Rep. Mark Strama District 50 (D-Austin)
Sources of Income
Strama owns four Sylvan Learning Centers in Austin.
He owns interest in the Trabulsi Family Partnership and Trabulsi Investors Limited, both associated with his uncle, Dick Trabulsi, who is the president of Texans for Lawsuit Reform.
Strama's wife, Crystal Cotti, is the executive director of Austin's Sylvan Learning, a test prep/tutoring franchise.
Strama previously served as chief of staff to state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston.
Residence in Austin valued at $362,069
His brother, Keith Strama, is a lawyer and lobbyist whose clients primarily include pharmaceutical companies and hospitals but also ExxonMobil, the educational technology companies Compass Learning and Connections Education, and the Community Associations Institute, which represents condo and homeowners associations.
Rep. Strama, a Democrat, has received substantial campaign funding from Texans for Lawsuit Reform, the pro-tort reform group. His uncle is Dick Trabulsi, the president of the organization.
In 2011, he was a co-sponsor and sat on the conference committee for SB 6, which allows schools to use funds previously allocated for textbooks for educational technology products. His brother lobbies for education technology companies, and Rep. Strama owns, and his wife is executive director of, Austin-area educational centers.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that Rep, Strama took a trip to Turkey in 2011 financed by the Raindrop Turkish House, an organization with connections to Harmony Charter Schools that aims to expand Turkish language and culture programs in U.S. schools. The trip, which he took with Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, resulted in the district's decision to offer a pilot program based on the foundation's curriculum. Strama characterized the trip as illuminating, citing exposure to moderate Muslim elements and a "secular democracy at work" in Turkey.