Rep. Garnet Coleman
Texas House of Representatives (Harris County)
Garnet F. Coleman has served the people of District 147 in the Texas House of Representatives continuously since 1991.Read More
Some of his most significant legislative accomplishments include joint authoring 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) in Texas, which makes low-cost health insurance available to more than 400,000 children from working families. Representative Coleman also passed the Sandra Bland Act which included de-escalation training for officers, improving the process to make a complaint or compliment of an officer, jail diversion, jail safety, improved data collection, and improvements to mental healthcare.
Outside of his legislative work, Representative Coleman remains active and involved in the Houston community. He serves on the advisory board of the Houston Children’s Museum and the Ensemble Theater. In 1991, Representative Coleman founded S.M.A.R.T. Kids, a youth development program that provides much-needed tutoring for inner-city students.
Representative Coleman and his wife, Angelique, reside in Houston’s University Oaks neighborhood. They have two children, Austin and Evan.
Children’s mental health has always been important but has come into sharp focus the last couple of years in Texas with the traumatic events of the current pandemic, the Santa Fe school shooting, and Hurricane Harvey, all which have caused disruption in our children’s education. That is why I am proud that during my tenure in the Texas Legislature, I authored and passed multiple bills to increase mental health training and resources in our schools.
We need to continue to make improvements to helping identify children who may need help.
We are on the right track, but there is still a ways to get to where we need to be. Regrettably, a child’s ability to access proper mental health care and resources is still very dependent on the zip code they live in. We need to continue to make improvements to helping identify children who may need help, and then making sure that we are able to direct and provide their parents with the care and resources they need for their child. But I know we have come a long way since I started in the Texas House in 1991. The stigma around mental health still exists, but every year, more and more of my colleagues begin to understand and care about mental health issues in both children and adults.
— Rep. Garnet Coleman