Rodney Ellis | MindMeet

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About Rodney

State of Texas - Harris County Commissioner from Precinct 1

Commissioner Rodney Ellis was born and raised in Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood and attended the Texas public school system from grade school through law school. Although he is an attorney, his passion is public service. On November 8, 2016, he was elected Harris County Commissioner for Precinct One, which serves approximately 1.1 million people. Previously, he represented a Houston district in the Texas Senate for more than 25 years, earning widespread praise as a leader on economic development, education, civil rights, budget issues, responsible environmental policy, tax cuts for the middle class, criminal justice, and workforce development. During his career in public service, Commissioner Ellis has worked hard to ensure that children have equal access to a quality education, regardless of where they reside. He also has spearheaded legislation to provide employees with a safe workplace, access to affordable health care and a living wage. In criminal justice, he has fought for reforms that guarantee equal treatment for everyone under the law. It’s his cardinal belief that guilt and innocence must never be dependent on one’s income, gender, race or ethnicity. Before joining the Texas Senate in 1990, Commissioner Ellis served three terms on the Houston City Council and as chief of staff to the late U.S. Congressman Mickey Leland. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas Southern University, a master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Commissioner Ellis also studied at Xavier University in New Orleans and the London School of Economics.

Rodney's Expertise

  • Political Science
  • Criminal Justice Reform
  • Responsible Environmental Policy
  • Workforce Development
  • Civil Rights

Work and Presentations

About the Cause

Global Citizens Circle

Global Citizens Circle’s mission since 1974 remains “to foster diversity, discussion, and constructive change in ourselves, our nation, and our world." Circles are respectful, highly interactive, moderated conversations where concerned individuals with diverse backgrounds add unique perspectives to each discussion. Working with a new generation who build on and re-envision Circles for the 21st Century, together we will co-create new ways of convening people for maximum impact. "As a member of the next generation and coming from a humble background in Nicaragua, I felt my opinions and ideas were valued at a Circle, even as I stood next to individuals who have accomplished great things. I saw how this special forum enables deep connections to take hold between people who may not otherwise have a chance to interact or learn from each other." - Nelly Ortiz