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ISSUES

I'm not running for office to begin a second career or get lots of money from rich donors.  I'm running because my opponent and other leaders in Austin are out of touch with what voters in Texas want.  We have real problems that need to be addressed, and I want to get things done.  To do that, I'm willing to work with anyone that is willing to solve problems.  I'm not going to abandon my values, but I will work to make things better for our citizens.   

The following is a list of the key issues for voters in District 122, and what I'll do to get things done on those issues.  

    

IMMIGRATION/BORDER SECURITY

There’s no question that Texas faces a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. In 2023, more than 1.5 million migrants illegally crossed into Texas. That’s a problem, and it’s one that our public officials need to fix.

But rather than trying to fix this crisis, Mark Dorazio and Greg Abbott, are more interested in trying to score political points by complaining about the issue.  They’d rather send out fundraising e-mails asking for donations and go on 24-hour news stations to complain than work on resolving the issue. I’m not running for office to get followers on social media- I’m running for office to fix problems.  

Our border policies need to make two things clear:

  1.  We will treat all people who cross the border with dignity and respect. Migrants are human beings and as they work their way through our legal system, they must be treated properly.

  2. We will secure our border. The United States is a nation of laws. When you cross the border illegally, you are breaking the law.

 

Although our state government does not create immigration policy, we need to hold leaders in Washington accountable for addressing Texas’ immigration crisis and demand that they work together to find solutions. This is why I support the immigration compromise negotiated by a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators earlier this year. The bill would significantly increase the number of border agents, add facilities to house migrants who claim asylum, bring on more immigration judges to hear their claims, and speed up the removal of those whose asylum claims are denied. The bill isn’t perfect, but it would help Texas.

 

Unfortunately, extremist Republicans like my opponent aren’t interested in a solution. They want to create a political issue, even if it is bad for our state. Governor Abbott has spent $11 Billion of our tax dollars on his border boondoggle, all because he would rather have cameras showing Texas National Guard in places like Eagle Pass than doing what we elected him to do: work with the federal government to implement sensible solutions that resolve the border crisis.

 

If I’m elected, I’ll work towards practical solutions on immigration that benefit all Texans.   

SUPPORTING PUBLIC SCHOOLS

When my wife and I moved to San Antonio in 2006, our biggest concern was making sure we lived in a good school district.   We weren’t disappointed: both of our sons attended Northside public schools, where they had the opportunity to work with some fantastic teachers and school staff, people who worked hard and cared deeply about all their students.   

Unfortunately, the teachers and staff in Northside ISD, Northeast ISD (another great school district), or other districts around Bexar County aren’t getting paid close to what they deserve.   Public school teachers in Texas make almost $8,000 less than the national average.  Our schools are also understaffed: as an example, psychologists working with school districts should oversee 500 children.  Currently, the average psychologist working with a Texas school district oversees 2,600 children, five times higher than the recommended level.   Because teachers and staff are overworked and underpaid, they experience burnout.   A recent study showed that 70% of Texas teachers considered quitting in the last year, and the turnover rate for teachers was 21%.  

Instead of doing the right thing for school employees, Representative Dorazio decided to spend 2023 trying to pass a voucher program.  This program would take $500M each year from public schools and give it to private schools that have no oversight and can admit (or not admit) whoever they want.  

I’m proud to support for our public schools, and I’m proud to support our teachers and staff.  And if I’m elected, I will vote against vouchers and vote for legislation to get our teachers and school districts the resources they deserve.   

WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM

I am pro-choice - period.  Politicians and judges need to stay out of women’s healthcare decisions. 

 

I’m fed up with the extremist positions taken by my opponent and Republicans in Austin, positions that show they don’t care about women’s reproductive freedom.  For example, the Texas abortion ban has no exception for rape or incest.  As a result, more than 26,000 women who suffered the unspeakable horror of being raped are forced to give birth to their rapist’s baby.  That’s unforgivable.

The Texas abortion ban also forced Kate Cox, whose fetus had a degenerative condition that gave it no chance of survival, a condition that could have threatened her own health, to leave Texas to get the care she needed.   I’m embarrassed that could happen in Texas and astonished, but not surprised, that my opponent didn’t have the courage to stand up and say what happened to Ms. Cox was wrong.

Over the last two years, voters across the country have consistently rejected extreme candidates that refuse to stand up for a woman’s right to choose.  It’s time to do that to my opponent, so I can go to Austin and work to pass legislation that gives women back their reproductive freedom.        

GUN SAFETY

I support the rights of responsible gun owners.  I have a lot of friends who own guns and use their weapons in a responsible manner.   I’m not running for office to try and take weapons from them or the overwhelming majority of gun owners in Texas who use their weapons responsibly.  

We must acknowledge, however, that there is an epidemic of gun violence in the United States.  In 2023, there were 656 mass shootings (where four or more people were shot and killed or wounded.)   That level of gun violence that is unacceptable.  Our elected officials have the responsibility to keep our citizens safe and right now, they aren’t meeting that responsibility.  

I’m proposing two common sense steps to address gun violence, steps that will NOT take guns from responsible gun owners:

  1.  Texas law says people convicted of domestic violence can no longer own a gun for a period of time set by a judge.  We have 254 counties in Texas; less than 10 of them have a program that ensures people are turning over their guns after a Domestic Violence conviction.  And that’s a problem: over two thirds of mass shootings involve people who have a history of domestic violence.  Every county in Texas needs to implement a program that ensures we follow the law.

  2.  I support extreme risk protection orders, which allow a Judge to temporarily (up to a year) prevent someone who is a danger to themselves or others (for example, someone charged with domestic violence) to possess or buy guns.  These laws work: in Connecticut, suicides involving a gun dropped by more than 13% after the state enacted their extreme risk law.      

 

Working together, we can take common sense steps that will reduce gun violence and make Texas safer without impacting the rights of responsible gun owners.  

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