Call to Action
It is the duty of a representative to engage the constituents as partners in legislating for their needs, and the district collectively. I am born to improve the lives of others and speak truth on issues that may be unpopular, but important to the people. There is no more time for complacency and disconnection to the issues we face daily. It is my responsibility and desire to speak out loud for those who are under-represented and deemed powerless by the prejudices created within the system.
We can all agree that policy has gotten us here, and that the 30th Congressional District needs more resources to bring our communities up-to-date with changing times and pressing issues. We need an empathic voice that will fight for those things that matter most to working families. I am a firm believer that government should represent the community with representatives as diverse in background as the community they serve.
Our District has over 200,000 uninsured residents, many of which cannot afford healthcare costs. We cannot have a healthy district without affordable access to a universal health care system. Affordable healthcare is the greatest factor to a good quality of life and well-being. Even though the U.S. is considered the greatest country on Earth, it does not ensure healthcare as a basic right for all its citizens. Instead, we have a private insurance system that does not focus on quality medical care. Universal Health Care with a public option will lower costs for the economy, and preserve more choice for individuals including private plans.
Federalizing Medicaid would provide nearly $200 Billion in sales and income tax relief to the states, liberating them to invest in education, housing, transportation and social services. Yes, let the feds pay for our health care. States that have expanded Medicaid have hospitals that are treating fewer uninsured people, and uncompensated care has significantly declined. It will also simplify the already health care system that is government funded, and would reverse the current flawed approach. By federalizing Medicaid and rolling it into Medicare, we could create a unified federal program that covers the nearly 40 percent of the national population that doesn’t get its health care through employers.
Additionally, the costs to bring Medicaid up to Medicare rates in an “all payer” system (where Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers all pay the same rates), would have benefits of wipe out rising rates to cover the cost of underpaid and under compensated care. In this system, individuals without employer-based coverage would also be folded into this newly expanded federal program. Most states will be able to lower their sales tax from the burden of supporting Medicaid. Long term care of our elderly and indigent, should be looked at separately through dual eligibility programs like QMB & SLMB. For more information on Medicaid Expansion, please visit expandmedicaidtexas.org.
In Congress, I will champion legislation that will provide Universal Health Care coverage so that the constituents of the 30th Congressional District can receive the medical care they need and deserve. We should all have affordable prescription drugs, access to quality care, and healthcare we can afford. This will create a more holistic system built on care for all.
Infrastructure in 30th Congressional District and in cities across the country are aged and need rebuilding. Roads in our local communities are full of potholes. Our bridges are dated and crumbling. We can do better. This is also an opportunity to upgrade and implement new solar technology on roadways, existing infrastructure, public works systems, fiber optic network systems, and public transportation. When we talk about infrastructure, public transit connect ability is also a critical issue. Many minorities communities are disconnected from opportunities outside of their immediate neighborhood. The average travel time to work is 30.6 minutes, 20% higher than the states average. This can endanger our livelihood and well-being. The inability to “get to work” can costs huge financial losses and jobs.
In Congress, I will champion legislation that will support rebuilding our infrastructure and creation of jobs, through funding state and local transportation projects.
The odds of being a victim of crime, specifically property crimes, in this region are much higher today than in most areas of the United States. Current policies fail to address system, ecological, economic and community factors as important determinants to crime. Unfortunately, the status quo continues to be in favor of increase spending on criminalization, policing and mass incarceration, while cutting investments in social services and much needed resources community involved policing; slowing the progress of social safety programs. We need a representative in Congress that will work with our local communities and government to better community-police relationships as a pathway to public safety. The district deserves an empathetic and holistic approach to restoring trust between police and community, and send funds for program initiatives that improve public safety. When police and communities collaborate, they can begin to build trust and mutual respect by addressing underlying issues that change negative behavior patterns, from both sides.
In Congress, I will champion legislation that will fund safer, stronger and healthier communities. I will be a tireless advocate for integrated approaches that promote listening to communities and police as we help solve the problems facing the district in public safety, and advance innovative policing strategies through training and technical assistance.
It is time to reverse the effects of a failed criminal justice system which gravely affects African American and Hispanic communities through mass incarceration. This district deserves a representative that will work to reverse the horrific rate of mass incarceration due heavily to the 1994 Clinton Crime Bill, 3-strikes passed by Congress. It has led to more prison sentences and aggressive policing, which gravely affects black and brown citizens in the 30th Congressional District. Minority residents within our district are disproportionately more likely to be incarcerated, especially in zip code areas 75216 & 75217. We must also take action to eliminate the need to build more prisons, and take aim at closing the disparities in sentencing, eliminating the private for profit model, abolishing the cash bail system, stop recidivism (on both state and federal levels), abolish the death penalty and resolve the disproportionate police presence in communities of color, especially in urban areas like the 30th Congressional District.
Economic Justice begins with closing the wealth gap. Currently, the 30th Congressional District has a 20% poverty rate which includes 28% children under 18 and 17% of our seniors over 65 live in in poverty. In some areas, property rates are as high as 37%. This is largely due to corporations being favored, while leaving the poor unprotected. Working families are being taxed at higher rates and are unable to get ahead, while corporations are being favored. We need a representative in Congress who will stop supporting lowering corporate taxes as a means of spurring economic growth, on the backs of everyday working people. In today’s times, we need a Working Families Tax Relief, that will bring relief and promote economic well-being, especially for the 50% of those in the district whose household income is below $50,000. It also means closing the gap between incomes and housing costs if we are to end homelessness and create job opportunities that pay a living wage.
In Congress, I will champion legislation to develop an integrated and inclusive society and untangle a constitutional web of inequality. This will call for fair wages, job creation, eradicating homelessness and closing the wealth gap and ensure the human rights of people. It will be my priority to work toward reconstructing our economy to ensure our communities have collective ownership, not merely access.
Affordable housing and job creation are vital to our District’s quality of life. It should be our top priority to explore innovative solutions that reduce barriers put into place that exclude entire communities from access to fair housing and fair wages. We are facing housing shortages and rising rental rates in the 30th Congressional District. Many residents use well over 30% of their household income toward housing. Affordable housing impacts so many areas including education, homelessness, transportation and local business. We need policies that focus on closing the disparity gaps directed largely toward minority communities. It is also imperative that we provide federal housing protection for people with criminal records as we look to rehabilitate those formerly incarcerated. With such policies, we can fuel economic opportunities through job creation and access to true affordable housing.
In Congress, I will champion legislation that will focus on revitalization of distressed neighborhoods, ensure equal access to education, jobs, affordable housing and transportation in order to create a more holistic environment for success.
Federal workers and Unions continue to focus on fair wages, preserving employee benefits for both active and retired workers and strengthening protections. We need a representative in Congress who will not be a vehicle for corporate agendas that will harm working people and their families. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA 2.0) is a prime example of this exploitation. Without upfront strong labor rights provisions and strong enforcement provisions, workers could could easily be taken advantage of.
Unions and workers across the 30th Congressional District are fighting to ensure job security, fair wages, affordable healthcare, their share of profits, human working conditions and a clear pathway to seniority for temps with benefits. We must protect workers who support unions and empower those who organize without fear or intimidation or retaliation. It is also time to end the Trans-Pacific Partnership and a renegotiation any rigged trade agreements that do not prioritize the interests of workers and support unions. It is affecting working families in the 30th Congressional District as global trade policy are being structured to support capital, not people. We need an economy that will work for all of us, and uplifts those who are least protected in all nations.
In Congress, I will champion legislation that will promote transparency in all trade agreements at every stage of the process, raise racial equity standards and dignified conditions of work, protect the ability to organize, higher labor standards & wage minimum requirements as a condition of participating in free trade, promote human rights and needs of the people.
Family unity is connected to core values of love, community and respect. Attacks on immigration lately is resulting in U.S. born children having parents deported, and DACA and DAPA relief programs are in jeopardy. Families are being torn apart and forced to grow up in financial, mental and physically poor environments. We need a representative in Congress that will not separate families of immigrants who are unlawfully present to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship. These undocumented immigrants and dreamers have become a part of this country and district, and would become stateless if removed. It will be a priority to join with other congressional members who have worked to craft border security measures, and immigration reform to legalize unauthorized residents in the 30th Congressional District and grant them U.S. citizenship.
In Congress, I will champion legislation that will establish a road-map to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and streamline the renewal process for Dreamers and those waiting to become permanent residents. I will work tirelessly to use my power in the House to help mend the broken immigration system, and strengthen protections.
Consistently, low income communities are being taken advantage of by putting environmental harmful operations into communities of color and indigenous communities. These communities bear a disproportionate burden of our air, waste and water problems. Certain areas in the 30th Congressional District are being threatened by the lack of equal protection of environmental and public health laws and regulations. We need a representative in Congress that will consider the potential harmful impacts of proposed projects on disadvantaged communities. We need to enforce the Environmental Justice Act of 2019 by seeking to cut funding to all agencies that do not promote and enforce environmental justice.
In Congress, I will champion legislation that will strengthen environmental justice policies, and ensure a pathway opens for advocates to sue to stop permits and limit the abilities of entities such as smelting plants and toxic landfills. I will not turn a blind eye.
There are millions of veterans who have put their life on the line to protect this country yet do not have the basic life essentials like quality healthcare and housing. Stats show that as many as 55% of our veterans are homeless. This is unacceptable. Many of our veterans in the 30th Congressional District complain about not receiving timely care and/or access to medications needed daily. We need a courageous voice in Congress that will make certain veteran assistance programs become permanent and fully funded. We need to hold the VA accountable to ensure that GI Bill recipients are paid timely and in full. In addition, we need to expand burial benefits for families of service members and veterans, standardize debt notices to veterans, expand protections and benefits to military spouses and grow other assistance programs. It is our duty and obligation to veterans to fulfill the promise to provide the best services and care possible. They earned it.
In Congress, I will champion legislation that will provide homeless veterans a plan for reintegration through fully funded programs, counseling services for at-risk veterans transitioning from certain institutions, housing services, expansion of protections and benefits to military spouses, timely GI Bill payments, treatment for the seriously mentally ill veterans, support services for low income veteran families, medical marijuana access, and grant programs for veterans with special needs.
Unfortunately, corruption is a global epidemic and its effects go far beyond what most can imagine. Corruption mainly affects the most vulnerable and can cost people their life, freedom, health and their money. Basically, there is a bridge that connects corruption to health services, mobility and access to education. Many times, grand corruption happens at the highest levels which allows them to benefit at the expense of the public. In the 30th Congressional District, we have seen corruption impact the lives of everyday individuals, which undermines the people’s trust in government. We need a representative in Congress who will support anti-corruption efforts and setting the basis for a fairer more just society.
In Congress, I will champion legislation to stop political bribery so special interests can’t use donations to influence politicians, fix our election system so that political establishments are not in control. I will boldly advocate to reshape the rules of politics and restore the broken promises of people first.
Serving in Congress should be a calling, not a lifelong career. Now is the time for a call to action in implementing term limits. The intent in running for office should be to bring fresh ideas to the table, pass legislation that improves the lives of those in the local communities and across the country. At some point, we should let someone else come in with their own fresh ideas, and build upon those past accomplishments. Instead, we have some political oligarchs that have rooted themselves in power, remaining there for far too long. We need a Congress that is in the habit of serving the people, not serving out lifelong careers. With term limits, members of Congress would go to Washington and accomplish their goals and go home. It would create a pathway for new leaders with new experiences and fresh ideas, and reduce the abuse of power for members of Congress.
In Congress, I will champion legislation that returns the power back to the people, and limit the number of terms for service in the House of Representatives and Senate. We will no longer accept year after year unfulfilled promises to fix the system, and fight for working families while results show a continual decline.