We have lost our way. Hatred and corruption have created a toxic culture that is eating away at the fabric of our society.
This is a moral crisis. We can argue about the nuances of policy, but what we really need now is to discover the shared values that can light the way forward.
The people of TX-23 are a diverse community. We may not share the same race, background or religion, but we can share a moral compass. We can agree to let the core values of dignity, equality, and integrity guide us toward policies that serve us all.
DIGNITY: Each one of us has worth.
We all have the right to a habitable earth. If our children are to continue to enjoy this right, we must take swift, bold action. In parts of our district, efforts have already been made in pursuit of renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power. We are poised to become leaders in clean energy as we move away from fossil fuels as part of a Green New Deal.
Healthcare is a human right. Texas has the largest population of uninsured people in the nation. Universal healthcare would ensure that Texans do not face death or bankruptcy simply because they cannot afford health insurance.
Women have the right to make their own decisions about healthcare, including birthing options.
Veterans deserve to have their mental and physical health needs met. It is shameful when those willing to sacrifice their lives for their country are not given the support they need to not only reintegrate into civilian life, but to thrive.
Our district has over 800 miles of border between Texas and Mexico. We must find a way to keep our border secure while also allowing a reasonable path to citizenship for those who wish to become legal residents. Aside from being a colossal symbol of division, a border wall is not the solution due to cost, ineffectiveness and environmental ramifications.
It is also important that our DREAMers, who have never known a life outside the US, are able to remain legally to continue to contribute to our communities. We must reform our immigrant detention system to preserve the humanity of those seeking asylum. The practice of separating children from their families is immoral and must not be allowed.
Every person deserves to have equal access to opportunity regardless of race, gender, economic background or sexual orientation.
Education is one of the great equalizers of our society. Access to a quality education should be available to everyone from grade school though vocational school or college. A well educated populace serves us all and is well worth our investment. Offering more trade school opportunities as well as making higher education more affordable are important to insure the next generation of Texans can pursue their dreams.
As a society we will never enjoy peace until our laws reflect justice for all. “Tough on crime” politics has hardened our hearts toward the least among us, resulting in an America that boasts the largest prison population in the world. Meanwhile, our privileged leaders engage in rampant corruption without consequence—many of them even profiting from the private prison industry.
When the most powerful among us are held to the lowest standards while the vulnerable are locked up in droves, we cannot claim to have a justice system.
EQUALITY: We are one people deserving of equal treatment.
Institutional racism in America has created a society in which all people are equal under the law, but unequal in the application of law. These structural inequities have resulted in racial disparities in areas such as income, financing, incarceration, healthcare, policing, and education. It is time to make systemic changes to ensure that our policies reflect racial justice not just on paper, but in people’s real lives.
We are also in the midst of an alarming rise of white nationalism, which has resulted in violence against minority groups from Charleston to El Paso. While common sense gun laws have a place in reducing violence, we must also address the white supremacism fueling these domestic terrorists if we are to eradicate this evil.
The combined wealth of the three richest Americans is greater than that of the bottom 50% of the country. Our tax codes were written by the rich for their own benefit. Many large corporations pay virtually no taxes despite huge profits. Reforms are needed so that the ultra-wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes.
We can’t have a functioning democracy unless everyone’s vote counts. Voter suppression and gerrymandering have led to election results that do not reflect the will of the people. The Supreme Court ruling of Citizens United held that corporations have a right to influence political campaigns. Consequently, corporations are able to essentially buy elections. Lawmakers feel more beholden to the interests of these corporations than they do to the people they are supposed to serve. Voter suppression, gerrymandering, and Citizens United must be addressed if we want a government that is truly by the people, for the people, and of the people.
INTEGRITY: It is important to do the right thing.
We deserve to have leaders with integrity. We may not agree with every decision our leaders make, but we ought to stand behind those who have the courage to do what is right. When we invest in candidates who reflect our values, we should expect that they will represent US, not corporate donors or party elites.
It’s easy to lose faith in honesty and decency when our own president has uttered thousands of documented falsehoods, but we mustn’t lose hope. There are still some of us who believe in doing the right thing and we need your support!