Garnet Coleman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Garnet Fredrick Coleman
Rep. Garnet Austin Coleman.jpg
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 147th district
Assumed office
October 15, 1991
Preceded by Larry Q. Evans
Personal details
Born (1961-09-08) September 8, 1961 (age 53)
Washington, DC, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Angelique F. Coleman
Children Austin
Residence Houston, Texas, U.S.
Alma mater Howard University
University of St. Thomas (B.A.)
Website Campaign website
Garnet Coleman on Twitter
Garnet Coleman on Facebook

Garnet Fredrick Coleman (born September 8, 1961)[1] is an American politician. Since 1991, he has been a member of the Texas House of Representatives for the 147th district, located entirely within Houston, Texas and Harris County.

Early life and education[edit]

Coleman was born on September 8, 1961, in Washington, DC and raised in Houston, Texas. His father is John B. Coleman, a Houston doctor.[2] As of 2006, the family of Coleman's father had lived in Houston's Third Ward neighborhood for over 100 years.[3]

Coleman graduated from Jack Yates High School in Houston,[4] and the University of Saint Thomas in Houston.

Coleman attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. and in 1990 graduated from the University of St. Thomas cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts. He also completed the Harvard University Senior Executive Program for State and Local Government.[citation needed]

Political career[edit]

Coleman was elected to his first term as a state representative in 1991 at age 29.[5]

His district includes Downtown Houston, the Hobby Airport area, Midtown Houston, Sagemont, and the Third Ward.[4]

Coleman has been named Texas Monthly Ten Best Legislators List on two occasions. Most recently he received the 2005 Reintegration Award presented by Eli Lilly and Company, a national award given in acknowledgment of efforts to increase services and decrease the stigma associated with mental illness. Representative Coleman has also been recognized by the Congressional Black Caucus as he was named Outstanding Black Caucus Chair for 2004 for his advocacy of voting rights of African Americans.[citation needed]

Representative Coleman has served as the Chair of the Texas Legislative Study Group, a non-partisan house caucus that provides its members with detailed bill evaluations as it relates to the average Texas family, since 2003 when he was elected to the position by more than 40 of his colleagues. In addition, Rep. Coleman is a past chair of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. As Chairman, Rep. Coleman coordinated efforts among members of the Caucus to help preserve the Top Ten Percent Rule, which assists historically-underrepresented minority students in gaining admission to Texas' top institutions of higher learning.[citation needed]

Coleman is a member of the House Committee on Public Health and the Chair of the House Committee on County Affairs. He has joint authored legislation that simplified access to children's Medicaid for more than 600,000 children in Texas who were eligible for the program but were not enrolled because of bureaucratic barriers. He also helped secure an increase of $161.5 million for at-risk child care services and joint authored legislation that created the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which makes low-cost health insurance available to more than 400,00 children in working families.[citation needed]

Coleman authored legislation that created the Greater Southeast Management District, the Downtown Management District and the Fourth Ward and East Montrose Improvement Districts. Additionally, he sponsored legislation creating Houston's convention center hotel and expanding the convention center itself. Rep. Coleman also authored legislation allowing for the creation of a commercial and industrial development zone in Harris County, which is designed to promote economic development along the transportation corridors that link Houston-area transportation nodes.

Coleman serves on the boards of the Mid-Town Redevelopment Authority, the National Mental Health Association, and the Ensemble Theater. In 1991, Rep. Coleman founded S.M.A.R.T. Kids, an inner city youth development program. He also serves as president and CEO of Apartments for America, Inc., a non-profit affordable housing corporation.

Coleman has been an avid supporter to Houston's LGBT community since taking office; he has supported and endorsed Annise Parker and Sue Lovell. He has also been supportive of the Texas Young Democrats to which its Harris County chapter has invited him as a guest speaker.[citation needed]

In February 2015, Coleman (as representative for the 3rd ward of Houston having one of the highest crime rates in the U.S.[6]) solely authored HB 1627, stripping rights from crime victims and legal firearm owners to have a 'duty to retreat' while being victimized at any location other than their household or their 'lawful possession of land, including a habitation on the land'.[7]

Political positions[edit]

Coleman, in regards to the Third Ward, expressed his opposition to gentrification and a desire to keep the original residents in the neighborhood. Coleman had some control over the Midtown Tax Increment Financing District, which bought land in the Third Ward and enacted deeds restricting what may be done with the land, so that the land could indefinitely be used to house low income residents.[8] In 2009, Coleman said "We learned a lot from the debacle in the Fourth Ward. So it would be stupid not to respond to the negative byproducts of rapid development. We want to find people who will make this community better by becoming part of its fabric, not by changing its fabric."[9] In regards to the Fourth Ward in 2009, Coleman said that it cannot recapture the sense of community that it used to have. Coleman added "the residents got pushed to the suburbs, and the businesses got wiped away."[10]

Personal life[edit]

Coleman and his wife, Angelique, reside in Houston's University Oaks neighborhood. They have two children, Austin and Evan.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "State Rep. Garnet Coleman". Elected Officials Directory. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved November 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ Ayres, Jr., B. Drummond (December 12, 1999). "Political Briefing; Forbes Uses Highway As a Political Wedge". The New York Times. Retrieved November 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ Kimmelman, Michael (December 17, 2006). "In Houston, Art Is Where the Home Is". The New York Times. Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Distinguished HISD Alumni," Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on October 20, 2011. "Garnet F. Coleman (1979) State Representative for District 147, which includes the Third Ward, Fourth Ward, South Park, downtown, midtown, Sagemont, and Hobby Airport areas"
  5. ^ "Houston man takes oath". The Victoria Advocate. October 19, 1991. Retrieved November 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ Third Ward, Houston#Crime
  7. ^
  8. ^ Buntin, John. "Land Rush." Governing. March 2006. Retrieved on July 3, 2011.
  9. ^ Axtman, Kris. "After years in the suburbs, many blacks return to city life." The Christian Science Monitor. April 29, 2004. Retrieved on May 1, 2009.
  10. ^ Feldman, Claudia. "A road called Almeda." Houston Chronicle. October 29, 2009. Retrieved on November 1, 2009.

External links[edit]

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Larry Q. Evans
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 147 (Houston)

1991 – present