General Social Justice/Advocacy Social Services

New members join the board of Every Texan

Written by Mindia Whittier

The organization works alongside community leaders to advance equitable policy solutions.

Every Texan, formerly known as the Center for Public Policy Priorities, has announced the appointment of six new members to its board of directors. The appointees will serve a two-year term effective January 1, 2022.

“The past year brought great growth to Every Texan as we expanded our team throughout Texas, and I am honored to welcome this group of accomplished leaders who share our mission and reflect the diversity of our state,” said Every Texan CEO Marisa Bono. “As a social justice organization committed to advocating for Texans of all backgrounds, we are excited to continue building out our statewide presence with this remarkable new class of board members.”

New board members include:

Anderson Bynam
Anderson Bynam is a managing director in the Public Finance Group at Mesirow Financial. Andy heads Mesirow’s Houston office, and he focuses on servicing the firm’s clients in Texas and other states across the South and the Mid-Atlantic. During his career, he has served as lead banker on numerous senior-managed financings for Texas and national issuers. Bynam began his public finance career in 1989 as a bond lawyer with the Public Law Section at Fulbright and Jaworski in Houston. He moved to the banking side of public finance in 1992 when he joined Grigsby Brandford & Co. Bynam currently serves on the boards for the Greater Houston Area Red Cross, Texas Water Trade, and Jazz Houston, Inc. He earned a B.A. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.

Molly Cox
Molly Cox returned to consulting in March of 2021 after a decade with SA2020, a nonprofit that drives progress toward a shared community vision in San Antonio, Texas. She led the organization in nationally- and internationally-recognized work coordinating the alignment of multi-sector organizations toward research-based shared goals prioritized by the community. Cox serves as a Knowledge Curator for the Equitable Evaluation Initiative, and has a B.A. in theatre and a master’s in political science. She is a Certified Nonprofit Professional and a graduate of the UT Austin LBJ Women’s Campaign School.

Marvalette Hunter 
Marvalette Hunter is chief of staff for the Honorable Sylvester Turner, Mayor of the City of Houston, Texas. As Turner’s chief administrator and policy advisor, Hunter plans, manages, and directs the administrative, programmatic, and budgetary operations of the Mayor’s Office and ensures strategic alignment within each of the city’s 23 departments. Hunter has more than 25 years’ experience in public policy, city and regional planning, real estate development, and finance. Her prior public sector experience includes positions as chief operating officer for the Harris County Housing Authority and project manager for the Houston Housing and Community Development Department and Houston Planning Department. Hunter holds a Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University and a B.A. from Florida A&M University. She is the first Black woman to hold the position of Mayor’s Chief of Staff, and in 2018, she was named among the Top 30 Most Influential Women in Houston.

Rick Levy
Rick Levy is the president of the Texas AFL-CIO, a position he was elected to in 2017. Previously, he held the position of secretary-treasurer from 2015-2017. Levy began working for the State Federation in 1990, first as legal director and subsequently as general counsel. In that capacity, he has represented the State Federation in a broad variety of matters, including numerous legislative and political campaigns to protect and advance the rights of workers in Texas. As Texas AFL-CIO’s president, Levy is focused on helping to build a broader, bolder, and more inclusive labor movement, emphasizing and elevating the principle of solidarity to be at the core of the effort. Levy has been a member of TSEU/CWA 6186 since 1986 and is also a member of Ironworkers Local 482.

Laura V. Rodríguez 
Laura V. Rodríguez is a principal and founder at The Raben Group. Specializing in communications, message development, and political strategy, Rodríguez leads the firm’s Texas office, which she established in 2015. She began her career on Capitol Hill, where she held leadership positions in the offices of Representatives Hilda L. Solis (CA), Loretta Sanchez (CA), and Ronald D. Coleman (TX). Prior to opening its Texas office, Rodríguez launched Raben’s California office in 2005. While there, she helped leading civil rights and research organizations — including MALDEF, The Williams Institute, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice — build their communications infrastructure, increase their media exposure, and establish themselves as national thought leaders. Rodríguez is an El Paso native and a graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, DC. She is a co-founder of the Hispanic Lobbyists Association and sits on the boards of the ACLU of Texas and the YWCA El Paso Del Norte Region.

Marcela Salazar
Marcela Salazar is an international executive with twenty years of experience working for corporations and progressive nonprofits, and as a journalist. Her expertise comes from a decade in broadcast journalism at CNN, CNN en Español, and Univision, where she earned an Emmy nomination and two Peabody Awards. Salazar is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and holds a Master of Journalism from the Universitat de Barcelona, and a Certificate of Journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. Originally from Chicago, Salazar resides in Dallas with her family after two decades in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the new board appointments, Ken Janda has been elevated to board chair. Continuing their service on the board are James Aldrete, Anette Carlisle, John-Michael Cortez, Karen Farabee, Tobi Jackson, Jim Keffer, Sima Ladjevardian, Veletta Forsythe Lill, Regina Montoya, C. LeRoy Cavazos-Reyna, Sarah Saldaña, and Atul Varadhachary, M.D., Ph.D.

Founded by the Benedictine Sisters of Boerne, Every Texan believes social justice requires public policy. The organization exposes unfair barriers faced by people of color, low-income Texans, immigrants, women, children and other disenfranchised populations, and pushes for quality health care, education and jobs so that every Texan has a fair opportunity to thrive.

About the author

Mindia Whittier