Civics Field Trip to Bexar County Courthouse
Thursday, August 16, 8:30am-2:30pm
Paul Elizondo Tower- 101 W Nueva Street
The FEAST Civics class will take a break from our usual meeting at FEAST and take another field trip.
The FEAST Civics class will take a break from our usual monthly meetings at FEAST and take another field trip to the Courthouse. These trips have been a wealth of information and a great opportunity to meet one on one with our elected officials. We will resume Civics classes at FEAST on September 19th with our elected officials and community leaders.
Please join our field trip to the Bexar County Courthouse on August 16, at 8:30am. Come prepared to learn! We will visit with Judge Scott Roberts and other judges in their courtrooms. We will update as we confirm all judges and other activities. You can bring a lunch INTO the building or purchase food in the cafeteria. We should conclude by 2:30pm. Parking is available at the parking garage next to the Courthouse for $5. Allow about 30 minutes to secure parking and to arrive on time. We look forward to this exciting field trip. Contact Gale Sayers at email@example.com for more information.
Free Civics Classes September 19, 9:45am at FEAST
God is great and we seek to honor Him in all we do at FEAST. Students and parents have been richly blessed for over twelve years at the FEAST Civics Class, led by Gale Sayers. We will resume our regular civics classes on the 3rd Wednesday each month.
During the civics classes, we will hear from one of our elected officials or a prominent leader that serves our community, state, or nation as well as enjoy a complimentary lunch or refreshments.
Civics is an excellent way for your children to learn first – hand how our political system is organized. We have lively discussions at all of our classes as we hear from our speakers. Participation in civics is a great way to learn successful messaging to positively influence our world for God. Too many voices are silenced by empathy or discouragement and lack of knowledge, we are calling on you to let your voice be heard and to be the change for good that our world so desperately needs. The class is conducted in a speaker-led manner with the opportunity to ask questions and give your opinions during the presentation.
Email Gale at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the FEAST Civics Program.
The FEAST Civics Coordinator, Gale Sayers, spends many days handling arrangements with many local and state politicians and government and civic leaders in preparation for our free Civics Classes. Dress code is business casual. No shorts please. NO writing is required, but personal notes are strongly encouraged. NO tests given. Whole families are invited with no age limitations. Students must have at least one parent, grandparent or a designated adult in attendance unless a special arrangement has been made. Your faithful participation will ensure the success of these events, so please make it a priority on your family’s calendar to be physically present.
Home should be a safe place but for many in our community it’s not. When dysfunction in a family, household or dating relationship becomes violent, people in Bexar County often find themselves in County Court #13, a court dedicated to bringing justice to domestic violence cases.
I’m Crystal Chandler, Judge of County Court #13. I see this court as integral to the health and safety of our community because it affords the judge an opportunity to address the root causes of domestic abuse and works to stop the sometimes deadly cycle of domestic violence.
Raised by my grandmother in a small Texas town with a single blinking yellow light in humble conditions, I knew that to make it in life I had to focus on getting an education. At sixteen, I moved to San Antonio and upon graduating from Winston Churchill High School, I put myself through college at The University of the Incarnate Word where I graduated with honors. I was the first person in my family to obtain a college degree. I attended law school at St. Mary’s University and began my career in public service because I wanted to help create change for those who may have come from similar backgrounds.
I took the bench in 2015 with a deep commitment to public service and extensive criminal law experience, having spent 2 years as a judicial briefing attorney at Texas’ highest criminal court, and more than 15 years as a prosecutor with the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s office.
As a felony trial prosecutor, I spent several years specializing in the prosecution of domestic violence murders, death and serious child abuse cases, sex crimes against children and other violent crimes. As an appellate prosecutor, I handled these cases before the appellate courts, including the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. While a prosecutor, I also sought other ways to help people. I taught criminal justice classes at San Antonio College where I encouraged my students to believe in themselves and to strive for the extraordinary. I helped found a national human trafficking organization – Chapter 61 Ministries (now known as Truckers Against Trafficking) – a world recognized anti-human trafficking non-profit.
As a former felony trial and appellate prosecutor specializing in the field of criminal family violence and child abuse, and while serving as judge of County Court #13, I’ve met with thousands of victims, defendants, and their families. I have personally witnessed the impact family violence has had on them. It’s this hands-on experience during my 20 years of practicing criminal law that allows me to identify how to help ensure the safety of victims while taking a comprehensive approach with defendants by imposing just sentences and providing tools to help them change their pattern of behavior.
As judge, I have handled over 7,000 cases, presided over more than 60 jury trials, cleared the case backlog, ensured that police are aware of orders of protection as bond conditions on violent offenders, and enforced compliance of firearm surrenders in domestic violence cases. I’ve also created two initiatives at no additional cost to the taxpayers that help young adults and people with mental illness get their lives back on track. I routinely speak on family violence and human trafficking. I am a member of several legal and community organizations, including the Bexar County Task Force on Family Violence. I have been married to my husband, Scott Zimmerer, for nearly 20 years and am the proud parent of two wonderful teenage sons, Luke and Thomas. We are also part of the Community Bible Church family. Bexar County is our home and I want to make a positive difference.
Domestic violence affects all members of our Bexar County community, and County Court #13 is about making home a safe place for every person in every family. With your vote, I can continue working to make a difference in our community. My promise to you is that I will never stop working to earn your support, even after November, because this isn’t about me, it’s about protecting families and future generations by stopping the cycle of violence.
I humbly ask for your vote to re-elect me, Crystal Chandler, because the choice for Judge of County Court #13, is clear … Crystal clear. Thank you.
Meet Christi Craddick Christi Craddick is in the forefront of the newest wave of pragmatic conservatives in leadership roles across Texas. Raised in a strong conservative household, retained as legal counsel by prominent Texas firms, and shaped by more than a decade as a trusted political adviser, Christi has set a clear standard of integrity, self-reliance and innovation in her role as Chairman at the Railroad Commission of Texas.
Since her tenure on the Commission began in November 2012, Craddick has pushed to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of an energy industry that is driving the state’s unparalleled economic success. In the process, she has repeatedly proven that sensible regulations, careful listening and plain talk can foster innovation that has solidified Texas leadership in the energy sector.
Making it a top priority, Christi has worked to educate the public about the oil and gas industry and its impact in Texas. She has fought against Washington’s one-size-fits-all environmental policies that would kill jobs and stifle energy production growth. Christi has advocated for recycling in the oilfields, helping to drive the percentage of reclaimed water upwards, an essential achievement in a state enduring a multi-year drought.
As part of her efforts to modernize the agency, Christi has championed an Information Technology overhaul for the Commission, seeking improvements that would upgrade the Geographic Information System, increase public access to the agency’s data, and speed up inspections and permitting times.
A native of Midland, Christi earned both her Bachelor’s Degree as a Plan II graduate and her Doctorate of Jurisprudence from The University of Texas at Austin. During her career as an attorney, she specialized in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.
Following the example of her father and mother, Craddick has been drawn to public service and politics. As president of a grassroots advocacy firm, she took the lead on work in coalition building in the public policy arena and development and implementation of issue strategies.
Christi serves her community as an active member of organizations including the State Bar of Texas, University of Texas Liberal Arts Alumni Advisory Council, and Dell Children’s Medical Center Foundation. Christi resides in Austin with her daughter, Catherine, and is an active member of St. John Neumann Catholic Church.
Judge Melisa Skinner is a 6th generation Texan who was born and raised in San Antonio. She attended Providence High School, the University of Texas at Austin and St. Mary’s School of Law, graduating with honors from all three. Judge Skinner was licensed to practice law in 1993 and began practicing criminal law as a solo practitioner. In 1994, she became an Assistant Criminal District Attorney for the County of Bexar. She then served the community for almost 15 years as a prosecutor representing the State of Texas against those accused of crimes ranging from misdemeanor offenses to cases in which the State sought the death penalty. She was honored as Best Lawyer in Prosecution in 2006, 2009 and 2010 before she was elected as Judge of the 290th Judicial District Court. As judge of the 290th District Court, she has presiding over every type of felony offense, including multiple Capital Murder cases. Judge Skinner has extensive experience in the area of criminal law as a trial lawyer and now, as a State District Court Judge.
Former Speaker Archive:
Tommy Stolhandske is the judge of the Bexar County Court at Law No. 11. He was elected in 2014 and took office January 1, 2015. Judge Stolhandske has heard thousands of criminal cases and presided over many jury trials. In addition to his regular court, Judge Stolhandske also presides over the Bexar County Adult Drug Court, which is a special court that provides judicial intervention by supervising the highest risk and highest need offenders suffering from drug addictions in Bexar County. He was born and raised in San Antonio, and is a graduate of Churchill High School. Stolhandske earned an undergraduate degree from Texas Lutheran University, where he was a three time All-American basketball player and then went on to receive his J.D. from St. Mary’s University School of Law. Stolhandske worked as an attorney in Bexar County from 2009 until his judicial election in 2014. He is a husband, and is a father to a beautiful 3 year old daughter with a son due in December. Judge Stolhandske loves sports and is a die hard fan of the San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Cubs!
The FEAST Civics Class is a wonderful way to teach your family about the governing world around us as well as how the political system works and how our city, state and nation is organized. Civics classes are held once each month during the school year at FEAST. The FEAST Civics Coordinator, Gale Sayers, spends many months handling arrangements with local and state politicians and government and civic leaders in preparation for this wonderful class.
Attendees practice proper conduct and decorum for political and civics meetings. In an effort to show honor to our distinguished guests, we always arrive a few minutes early for greetings and introductions and maintain a business casual dress code, no shorts, and we ask that skirts or dresses be modest length with no visible undergarments and no hats on male attendees. Whole families are invited! There are no age limits and parents/grandparents do attend with their children. Students must have at least one parent/adult in attendance unless a special arrangement has been made for adult supervision of your children. Attendance is open to all. No writing is required, but personal notes are strongly encouraged. No tests are given. Come out and enjoy this very interactive time with our guests. Visit the FEAST Website for information on our first meeting. This is a free event, however; a donation to help cover expenses is appreciated.
Ken Mercer, Board Term: Jan. 1, 2017 – Jan. 1, 2021
Ken Mercer is a technology project manager, as well as a former member of the Texas House of Representatives.
Mercer, a Republican, was elected to State Board of Education in November 2006 and re-elected in 2010, 2012 and 2016. He is currently a member of the Committee on School Finance/Permanent School Fund. The committee’s duties include overseeing the Permanent School Fund, the nation’s largest education endowment.
During his tenure on the board, he has also served as chair of the board’s Committee on School Initiatives, vice chair of the board’s Committee on School Initiatives and vice chair of the board’s Committee on Instruction.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from The University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Business Administration from UT-San Antonio. He also has a Master’s of Business Administration in finance and management from St. Mary’s University. Mercer was a member of the Delta Mu Delta Graduate Business Honor Society.
The former state representative served as an advisor to the governor as a member of the state Homeland Security Council, He has also served on the State Republican Executive Committee
Mercer was named 2005 Alumnus of the Year by UTSA and was given the Distinguished Legislator Award by the Texas Republican House Caucus. In 2003, the San Antonio Police Officer’s Association named Mercer the Legislator of the Year.
Mercer represents the following counties: Blanco, Caldwell, Comal, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Llano, Mason, San Saba and parts of Bexar and Travis counties.
Judge Daphne Previti Austin
When the Honorable Daphne Previti Austin was elected to the 289th District Court in 2014, she saw a need for a boys mental health court. Bexar County already had a national award winning specialty court to serve girls that was started by the Honorable Laura Parker but there wasn’t an equivalent program for boys. She is pleased that her court was awarded the first grant for which they applied and has now started the first juvenile boys’ mental health court in the country.
Judge Previti Austin began her advocacy career in the St. Mary’s University Law School Clinic for Legal and Social Justice when she wrote an appellate brief and argued before the Fourth Court of Appeals and prevailed. She quit while she was ahead and continued with a courtroom practice. She spent many years at the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office and several years as a solo practitioner concentrating on Criminal and Juvenile defense in State and Federal Court. She became Board Certified in Juvenile Law in 2002.
Judge Scott Roberts
Judge Scott Roberts- Judge, County Court at Law #12, Bexar County, Texas, 2011
– Southwest Texas State University, B.S. in Education, 1984
– St. Mary’s University School of Law, J.D., 1989
– Texas State University, M.A. in History, 2009
– Judge, County Court at Law #12, Bexar County, Texas, 2011 – current
– Assistant District Attorney, Bexar County District Attorney’s Office, 1998 – 2010
– Solo Law Practice, 1996 – 1998
– Briefing Attorney, Fourth Court of Appeals, Justice Phil Hardberger, 1994 – 1996
– Associate, Law Offices of Pat Maloney, 1990 – 1994
– Briefing Attorney, Supreme Court of Texas, Justice Lloyd Doggett, 1989 – 1990
– Teacher, Pleasanton High School, Pleasanton, Texas, 1985 – 1986
– Married to Lisa Hollas-Roberts, almost 30 years
– Two children: Laura (22) Senior at Baylor University, and Matthew (18) Senior at Churchill High School
– Two cats: Patty and Mike
– Parishioners at St. Matthew Catholic Church