We envision freedom ringing louder, conservative principles reigning victoriously, and democracy thriving throughout Texas by citizens being actively engaged and educated.


Texas Citizens Coalition is a non-profit that works to boost civic engagement, inform Texans about politics and legislation that uniquely affects them, promote liberty-advancing legislation, and expand conservative values across the state.

Core Values

  • Limited Government
  • Governmental Transparency and Accountability
  • Engaged and Educated Citizens
  • Individual and Economic Freedom


  • Eliminate Government overreach and reduce regulation in favor of individual liberty and personal responsibility.
  • Enable citizens to work together as an informed coalition to keep the Lone Star State a Red state.
  • Ensure the pro-business environment and liberties that matter to Texans continue for future generations.
  • Shine a light on governmental actions, either to highlight helpful policies or expose harmful ones.
  • Support legislation that expands personal and economic freedom, making Texas a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

Meet the Staff

Gary Gates
Founder and President

Gary is active in his community and local church, Republican clubs, and the Conservative movement. He has served as a delegate for the State Party Convention since 2002, has been a committee member during many convention cycles, and has had the honor of hosting the annual Fort Bend GOP picnic at his ranch. He’s served as a board member for a Pregnancy Resource Center and is a life-time member of the Fort Bend County Fair Association. Gary is a long-time supporter for several organizations including the Lincoln/Reagan dinner, the Art League of Fort Bend County, a community sports center, and the Foster High School Wrestling program.

Gary also owns and operates his own business, providing jobs for more than 500 people. With a strong belief in capitalism and a commitment to entrepreneurship, he started and built Gatesco, Inc., from the ground up. This business remains today as a family-owned real estate investment company with operations in the Gulf Coast region of Texas and Crested Butte, Colorado. Gary is a loving husband, and proud father. He has been married to his wonderful wife, Melissa, for thirty-six years, and together they have thirteen children, eleven of whom are adopted.

Gary started the non-profit Texas Citizens Coalition because he has a passion for individual liberty and preserving the Constitution, and it’s a fight he’s engaged in with every facet of his life. He believes a coalition is needed because it takes all of us being actively involved to move our state and country forward. Simply voting every two years and sending elected officials to Austin or Washington is not enough. We as citizens must stay informed because We the People are in charge and must hold government accountable. Gary desires to provide Texas citizens a free resource to get useful information about state government from a common sense conservative perspective.

Hannah Zarr
Executive Director of Operations and Journalist

After graduating Summa Cum Laude and Highest Honors with her B.A. in Journalism and Classical Liberal Arts from Patrick Henry College, Hannah worked and volunteered internationally for a year in the Middle East. Returning to America, she became a resident Fellow at the John Jay Institute in Philadelphia, where she was equipped with the best ideas of human civilization through engagement with conservativism, theology, philosophy, politics, law, art, and culture. She then studied the principles of liberty, rights, and free-market economics at a distinguished seminar in Europe and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Cultural Apologetics. She recently moved to Texas and is excited to put her knowledge into action through conservative journalism and advocacy with Texas Citizens Coalition.

Kawika Vellalos
Board of Directors and General Counsel

Kawika is licensed to practice law in Hawaii, Virginia, and Texas, and he’s helped clients in those states with a wide spectrum of legal concerns. He’s assisted the Governor of Hawaii and the Supreme Court of Virginia and appeared before various courts. While in Law School, he received the Appellate Advocacy Award and served as an editor for the Regent Journal of Law & Public Policy. He now practices law and advocacy in Texas, and he’s glad he gets to go home every evening to his lovely wife, Bethany, and their two precious children.

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