Common Sense Progressive Ready to Serve Problem Solver
I'm Erin Zwiener, your state representative for Hays and Blanco Counties. I’m a conservationist, an author, and an educator, and I am passionate about helping our government work better for all Texans. We need folks in the Capitol who are creative, curious, and down-to-earth. It’s time to put aside divisive rhetoric and move forward together on the issues that make a real difference in Texans’ lives.
Let’s put the all back in y’all.
Erin is a lifelong environmentalist who grew up exploring the Texas Hill Country with her family. When she was only seventeen, one of her first jobs was gathering support for computer recycling with Texas Campaign for the Environment. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Conservation from the University of Montana and worked for nonprofits building public private partnerships. At the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, she helped pioneer the stewardship contracting program, which allowed nonprofits to restore wildlife habitat on public lands, and administered conservation education and wildlife habitat grants. With the Blackfoot Challenge, Erin worked with local stakeholders to build partnerships to reduce the risk of wildfire and explore opportunities for forest-based clean energy. Erin is eager to bring her conservation experience back to the Texas Legislature and find even more innovative ways to bolster clean energy, fight climate change, protect streams and groundwater, and conserve open space.
Erin is the fifth generation of her family born and raised here in Texas. She loves representing a district that is nestled in the beautiful Hill Country and spans so much of Texas culture: from LBJ’s ranch to tidy suburbs, from a college town to the edge of one of our biggest cities. Erin loves all these spaces and helping her constituents across the different communities in House District 45. Each community has different needs, but the Texas values of supporting our neighbors, fairness for all, and common sense solutions remain true across the district. All of these communities deserve a state government that upholds their values and fights for each and every Texan. Erin has loved having the great privilege of helping deliver that government to her fellow Texans.
Erin believes that activists and elected officials should work together hand-in-hand to bring about positive change. Before she was elected, she was one of the lead organizers of the Electoral College demonstration at the Texas Capitol where over a thousand Texans asked their electors to vote for anyone not named Donald Trump. Erin also helped jumpstart the Indivisible movement in central Texas by organizing the Roger Williams Town Hall in Dripping Springs. Representative Williams did not attend, but Erin was inspired by the passionate constituents determined to make their voices heard. Knowing that Texans deserve better from their elected officials remains her core motivation for seeking office. During the 2017 Texas Legislative Sessions, Erin was frequently at the Texas Capitol, often demonstrating with activists for immigrant rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, school finance reform, local control, and environmental protection. Now, she is able to fight for all of us from the House floor.
PREPARED TO SERVE
Erin's experience during her freshman session proved that she's a leader and ready to serve her community. She was described as the most savvy freshman and a potential future leader of the House Democrats. Erin is deeply knowledgeable about the breadth of issues facing the State of Texas and always ready to seek out more information when necessary.
A self-described "nerd", Erin loves information. Her passion for learning even led her to become a three-game champion on the television gameshow Jeopardy. She loves to dive deep into science and policy and envision creative solutions. Texas needs policy innovation right now. Erin has the 30,000 foot view and the attention to detail to help build the framework for a better future.
When Erin's talking to constituents, she frequently hears that they want friendlier politics and legislators who know how to work together. The word "compromise" comes up often. She also meets folks who want Democrats to stand firm in their values and not compromise. Erin prefers a third path: collaboration. When she worked in conservation, Erin's job was to sit down with folks from across the political spectrum - loggers, environmentalists, hikers, anglers, ATV riders, ranchers - and ask them to put aside their agendas and focus on their values. Individuals learned to trust each other despite their differences, and together they developed innovative conservation plans that lived up to the values of all the participants. Erin will bring a similar model in the legislature. When it's consistent with her values, Erin can come to the table and work with anyone. Issues like clean energy, maternal mortality, and transportation are ripe for this type of collaborative problem solving, and Erin is ready to build bridges and move forward together on solutions.