Lauren will unseat an anti-trans Democrat and fight for equality in Texas!
Lauren Ashley Simmons is running for State Rep. in District 146 to reclaim a seat at the table for all of us. She is a mom and a union organizer who has spent her entire adult life fighting for the people who Greg Abbott is attacking every day. Lauren is fighting to keep our public schools strong by supporting teachers, students, and parents. She’s fighting to get health care for people who have to choose between paying for medicine or paying the rent. She’s fighting for living wages for the very people that Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton are trying to keep down. Born and raised in a solidly middle-class family in the Third Ward, Lauren attended public schools and Trinity United Methodist Church. She was a Jack and Jill kid, active in the acclaimed leadership development and volunteer service organization. Then life threw a curve ball. Lauren became a mom at age 19, lost her safety net quickly, and had to navigate motherhood, postpartum depression, and staying in school so she could one day provide for her family. Navigating the bureaucracy was tough – Lauren was turned down for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families dozens of times. She shoplifted food and clothing for her baby and, fortunately, a compassionate judge dismissed the charges – and Lauren learned a tough life lesson. But through adversity comes strength. No matter how hard it got, Lauren kept fighting. And she still fights today for those who are tired, frustrated, and who feel unheard by the people who are supposed to be serving them. Lauren currently organizes Black low-income women and Black migrant women to get fair wages and benefits, improved working conditions, and better job security. She has been an organizer and fierce advocate for Texas state employees and Houston teachers. She is a proud CWA member and shop steward.
In Lauren’s words: “I know what it’s like to be without power and keep fighting. I went literally overnight from being a comfortable middle-class kid to a 19-year-old mom on food stamps. The Black women in low-income apartments where I lived taught me how to survive – how to stretch every penny. I owe them a debt. That’s why I do what I do.” Lauren grew up in a family of activists, trailblazers, and justice warriors. One of her enslaved ancestors escaped a plantation in Mississippi and walked to Texas to find his wife who had been sold. They founded Shankleville, Texas as a Freedmen’s town, one of more than 500 freedom colonies in Texas. Lauren’s mom and grandmother were both lifetime members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and active in the Houston Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter. Continuing the Delta legacy, Lauren is currently serving in the Houston Alumnae Chapter. Her mom was a dedicated preschool teacher whose passion for early childhood education led her to mentor preschool teachers, and was active in the letter-writing campaign to free Kemba Smith during the Clinton administration. Lauren’s dad helped integrate his high school, including participating in protests and walkouts. He is a lifetime member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and a pillar in the community. He coached Little League sports at the YMCA and was a neighborhood father figure to those in need. Lauren lives with her spouse and their two children in District 146