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Pre-Legislative Forum Set for September 11

The climate of the upcoming 84th Texas Legislature and highlights from the 2014 KIDS COUNT report will be the focus of the United Way of Tarrant County Pre-Legislative Forum on September 11. The Center for Nonprofit Management will co-sponsor the free event, which will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Redbud Room of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd. in Fort Worth.

Registration will start at 8:30. RSVPs are requested by September 4 to or 817-258-8051.

“The forum will bring together both the latest information about how families are faring in our community and experts who understand how government works and how legislators’ policies affect us,” said Pat Cheong, United Way of Tarrant County Assistant Vice President for Advocacy, Research and Education. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to effect positive change for individuals and families in Tarrant County.”

Briefing the forum audience about the climate of the coming legislative session will be Adrianna Cuéllar-Rojas (shown at left), the new President and CEO of United Ways of Texas in Austin. Before assuming her current position last January, she had served as Senior Program Officer at The Meadows Foundation since 1997. She has a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School at UT Austin and a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity University.

Also featured on the forum agenda will be Jennifer Lee (at left), Research Associate at the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) in Austin. She’ll review the latest Tarrant County and Texas information from KIDS COUNT, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation that tracks the well-being of children in America. CPPP is one of more than 50 state-level organizations in the KIDS COUNT network.


KIDS COUNT provides state legislators, public officials and child advocates with data, policy recommendations and tools to advance policies that benefit children and families. Jennifer Lee joined CPPP in 2013 and previously was an Education Pioneers Fellow with TNTP and Houston ISD.

Outgoing State Representative Diane Patrick (at left) will be honored at the forum for her service. Pat Cheong will present highlights of United Way of Tarrant County’s draft legislative agenda. United Way’s Public Policy Committee prepares the agenda, which lists United Way’s priority issues for the Texas Legislature and U.S. Congress.