The reason North Texans are seeing news stories about school closures and teacher layoffs is because Republicans chose to cut $5.4 billion from our children’s public education system rather than close corporate tax loopholes or use a part of our state’s savings account known as the Rainy Day Fund. I fought those cuts and was able to keep Republicans from making them as deep as they initially wanted to, but regardless, our public education system was not fully funded for the first time in recent history. A good education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and achieving the American Dream. That’s why I fought for our children’s future as a legislator and that’s why, in Congress, I will fight for funding for early childhood education and voluntary pre-K programs and I will work to expand access to Pell grants so more children can afford a college education. If Texas kids graduated at the national average, we would generate 1 million new jobs in Texas by 2030. It’s clear that there is a direct correlation between getting a good education and getting a job. If elected, I will fight to reverse Texas’ downward trend in education.
I’m a strong proponent of affordable, quality health care for all and I believe we must be more proactive in addressing health issues. As State Representative, I personally helped secure the second federal medical clinic for residents in my district. It’s also no secret around the Texas State House that I take no issue with standing up to Rick Perry and his misguided agenda. I would fight just as fiercely in Congress to protect Medicare and block the Republican Ryan plan that will privatize Medicare and effectively destroy the assurance that seniors get the basic healthcare they need. Republicans in the state and federal governments are fighting to turn back the clock on women’s health issues all over the country and make it more difficult for the economically disadvantaged to receive proper healthcare. In the Texas State House, I fought to block Republican bills that would cut funding for women’s health and that would force women to submit to unnecessary, and frankly, invasive vaginal ultrasound examinations. If elected, I will continue to protect women’s rights and equal access to healthcare for everyone here in Texas and across the country.
As a staffer for Congressman Martin Frost, I played a key role in winning federal support needed to build the freeway exchange and road extensions at Cockrell Hill Road on I-30. Not only did that project create jobs, but the economic growth and development it produced served to create and retain even more jobs. In Fort Worth, I took the lead in bringing the only full service Super Market to southeast Fort Worth and played a key role in helping to make sure that what is now La Gran Plaza was not closed down. As a legislator, I fought to keep Republicans from decimating the Texas job economy by passing a foolish $164 billion budget proposal that would have cost our state hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next two years according to nonpartisan experts. Though I was successful in preventing those budget cuts from being as deep as Republicans tried to make them, Rick Perry and his Party were still able to force through $5.4 billion in cuts to public education. Make no mistake about it, the fight for jobs begins with education. We have to make sure the next generation is prepared. The key to a better economy and job creation lies with our children. I will work hand in hand with President Obama to help pass legislation that increases affordability of secondary education and primes students for entry into the workforce. If elected, I will also work with the President to pass legislation such as the JOBS Act in order to create an environment conducive to extending the twenty-seven straight months of job creation we’ve seen into the foreseeable future.
We need comprehensive immigration reform. We need a pathway to legalization for the hard-working men and women who have stayed out of trouble and are living in our communities in the shadows. When I first got elected to the state house, I promised I’d always fight against Republican anti-immigrant laws that target Latinos. I fought the Sanctuary City legislation that would have brought discriminatory Arizona style-immigration laws to Texas. I also fought against Republican efforts to repeal the state DREAM Act, which lets undocumented students that were raised in Texas go to college while paying in-state tuition rates. But, we need Congress to pass the federal DREAM Act so that these kids can work in their professions after graduation. It makes no sense that we are not tapping into their potential which will only better our state. However, President Obama can’t pass legislation alone. He needs a Congress that will support comprehensive immigration reform and send that bill to his desk. If elected, I will be a champion in pushing for that immigration reform.