West for Texas Campaign Platform
Why I Am Running For Congress
We all know that something has to give in Washington, D.C.
The overwhelming majority of Americans, Texans and, yes, residents of the 25th Congressional District of Texas, agree that our current Congress is an absolute disaster.
This Congress is currently caught up in spiteful, partisan warfare that is severely hurting our country. Decisions that are being made today in Congress will no doubt have a lasting harmful effect on our children and grandchildren. No one can dispute that.
Economic Opportunity For All
It’s time that Texas embraced and supported a living wage for all full-time employees. A living wage is a minimum standard that ties to the cost of housing in the city or county where someone works.
It should be evident to everyone that the Texas minimum wage of $7.25 an hour doesn’t come close to covering the cost of primary housing. For a full-time worker that salary amounts to $12,900 a year.
Access To Healthcare
The current Republican Congress has made targets of the most vulnerable among us: children, especially underprivileged children by seeking tax breaks and giveaways for the wealthiest of the wealthy.
Specifically, Roger Williams and the Republicans have continually refused to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) fully. They are relentless in their efforts to weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which also serves as a safety net for our children.
Protect Tax Benefits For Working Texans
The recent tax plan was written like a 13-year-old starting a term paper the night before it’s due, just to have something to turn in. It barely passed after the proponents had to bribe their party members to vote for it. The results of the bill will raise the public debt by $1,500,000,000,000.00 over ten years. That’s 1.5 trillion dollars.
It’s true that the bill will allow most taxpayers to pay fewer taxes in the short term. Most tax breaks will be for people who have no problem affording food, insurance, car payments, childcare, medical co-pays, private jets, massive campaign contributions, and islands.
Caring For Veterans
We already have the world’s greatest and most powerful military, so let’s bring the Veterans Administration up to snuff. Right now, our veterans face a confusing labyrinth of bureaucracy when they try to get simple medical treatment or on-going help with wounds suffered while serving America.
This problem doesn’t rest on the shoulders of the dedicated doctors, nurses and other professionals serving the veterans, but the bureaucracy in which they work. I’ve worked one-on-one for years with veterans to get them the help they deserved, spending hours on hold and filling out a myriad of redundant forms.
Return Decency To Congress
Treat all others as we want to be treated.
Local, state and federal government should create an atmosphere and opportunities that we cannot provide for ourselves as individuals, so we can all achieve independence and in turn, give back to our communities and country.
No decent person wants another person to suffer or go without healthcare. Our current systems of private pay, single-payer, employer-provided, socialized and charitable healthcare delivery systems have evolved into a confusing horde of well-meaning bureaucracies. The path forward will be with incremental steps, but each step will be significant as we clarify how healthcare will be funded and provided for everyone.
For any lasting progress, the successful path simply has to include those with whom we do not agree, but with whom we share related priorities.
Stop Subsidizing Sexual Harassment In Congress
Since 1997 taxpayers have paid over 17 million dollars in out of court settlements to targets of sexual harassment and misconduct. Let that sink in. While individual Texans are held accountable by strict laws regarding unwanted sexual behavior, members of Congress have exempted themselves from the same laws AND tapped taxpayers to dole out the hush money for their deviant behavior.
*Questions were taken from The League of Women Voters Austin Area survey
Explain your position on immigration to the U.S. Please address DACA, a pathway to citizenship, and border security.
A border is more than a barrier. It’s also a shared space.
Hard working people merely looking for a better life are systematically persecuted along racial lines. The process to legally immigrate is unduly expensive and bureaucratic, unless the immigrant is wealthy.
With an employment rate below 4%, including millions of immigrant workers, we need compassionate immigration reform that doesn’t burden our system and recognizes the civil rights of people who have called America home most of their lives. We need to adopt DACA into law, and we need to de-criminalize workers and their employers.
What would you do to ensure affordable healthcare access for all citizens?
Medicare for all is a laudable goal, but unlikely to pass without a systematic plan. By offering Medicare as an option for one or two demographic groups at a time, then incrementally lowering the age for eligible recipients, the system can evolve and adjust to the more significant roles and funding can be adjusted accordingly. First, I’ll work to offer Medicare to rural veterans who live far from VA clinics, then to teachers. The funding for these groups is already drafted and can be shifted. I will also work to immediately expand and fund Medicaid and eventually roll recipients into Medicare.
Identify three measures you would support that reduce gun violence.
Eliminate the “boyfriend loophole” in the Lautenberg Amendment and amend the law to restrict possession of firearms instead of merely limiting the purchase of firearms. Also, the specific law should give discretion to the judge or magistrate to order law enforcement agents to confiscate any firearms from the home of the adjudicated, while the person is in custody at the courthouse.
Overhaul the national online database system to include violent offenders, cross-referenced with gun ownership and histories of threats/violence.
Eliminate the “gun show loophole” for firearm purchases.
What policies would you pursue to address safety and inequalities facing women and people of color?
Eliminate unconstitutional mandatory arbitration and non-disclosure agreements employees must sign to be hired by Congress or any other business or organization. I support Sen. Gillibrand’s measure to eliminate rules in Congress that exempt elected officials from laws designed to protect sexual predators and discrimination based upon race, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, gender identity, and age. I will work to eliminate barriers that prevent women and people of color from attaining all the opportunities in our country, afforded to those more privileged.
Do you believe the government has a role in reducing student debt? Why or why not?
Deregulation of college tuition, combined with violations of anti-trust laws has done away with an affordable college education for average-income American families. Public, and many private, universities cooperate with predatory lending practices to sidestep the legal responsibility of non-profit organizations for providing affordable higher education. Coaches are paid millions and universities invest in oil companies, making huge profits, all the while raising student fees and tuitions.
Tuition regulation should be reinstated and colleges investigated for anti-trust violations.
What are your legislative priorities for responding to our changing climate?
As a U.S. Congressman, I’ll work to get our country back into the Paris Agreement and develop plans to offer financial and tax incentives to companies that provide real, measurable approaches that drastically reduce our carbon footprint and emissions. I’ll work to restore the EPA and all other environmental protection agencies decimated by the current administration. As a National Geographic explorer, I conducted an environmental study of the entire 4,200 miles of the Amazon River, with the Pacific Biodiversity Project and for five years led two cleanups per year for the 90-mile San Marcos River.
What other issue do you consider most important and how would you address it?
Patients should not have to undergo medically unnecessary procedures (like sonograms), medically unnecessary delays, and listen to a politically-based diatribe to receive legal medical treatment. I will introduce legislation to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which at its base is a violation of equal rights and socioeconomically discriminatory. I will also introduce legislation to amend the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to include a section on equal rights. Women should be given the same rights as men when determining their paths to treatment.
Follow West For Texas
Get In Touch
Have a question? Use the form below to contact West For Texas.
Paid for by West For Texas
© 2017 West For Texas. All rights reserved.