Sylvia Camarillo, Executive Assistant
With more than 25 years of administrative experience, Sylvia worked for the Governor’s office under the administration of the late Governor Ann Richards and Former Governor George W. Bush. Sylvia continued her work with the Texas Senate working for Former Senator Gonzalo Barrientos from 2001-2007. After working in the private sector for the last several years, Sylvia joined Senator Ellis’ staff in December of 2012.
Brandon Dudley, Chief of Staff/Legal Counsel
Brandon joined Senator Ellis’ office in January of 2004. Prior to joining the Ellis team, Brandon directed various educational and empowerment programs for at risk youth, and worked for a number civil rights organizations doing legal and policy work in the areas of criminal justice, education, civil liberties and voting rights. Brandon has also served as the policy advisor for the Innocence Project, a non-profit organization that works to exonerate the wrongfully convicted and develop and implement reforms throughout the criminal justice system. Brandon received his BA in Political Science and attended the Graduate School for Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin, and received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law Center.
David Edmonson, Senior Policy Advisor
David joined Senator Ellis’ staff in March 2010. Prior to joining the Senator’s staff, he served as general counsel for Senator Eliot Shapleigh (D-El Paso) from 2005 to 2010. In Senator Shapleigh’s office, he primarily focused on education, veteran affairs, and environmental policy. David received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Houston and his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law.
Jessica Schleifer, Committee Director/Policy Advisor
Jessica Schleifer joined Senator Ellis’ staff in February of 2010. Prior to joining Senator Ellis’ staff, Jessica was a policy intern during the 81st Legislative Session. She also served as a data coordinator for a non-profit foundation that provides free heart screenings to student athletes and has prior experience in clinical research and education. Jessica received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center.
Tina Tran, Legislative Director/Legal Counsel
Tina Tran joined Senator Ellis’ staff in October of 2007. Prior to joining Senator Ellis’ staff, Tina was a legal intern for the First Court of Appeals in Houston. She was also an intern at Bay Area Legal Aid and the Thurgood Marshall School of Law Legal Clinic providing free legal services to indigent and other qualified individuals. Tina received her B.A. in English Literature from the University of California at Berkeley and her Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
Jeremy Warren, Communications Director
Jeremy Warren has served as Communications Director for Senator Rodney Ellis since 1998, and in 2001, for the Senate Finance Committee. During his tenure, Jeremy crafted winning media strategies for important legislative issues, such as the James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Act, the Sales Tax Holiday, TEXAS Grants and the 2002-2003 General Appropriations Act. In 2001, he was named “Legislative Staffer of the Year” by Hispanic Journal Magazine.
Jeremy Brown, District Director/Legal Counsel
Jeremy L. Brown joined Senator Ellis’ staff in December 2012. Prior to joining Senator Ellis’ staff, he worked as the Agenda Director for Houston City Council Member Mike Laster. He also practiced law focusing on family and criminal law and general civil litigation. Jeremy received his BA in Business Administration from Morehouse College and received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Sakina Lanig, Alief Outreach Liaison
Sakina is strongly rooted in community activism; growing up listening to the late Congressman Mickey Leland and her parents discussing the world’s challenges in her living room. She got her feet wet in Austin politics working in city council campaigns, state races for Rep. Garnet Coleman, and gubernatorial politics for the late Governor Ann Richards. Later, graduating from the University of Texas- Austin, she became active as a voice for families of persons with disabilities and special circumstances at the University of Houston. After leaving UH Law Center, she became the Director of Constituent Services for then Council Member Carol Alvarado, where she was also responsible for researching policy and agenda items. Sakina first worked for Senator Ellis in 2003 serving as his Deputy District Director for Alief. In 2005 she left to start a small business and work as a Community Organizer for Texans Together and Houston Votes. In February 2009, she returned to serve as Outreach Liaison for the Alief / Southwest Area of Senate District 13.
Loveless Mitchell, Fort Bend Deputy District Director
Loveless joined senator Ellis’ staff January of 1999. Mr. Mitchell has been a longtime activist in the Fort Bend area. He is currently President of Hunters Glen Home Owners Association, Board Member of the Texas Parkway Alliance, Vice President of the Coalition of Black Democrats and a board member of the Fort Bend Chapter of the NAACP. In 1998 Loveless retired from Kraft Foods after 33 years of service. Loveless is a graduate of Dillard University.
Aquanita McClaney, Executive Assistant
Aquanita joined Senator Ellis’ office in January of 2013. With more than 15 years of experience in both education and the hospitality and service industry, she has an extensive background in scheduling, planning, organizing, and managing various groups and projects. She enjoys coordinating and volunteering through service projects. Aquanita holds a B.S. in Education from Tuskegee University, an M.Ed. in Education from Auburn University and hopes to eventually follow in the footsteps of her late mother Lillian McClaney by obtaining her Doctorate.