My role as a representative is to listen to my constituents, and advocate for the issues that are most important to them. After talking to hundreds of Tarrant County residents, here are the top priorities I’m focused on:

Public Education

A strong public education system is key to ensuring our young people have paths to opportunity. It is the responsibility of the state to partner with local communities to find solutions to the problems we face. This must be done through a holistic approach to solving the larger foundational challenges facing our public education system, not by one-off, Band-Aid solutions. Tackling facility and funding deficits, investing in Pre-K programs and increasing teacher pay are key priorities.

Criminal Justice Reform

Recent efforts by the Texas House to reduce first-time low-level drug offenses to civil penalties are a step in the right direction, but there’s more work to do. Sadly, over the first half of 2020, we’ve seen stark reminders of how racism is present in nearly every part of our criminal justice system. Reforming our criminal justice system so that it does its job of keeping dangerous criminals off the street is my priority.  We have an obligation to invest in education, training programs, and mental health treatment, to break the cycle of incarceration for first-time and non-violent offenders

Affordable Healthcare

Healthcare is a basic human right, not a privilege afforded only to those who can afford it. Texas is home to one of the highest rates of maternal mortality, especially among women of color and those who are socio-economically disadvantaged. An estimated 4.3 million Texans are living without health insurance, in part due to the legislature’s failure to expand Medicaid. . Expanding Medicaid will help millions of Texans who urgently need access to high-quality healthcare. We owe it to our citizens to improve their healthcare options, including access to mental healthcare and drug rehabilitation programs.

Economic Opportunity

A key focus of mine is bringing more economic development to House District 96 and the greater Fort Worth area. Too many in our neighborhoods have to work multiple jobs in order to earn a living wage. Investing in our community — through education and skills-training programs — will help residents find meaningful work and earn a decent living. A stronger workforce creates a stronger community for all of us.

Responsible Government

Our government should represent all of us, not just a vocal few. We need representatives that listen, learn and represent their constituents — and not only themselves. In Austin, I will fight everyday for this responsibility and accountability within the capitol.

Property Taxes

Texans pay some of the highest property taxes in the country. Despite repeated assurances to the contrary from some elected officials in Austin, many hard-working families are priced out of their homes by ever-increasing property taxes. Home ownership is a hallmark of a healthy and thriving local economy, but the regressive nature of the state sales tax combined with the limitation of the federal property tax deduction creates an uneven playing field for Texans. By increasing the current homestead exemption, we will save homeowners hundreds of dollars in property taxes each year.

Infrastructure

District 96 has been ignored when it comes to infrastructure and transportation needs.  Public transportation, drive-able and direct routes have become critical to a residents’ ability to get to and from their jobs. Too many of our bridges and roads are in vital need of repair. Highway improvements have not kept pace with our immense population boom, leading to heavy congestion. A world-class transportation system with integrated bus and rail routes is vital to our continued economic growth and for the expansion of job opportunities in the region.

Reproductive Healthcare

Texas laws should promote the health and wellbeing of Texas residents. Individual healthcare decisions — including the when and how to become a parent — should be the decision of the patient, not of legislators. Individual Texans should be empowered to make decisions on what’s best for them, in consideration with family, faith and healthcare providers and regardless of income, zip code, gender identity or immigration status.

Maternal Safety

Texas is home to one of the highest rates of maternal mortality, especially among women of color and those who are socio-economically disadvantaged. Instead of focusing on how to improve outcomes, many in our legislature have focused on cutting family planning funding, curtailing Medicaid expansion, and removing access to high-quality reproductive healthcare. We cannot be proud of how we treat moms and moms to be in Texas and I’ll make it a priority to ensure Texans have access to the affordable care they need.