We need a comprehensive approach to end school violence. This is not just about mental health, responsible gun ownership, or campus safety. It about all three! Here are my key elements to any comprehensive plan to address school violence.
- Refocus teaching on the individual student by eliminating high-stake testing in K-12 education.
- Expand access to Medicaid for the 800,000 Texans that have been denied it by Republican State Leaders for the past decade.
- Expand the number of mental health care providers across all communities.
- Improve the outcomes in mental healthcare.
Responsible Gun Ownership
- I support responsible gun ownership and the Second Amendment. I don’t believe the Second Amendment says, “do whatever the hell you want.’
- Establish uniform background checks for all gun sales.
- Pass Red Flag laws in all states with clear consequences for breaking the law.
- Reinstitute an assault weapons ban.
- Establish a voluntary buy-back program for assault weapons.
- Establish a national registry for guns.
- Provide funding to all schools to bring the security of their campuses up to today’s standards.
Getting the supply chain moving, tackling inflation, and promoting jobs should be Congress’ number one priority. Today, too many lawmakers are too focused on spending time on Twitter rather than solving our greatest challenges as a country. We must work with industry leaders and labor to identify and solve the supply chain issues and adopt responsible fiscal policy to combat inflation.
To meet these challenges, we must invest in retraining our workforce and redesigning our PreK-12 education system to align the interest of our students to the job market of today. I also support investing in Universal Pre-K for all 3- and 4- year-olds and greatly expand quality daycare for any working parent.
In addition to our most current needs, I will work hard each day to support small business owners and entrepreneurs. So much of the incentives in our economy are designed for large businesses and corporations. We need economic policies that promote locally owned small businesses that keep resources in the local community and build wealth.
The attack on Women’s Rights is an attack on all our rights. I will defend a women’s right to choose. That includes ensuring that all women, regardless of their income level have access to reproductive care. I applaud the voters in Kansas for ensuring the rights of women to reproductive health care.
The destruction of Hurricane Harvey occurred over four years ago. Two of the key structures affecting the flooding are located in Texas Congressional District 38; the Addicks and Barker Reservoirs. It is time for the federal government to act on flood mitigation by finalizing and funding projects with local community input. I will make it a priority to work with the Corps of Engineers and local leaders to move forward legislation to put into place a comprehensive flood mitigation program for Southeast Texas.
Obamacare greatly improved healthcare for millions of Americans, but there is still more work to be done. I will support continued expansion of healthcare for those not insured and legislation to ensure affordability for all American’s in the future. This starts with encouraging Texas to accept the Medicaid expansion that would allow 1.2 million more Texans to have healthcare and drive down the tax burden of providing basic healthcare for uninsured Texans.
We need to create a customer driven healthcare system in America. Placing the decision making in the hands of the consumer, not the insurance companies, will ensure quality and the best possible price. In addition to establishing a customer driven healthcare system, we must bring down drug costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and by placing an out-of-pocket cap for prescription drugs for anyone on Medicare.
The foundation of our democracy is dependent on a transparent and simple access to voting. For far too long, we have systematically established barriers to voting and it is time to make sure that no longer happens in the United States. For a period of time, I was responsible for elections in a school district and know how hard individuals from all political persuasions work to ensure fair and safe elections. Congress needs to make sure the laws are in place to protect our elections. Furthermore, I support an amendment to the Constitution that clearly defines the process Congress must follow to certify Presidential Elections.
Because this is such a critical issue to our democracy, I support eliminating the filibuster in the Senate and passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to ensure all Americans have easy access to voting. It is the cornerstone of our democracy.
As a former teacher, school leader, and superintendent, I am committed to ensuring the United States has the best schools in the world. To improve our current education system, we must return decision-making to the individuals closest to the action; teachers and school leaders. We also must develop a system that values each individual and their interest in life after PreK-12 education. I have first-hand experience guiding a school system striving to accomplish such a goal.
The best, proven investment we could make today is Universal PreK for all 3- and 4- year-olds. And, to make education work for all students in PreK-12, we must invest in redesigning our PreK-12 education system to align with the interest of our students to the job market of today.
As a federal responsibility, we must fully fund special education. Since its passage in 1972, PL 92-142 has never been fully funded. It is time to step up to the plate and follow-through with funding to match the requirements we place on local school systems and to best serve our students with special needs.
One of my top priorities is passing Comprehensive Immigration Reform. We have an immigration crisis in the United States because Congress has failed to act on Comprehensive Immigration Reform for the past 35 years. The last reform legislation was passed in 1986. For it to be successful, any reform must provide a path to citizenship for those currently in the US living a productive life and enhanced border security using the latest in high tech security. Building the Trump border wall is not only fiscally irresponsible, it is totally ineffective. I will work hard every day to work with members from both sides of the aisle to develop and pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform. If Congress would just do their job, our current immigration crisis would have never happened. It is time to act!