Barbara Graff was elected to serve on the Odessa City Council in May 2010. She also served the citizens of Ector County as County Commissioner from 2001 – 2009. She is the only woman ever elected to that position. Before entering into politics, Barbara taught elementary school for 26 years before retiring in December 2000.
Barbara served as a missionary for three years in Quito, Ecuador, South America. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Sul Ross State University and a Master of Arts Degree in Education from Eastern Kentucky University. She studied Spanish at the Spanish Language Institute, San Jose, Costa Rica, Central America and at the Catholic University in Quito, Ecuador, South America.
Barbara serves on a number of City committees and boards. She serves on the Mayor’s Drug and Crime Commission, Firemen’s Pension Board, Permian Basin Airport Advisory Board, Midland-Odessa Urban Transit District, and the Rotary Walkway Committee. She has been the Region IV Director for the Texas Municipal League since 2010, served as Vice Chairman in 2013, and is now Chairman of the Southern Municipal Conference Board of Directors.
In addition, she has spent many hours volunteering in her community. She volunteers with local non-profit and service organizations such as West Texas Opportunities, Crisis Center, Rotary, Pan American Round Table, White-Pool House, Odessa and Midland Amateur Radio Clubs, and Odessa Retired Teachers Association. Other organizations she has volunteered for include United Way, Permian Playhouse, Keep Odessa Beautiful, Goodwill, and Boy Scouts. Barbara was appointed and served on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Municipal Solid Waste Management and Resource Recovery Advisory Council.
She is a proud mother and grandmother. She has a daughter, Dr. Sarah Graff Bodner and Jason, her husband. She has a son, Mitchell Graff and Jessica, his wife. She has a grandson, Jonas Graff, who is the light of her life.
Barbara comments about Odessa, “I have spent my life working to make life better for people. I love working with and for the citizens of Odessa. My goal is to make Odessa an even better place to live and raise a family. I am here for you.“
Members of the City Council can be reached via the City Secretary at (432) 335-3276 or by Email.