TREAD and Our Work
The Texas Real Estate Advocacy & Defense Coalition (TREAD) is a bipartisan, member-based advocacy association that advocates for and defends Texas landowner rights on the state and local levels. TREAD monitors relevant issues in the Texas Legislature, such as property taxes, water rights, eminent domain and more.
We partner with professionals and organizations that advocate sound public policy and maintain a bipartisan commitment to evaluate and prioritize issues through good science and economics. TREAD is a voice of reason representing landowners at the Capitol.
Our rights are individual, but it takes a coalition to defend them. That's where TREAD comes in. You can get involved by 1) becoming a member, 2) giving to the advocacy and education, 3) giving to the PAC to keep legislators in office who support TREAD's mission and want to protect landowners.
TREAD Coalition Board
The Board is comprised of passionate landowners dedicated to protecting our finite natural resources and upholding landowner rights, for existing Texans and generations to come. Armed with an array of diverse backgrounds and experiences, each board member brings a unique perspective to the challenges we face today.
Jessica Karlsruher joins TREAD with almost 20 years of experience with trade associations and nonprofit organizations. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and began her career at the Texas Capitol. After graduation, Jessica worked at the Texas Association of Realtors® (TAR) in the Government Affairs department where she coordinated lobby days and other grassroots efforts, hosted leadership and PAC conferences and lobbied on behalf of TAR. Jessica left the Realtors® after four years of service to work in Washington, DC in state society management for the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), including board development, volunteer recruitment and state advocacy efforts. She transitioned into nonprofit fundraising, raising awareness and funds for patient advocacy organizations during the rest of her time in DC. In 2013, Jessica moved back to Texas and has served as the Director of External Relations for the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), where she was responsible for fundraising, events, marketing and outreach. Most recently, she served as Executive Director for the Texas Association of City & County Health Officials (TACCHO) representing local health departments around the state.
There are many associations that landowners can join; however, those associations are typically narrow in scope to a specific area of interest. The one thing that binds all landowners is the land. TREAD was initiated to protect the land and the landowner’s rights, uniting multiple areas of interest into a stronger lobbying voice. The land is precious in many ways and needs good stewards to preserve and protect it for future generations. Water is essential to life. Both are often treated like commodities to be exploited. I have to do my part so that my children and my children’s children will be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the land and water as I have in my lifetime. My grandfather taught me many things. Because of him, I share his love of the land. He would say, “Take care of the land and it will take care of you.” To this day, I firmly believe in his words.
My connection to the land and the outdoors was passed to me by my father. I was raised in Corpus Christi and worked my way to a degree in mechanical engineering. In 2013, I paused my engineering career to devote more time to raising cattle alongside my wife, Patricia. I also continued to develop my interest in protecting private property rights. I joined the Board to do my part to slow or stop the continuing loss of private property rights.
I am a fifth generation Texan with roots to ranching and farming communities. I am an owner and principal of Plateau Land & Wildlife Management, and have spent most of my professional life working with landowners to help them become better stewards of the land. I consult with private, public, and non-profit organizations to further protection of habitat for rare Texas wildlife. A few years ago, the creek I live along was filled with silt by an upstream neighbor's non-permitted dam construction. My neighbors and I found the pollution levels did not rise enough to require remediation and there was no way to compel the clean-up of our creek. I decided then that Texas law needed to change to take into account the prior condition of a creek when determining if a polluting event had occurred. A single landowner's voice is rarely heard, so I have joined with a group of like-minded landowners, and I know that if we stand together, we can protect and enhance our natural heritage for the benefit of our communities as a whole, while protecting our rights as landowners.
My love for rural life began in my hometown of rural Pearland where my parents taught me the importance of being a good steward of the land. After graduating from Texas A&M, I began my 35-year career in banking, specifically Trusts and Investments. My passion for the land and the Hill Country started in 2008 when my daughter and I moved to a ranch in Bandera. In 2014, I retired and planted a 10-acre vineyard at our home in Fredericksburg. My husband and I now split our time between Fredericksburg and our ranch in Comfort, where we like to escape to enjoy the beauty of the Hill Country. I currently serve on the board of Peterson Hospital in Kerrville.
Growing up on a Texas ranch, I have always had an appreciation for both the joys and challenges of rural America. As the mayor of Kyle from 2010 – 2014, I helped navigate my hometown through a period of heavy growth and development as it shifted from a small farming and ranching community to a prosperous, energetic city within the greater Austin metropolitan area. In 2014, I spent two years as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Rural Outreach for the U.S. Department of Education, providing a voice for education stakeholders in rural communities and representing national education interests on the White House Rural Council. Now back in Central Texas, I look forward to donating my time to lifting up and celebrating the region’s diverse voices and heritage.
I joined TREAD as an opportunity to apply what I have learned and experienced over the years concerning the erosion of private property and water rights by special interest groups, big business and government agencies. I love the water, whether it's canoeing on the Guadalupe, swimming in the cool spring water of Landa Park or playing in the surf on the Gulf Coast. Our surface waters, aquifers, and gulf estuaries are our most precious resources. Many of us Texans live in the country where we work the land, raise livestock and experience the daily wonders and beauty of nature. As stewards on this earth, we must protect our environment the best we can. It's time to make changes and reform some of our laws that do not share this same vision.