2017 Capitol Connection

TxCFR feels it is very important that members of the Texas Legislature and their staff be aware of the value of family life education and the CFLE (Certified Family Life Educator) certification as they create legislation that impacts Texas families. As practitioners, family researchers, faculty, and students, it is imperative that we be the conduit for this information. On Thursday, March 23, we will be visiting our legislators at the capitol to inform them about the importance of family life education and the CFLE. To prepare for this event, a boot camp will be held on Wednesday, March 22 from 1:00-5:00 pm at the Holiday Inn Midtown. Check-in is from 12:00-1:00 pm.  All who plan to participate in the visit to the capitol must attend the boot camp on Wednesday. The cost to participate in this event is $30. Participants must register by Friday, March 17.


The Capital Connection event is designed to be our first step in making legislators and their staff aware of our existence. We hope we can continue to interact with them on a long-term basis.

We will start with a Boot Camp on Wednesday, March 22, 12:00 pm. Boot Camp Agenda. Participants wanting to be involved in meeting with legislators on Thursday need to register and attend Boot Camp. Registration is $30.00. Register Here 


Four talented professionals will serve as trainers for the Capitol Connection Boot Camp. Their experience and expertise make them uniquely qualified to prepare us to meet with our legislators and their staff.

Ellen Arnold represents non-profit entities such as Texas PTA, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Goodwill Industries of Texas before the state legislature, assisting clients with their goals to pass legislation, obtain state appropriations, and influence or impact legislation that potentially affects their organizations. In addition to representing single organizations Ellen manages projects on behalf of coalitions formed to achieve a common goal, providing strategic guidance, organizational support, and lobbying.

Ellen specializes in grassroots advocacy training, assisting organizations in their goal to more effectively participate in policy-making. Her presentations help participants to better understand the political environment in which policy decisions are made, and how to interact successfully with policy makers. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars.

Ellen works as a volunteer trainer with a USAID funded non-governmental organization, in emerging democracies around the world, most recently in Mexico and Albania.

Prior to becoming a government affairs consultant in 2002, Ellen worked in the field of education for over 20 years, the last several as principal of Barton Creek Elementary School in Eanes ISD in Austin. During her tenure there Barton Creek applied for and received the prestigious National Blue Ribbon School Award, presented by the United States Department of Education.

Marlene S. Lobberecht, M.S., CFLE is an active member of the Texas Council for Family Relations board initiating the Public Policy Committee. She is also active in the League of Women Voters–Texas, Marlene is the author of numerous technical articles and books, including the eBooks Texas Advocacy Playbook and Tips for Public Policy Involvement. Marlene is a nationally certified trainer with more than 30 years of experience, an educator, community/child advocate, and coach. She conducts numerous community, state, and national training sessions for community networks and professional associations. Her personal mission is to improve policy outcomes through advocacy and community involvement.

As a member of the League of Women Voters-Texas Board of Directors, Cy-Fair League Chair and early childhood issue chair, she is: an issue specialist/advocate covering multiple issues on the state or national research/consensus position. As an Issue Chair, she is the point of contact for local groups to call regarding questions on their particular issue. Between legislative sessions, the chair follows any ongoing activities, identifies major policy players statewide, monitors legislative interim committees, and builds a network of contacts and supporters. During the legislative session, the issue chair selects legislative issue priorities, writes position briefs, prepares and delivers testimony, consults with legislative members/staff and participates in coalitions and approved affiliations.

Michael Ramsey currently serves as Chief of Staff for Fort Worth Representative Ramon Romero, Jr.  In this capacity he oversees Rep. Romero’s legislative agenda, liaises with stakeholders and constituents, develops and oversees the office budget and manages staff.  Rep. Romero’s current legislative priorities include advocating for mental health access and treatment, returning jobs to blighted areas in the Fort Worth community, and ensuring Texas fully and equitably funds public education.

Prior to his current position, Michael was Rep. Romero’s Legislative Director during the 84th session, in which Rep. Romero Jr. won ‘Democratic Freshman of the Year’.  Before that, Michael served as policy analyst and communications director for former State Senator Wendy Davis, policy director for the Texas House Democratic Caucus, legislative intern for former State Senator Kim Brimer, and senate messenger.

Michael is from Beaumont Texas. He graduated from St. Edwards University in 2009 with a bachelor of science degree in political science.  In his free time, you can find him brewing beer, reading books, and anxiously waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones.

Representative Ramon Romer0, Jr. At a very young age, Representative Romero was always looking for odd jobs in Fort Worth to make his own spending money, given that there wasn’t much to go around in a family of 10. Later he would wash cars on East Rosedale, and worked his first real job at Ashburn’s Ice Cream Parlor. In high school, he discovered his talents in telemarketing while working for health and life insurance agents setting appointments.

Representative Romero, not much different than his parents, started his family at a young age having twins, Lindsay and Lauren, then Giovanni, all before graduating high school. While he did attend Tarrant County College, he had mouths to feed and decided to enter the workforce. He then left college, attained his irrigation license and started his first business. A year later he started his pool business, A-Fast Tile & Coping. By age 25, A-Fast had over 60 employees, many who were from his neighborhood and today, Representative Romero still owns A-Fast Tile & Coping and also owns Stone Mason Supply, along with the Ramon Romero Corporation.

In the mid 90’s Representative Romero helped form the first neighborhood association in his mother’s neighborhood, just blocks from his own home. He worked with the Fort Worth Independent School District and City of Fort Worth Housing Department staff to ensure neighbors would be properly compensated for their homes when the district built baseball fields at Poly High School. This involvement is what sparked his passion for public service.

It was this ability to work with city officials and his community that earned a city appointment by then Councilman, Ralph McCloud. He later became Chair of the Planning Commission under Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks. Representative Romero was also a member of the Zoning Commission, the Air Quality Task Force Committee, the Golf Advisory Committee and various master plan committees for his area parks. He won the 2014 Democratic Primary for House District 90 in Fort Worth against an 18-year incumbent, becoming the first Hispanic State Representative in Tarrant County history.

During his first term as State Representative for HD 90, Romero was awarded ‘Democrat Freshman of the Year’ after a highly successful legislative session. He was appointed to the Committee on County Affairs and the Committee on Business & Industry by Speaker Joe Straus, and was a champion in fighting for important legislation cracking down on human trafficking, raising standards for county jails, and advocating for mental health awareness and care.

Representative Romero is a well-respected father, businessman, and community leader who believes that success is measured not by how much you have received, but by how much you have given.