By STEVE MARK
The Examiner – January 5, 2011
Undaunted by an election defeat in November that unseated her in the state Legislature, Ellen Cohen is apparently hooked on government office — so much that Cohen has told The Examiner she is seriously considering a run for a position on City Council.
“What’s ahead are some interesting opportunities that I’m pretty excited about,” said Cohen. “I’ve been encouraged to look into them, and I’m considering it.”
Cohen served two terms as District 134 state representative before losing in the last election to Republican Sarah Davis. While tying up a few loose ends before the 82nd Legislature convenes, Cohen plans to explore running for either the District C seat that will be vacated in 2012 by term-limited Anne Clutterbuck, or pursuing an at-large seat.
“It has a real appeal to me,” added Cohen.
Potential candidates do not have to register until August at the earliest, though Cohen may act long before.
“I’ll know where I’m heading on this soon,” she said.
Cohen, 70, was head of the Houston Area Women’s Center for 18 years prior to her four-year stint in the Legislature.
“I can’t possibly see me not being as involved as I feel I can be,” said Cohen. “What I enjoy most about serving is constituent service. At the state level that means, if I’m involved in passing a bill, you might bump into someone who benefited from that bill, and you really feel good about it. If you take that to the local level, then you’re involved in things that someone mentions to you directly, and I love that.
“There’s that expression that when one door closes, another opens. I’m really excited about what I was able to do in the Legislature, and it’s exciting to think about bringing that home.”
Cohen, who has lived in Houston since 1977, has taken a preliminary, world-view of common issues facing the city.
“We’ll have to see what the next 11 months bring, but obviously the budget issues are critical,” said Cohen. “As with anything, whether you live in the city of Houston or the three cities I’ve been involved with (Bellaire, West University Place and Southside Place) people still want a strong infrastructure.
“You want strong police and security, and people still go to parks and breathe the air, and want a good environment.”
To some extent, Clutterbuck’s district mirrors the legislative district Cohen represented, taking in southwest Houston communities such as Meyerland, Braeswood Place, Southampton, the Museum District, Greenway Plaza and Upper Kirby.