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SPEAKERS

Jasmine Crockett.png

Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett has purposefully made every decision with one goal in mind: protecting the civil liberties of those in underrepresented communities. As a public defender, civil rights attorney, State Representative, and United States Congresswoman, Jasmine Crockett dedicates her life to public service, with the goal of serving justice and ensuring equality for all. 

In the midst of political turmoil, economic distress, and racial inequality, Congresswoman Crockett laced up her shoes to march for justice and run for the Texas House of Representatives. The sole Black freshman and youngest Black lawmaker in Texas during the 87th Legislative Session, Congresswoman Crockett navigated what has been marked as the most conservative session in Texas history. Despite the uphill climb, Congresswoman Crockett filed more bills than any other freshman, assembled a wide coalition to pass landmark criminal justice reforms in the House, and brought more accessibility and accountability to her office than before. She was a founding member of both the Texas Progressive Caucus as well as the Texas Caucus on Climate, Energy, and the Environment. As State Representative, she fought for economic opportunity as a member of the Business & Industry Committee, and advocated for reform on the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. Congresswoman Crockett was one of the lead architects of the 2021 Texas House Quorum Break, which brought attention to the draconian and restrictive voting measures being proposed in the legislature.

Her passion for justice and the protection of peoples’ rights led her to pursue a career as a public defender, and civil rights and criminal defense attorney. She focused on defending our most vulnerable among us from exploitation in the criminal justice system. As she began her career in the Bowie County Public Defender's Office, Congresswoman Crockett worked tirelessly to keep children safe and out of jail. Her time there serves as a reminder that criminal justice is an intersectional issue.

Following her service in the Texas Legislature, Congresswoman Crockett accepted the call, and won the election for retiring Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson's congressional seat in Texas’ 30th District. Following her election, she hit the ground running and won a seat at the Leadership table as Freshman Leadership Representative, a position she will use to advocate for all Texans. As Freshman Leadership Representative, she is one of a few Black women ever elected to Democratic House Leadership. In Congress, Congresswoman Crockett hopes to continue to build on the legacy of Chairwoman Johnson, and will fight to expand access to healthcare, voting rights, economic opportunity, and dignity for all. She will fight to protect Medicare, Social Security, and expand critical social safety net programs. She will continue to be a tireless advocate for civil liberties, immigrant rights, and economic equity for women and the diverse communities across the State of Texas.

Congresswoman Crockett earned her B.A. in Business Administration from Rhodes College and her J.D. from the University of Houston. She is licensed to practice law in Texas, Arkansas, and Federal Courts. Crockett is the past Bowie County Democratic Party Chair, held various leadership positions within the legal community, is a former board member of the Dallas County Metrocare Services, and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

As a Congresswoman for all Texans, she's looking forward to continuing our fight and ushering in the next generation of servant leadership in the halls of Congress and Washington, D.C.

Marisa Bono.png

Lifelong social justice advocate and thought leader Marisa Bono joined Austin-based Every Texan as Executive Director in 2021. She is a licensed attorney and has specific policy expertise in social equity as it relates to education, immigration, voting rights, and political access. Marisa is the first woman of color to serve as Every Texan’s Executive Director.

Marisa brings extensive experience as a civil rights lawyer and public servant. Earlier in her career, Marisa served as the Southwest Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the nation’s premier Latino civil rights law firm. While at MALDEF, Marisa was a leading civil rights litigator and directed MALDEF’s litigation and state policy agendas in the areas of education and funding, immigration, voting rights, political access and employment in the Southwest region. Her own docket focused on immigrants’ rights and education impact litigation across a broad spectrum. Marisa represented both immigrant and U.S. Citizen families who were assaulted by vigilante ranchers in the Arizona desert, military veterans who were wrongfully denied education benefits by the State of Texas, and immigrants who were wrongfully denied drivers’ licenses, housing, and in-state tuition.

Before coming to Every Texan, Marisa served as Chief Strategic Officer of VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio, and where she successfully led an initiative to expand service for working families and low wage workers. Marisa joined VIA after serving as Chief of Policy for San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. In that role she advised the Mayor and oversaw the implementation of his policy agenda, including priorities related to transportation, housing, and education and workforce development.

Marisa has unique experience in the area of school funding, having tried school funding cases in Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico, where she challenged the inadequacy of school funding for low income and English Language Learner students. She was the first Latina to argue a school funding case in the Texas Supreme Court, and served as the lead attorney in Martinez v. New Mexico, a landmark school funding case where she represented over 50 low income and ELL students across the State in a nine-week trial. With her team she secured a final court ruling that education is a fundamental right in the State – the ruling is still good law today.

Marisa was born and raised in San Antonio. She has a law degree and master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan, where she was Managing Editor of the Michigan Law Review. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Rice University.

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Bonnie Castillo, RN, is Executive Director of National Nurses United (NNU), California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC), an all-RN professional organization and union with a membership of nearly 225,000 throughout California and nationwide.

 

Before being named as executive director, she was the director of the Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN), a disaster relief program run by NNU that places registered nurse volunteers where they are needed after man-made and natural catastrophes. She has coordinated RN volunteers to help in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, super typhoon Haiyan, hurricanes Katrina, Harvey (Texas) and Maria (Puerto Rico), and elsewhere.

Bonnie also held the positions of CNA/NNOC Director of Government Relations and NNU Director of Health and Safety. She has been with CNA/NNOC for almost two decades in a number of important capacities, working her way up into the leadership of the organization from her early days as a registered nurse member who helped to unionize her facility, to staff and then lead organizer, to a director, and now to her current position as Executive Director.

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Zeph Capo, a public school science teacher, is president of the Texas AFT and previously served as president of the Houston Federation of Teachers. He has served on several community boards, including a six-year term as an elected trustee of one of the largest community college systems in the United States, bringing community groups and schools together at all levels.

Capo has served as a local union leader, central and state labor council leader, community leader and is now focused on developing local leadership and rank-and-file leaders across Texas in an effort to move the state to a pro-public education majority. 

Jasmine Crockett
Zeph Capo
Bonnie Castillo
Marisa Bono
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