A robust and well-funded public education system is vital to a successful Texas. As a mother of three and a former PTA President, I know the difference a good education can make. Far right Texas Republicans refuse to put enough towards public education in the biennial budget, proposed bills will push public dollars toward private school vouchers, and members of the State Board of Education seek to erase our history and deny science. While on City Council, I found funding for afterschool programs and in school specialists. At the Texas Legislature, I will be a staunch defender of Education, from Kindergarten through College.
Making life affordable for residents of House District 46 will require tackling many issues at the Legislature. Affordability means defending our neighborhoods from gentrification while ensuring a steady supply of affordable housing in the area, it means empowering labor unions to protect Texas workers and guarantee a living wage and stable retirement for honest work, and it means reducing local property taxes by requiring the state to properly fund education, healthcare, transportation, and other infrastructure. I worked on these issues on the Austin City Council and I will continue to do so at the Legislature.
The cost of healthcare is rising while opportunities for affordable and accessible coverage are decreasing. The people of Texas would be much better off if we had accepted the Medicaid Expansion when it was first rolled out. Unfortunately, the national climate has only fueled rising costs as Republicans seek to deny coverage for preexisting conditions and privatize vital services. Texas needs every dollar it can get for health and human services spending, and we need to increase our investment in community clinics, sliding scale mental healthcare, and nonprofit organizations like Planned Parenthood.
our civil rights and liberties
In a world where our State and Federal governments are controlled by Republican majorities, our rights and liberties are under assault. From suppressive Voter ID laws to discriminatory Bathroom Bills, it is important that we take a strong stance on defending our constitutional rights. Every Texan deserves equal access to the ballot box, the justice system, and yes, the bathroom. I will do more than play defense - I will also advocate to expand our rights, whether it is expanding access to the ballot box by making voter registration easier, or ensuring that LGBT Texans are protected from discrimination at their workplace. On City Council, I sponsored a resolution calling for marriage equality long before the Supreme Court made it law of the land, and I also advocated for Municipal IDs, which would help immigrant or transgender Texans.
We need to take action to end senseless gun violence. As lawmakers, it is our duty to stop every preventable death that we can, from domestic violence, to suicide, to mass shootings. There are a variety of policy options we can pursue - preventing sales of firearms to people that have been identified as dangerous to themselves or others by mental health providers, requiring background checks on all gun sales and closing the gun show loophole, preventing the sale of firearms to people that have been convicted of violent crimes, raising the minimum age for gun purchases, and creating mandated waiting periods before a gun can be taken home. Expanded funding for community policing and mental health care would further help, and college campuses should also be given the right to opt-out of open carry policy that is opposed by students, faculty, staff, and even university police departments. Victims of gun violence do not belong to any one race, class, or political party - hopefully, the Republicans at the legislature will recognize this, and work with us to pass common sense gun reform.
The current political climate is very hostile to immigrants. Nationally, the Trump administration is pushing for travel bans and a wasteful wall. Here in Texas, we are facing SB 4, the show-me-your-papers Sanctuary City bill, while certain Representatives call ICE on peaceful protesters at the Capitol. On Council, I co-signed a resolution asking the Travis County Sheriff’s Office to stop honoring ICE detainers, and I am supportive of Sheriff Sally Hernandez’ stand against Donald Trump and Greg Abbott. I will be an ally to the immigrant community and will work every day to oppose anti-immigrant measures. No matter where you are from or where you were born, when you live in House District 46, I want you to consider it home.
The war on drugs has decimated many communities. Young people, overwhelmingly men of color, are seeing their employment opportunities and voting rights stripped away due to the aggressive pursuit of people in possession of small amounts of marijuana. Texas’ prison system is filled with facilities with poor conditions, no air conditioning, and no hope for the future. On City Council, I worked hard to make sure we Banned the Box - a measure that will help formerly incarcerated people reintegrate with our community. I was also a strong advocate for victims and survivors of police violence and passed a law strengthening our dashcams and accountability. At the Texas Legislature, I would seek to replicate and defend our successful local programs, while seeking solutions for those we can’t handle on our own. I support the legalization marijuana and would welcome the additional tax revenue to spend on our ailing education, healthcare, and infrastructure systems.
Climate Change is real, and we must do whatever we can to address it. Future generations deserve to have clean water and to not live under the fear of alternating years of severe drought and super storms from the gulf. I am proud that Austin aggressively invests in green energy, and I have defended Austin Energy at the Texas Legislature. While on City Council, one of the first issues I pursued was strengthening our water conservation efforts. The Texas Legislature can do more to divest from big oil and invest in Texas’ vast potential for wind and solar energy, and I will be voting in favor of this change every step of the way.