Meet the Speaker: Ellen Cohen


Ellen Cohen has lived and worked in the city of Houston for the past 40 years. She served for 10 years as the Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, and for 18 years as the CEO of the Houston Area Women's Center, working with survivors of sexual and domestic violence. In 2006, she was elected as the Texas State Representative for Houston's District 134. After serving two terms in the Texas Legislature, Ellen decided to continue her public service career at home. She ran for Houston City Council, and was sworn into office in January 2012 as the Council Member representing District C. In 2016, she was named by Mayor Turner and elected by her fellow Council Members as Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Houston. She is currently serving her third term on Council. During her tenure on Council, she has championed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, the elimination of the sexual assault kit backlog and, as the Chair of Council's Legislative Ad-Hoc Advisory Group, is assisting Mayor Turner in advocating for his historic Pension Reform Agreement.

For the Timbergrove area in recent years, Mayor Pro Tem Cohen ensured completion of the Jaycee Park Renovation with the Ball Field Lighting Capital Improvement Project; advocated for the Bryce Chemical Station Rebuild; funded a "mini mural" on the traffic utility box located at W. 18th St at Ella Blvd; allocated funds from her District C Council District Service Fund to study and improve traffic throughout our residential streets; contributed approximately $650,000 for police overtime hours; and supported the addition of police cadet classes to improve neighborhood safety.