fund public schools in Texas, and why HISD is opposed to the “Robin Hood Law.”

An audience member asked about the volume of the broadcast of the school board meetings and it was suggested that concerned citizens could write the City of Houston regarding that issue, as the school board does not have direct control of the broadcast.

Reading of the minutes from the November 2016 meeting was waived and the minutes were accepted as written.

The Treasurer reported a balance of $8,971.00 in TDWHarris’ account.


  • The 7th annual TDWHarris Women Making History awards luncheon and fundraiser will be held on March 11, 2017. Flyers to purchase tickets and buy ads in the program were distributed. A request was made for volunteers to help at the luncheon with set-up, decorations, guest sign-in, and host duties.
  • An audience member inquired about vegetarian meal options at the luncheon. Laura Nicol said that efforts will be made to provide a vegetarian option if we are informed sufficiently in advance of the luncheon when the individual purchases a ticket.
  • Laura Nicol announced that she had personally sponsored a seat on the bus to Washington, D.C. for the Women’s March.
  • Barbara Gardner spoke about our statewide parent organization, Texas Democratic Women’s state convention in Austin on February 10-12, 2017.
  • Texas Democratic Women’s Star Award was presented by Barbara Gardner with the TDWHarris Board to President Laura Nicol and Board member Lenora Sorola-Pohlman.
  • Nomination was made and seconded to vote on the list of candidates for TDWHarris 2017 officers. Barbara Gardner was nominated and elected to serve as vice president; Mary Morrison was re-elected as treasurer; and Kathy Stabe was re-elected as secretary.
  • Members of TDWHarris were invited to join one or more of the committees which help TDWHarris run and accomplish our goals. An e-mail will be sent to everyone on the mailing list with more information and descriptions of each committee.
  • Virg Parks shared information about ACLU lobby training on Saturday, January 28, 2017.
  • Information about local groups such as Indivisible Houston was provided, including where to obtain a copy of Indivisible’s guide on what we can do to resist an authoritarian administration in the White House. The guide can be obtained online at https://www.indivisibleguide.com/download-the-guide.
  • Guests who were attending a meeting of TDWHarris for the first time were recognized and welcomed.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.