Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

State Representative District 85

2-year term. Must be 25 years or older, a US citizen and a resident of Texas. Responsible for representing the citizens of his/her district in the US House of Representatives.

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  • Candidate picture

    Jennifer Cantu
    (Dem)

  • Phil Stephenson
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

What do you consider the most critical issue Texas will face over the next five years? If elected, how would you approach this issue?

School finance in Texas has generated lots of talk but little legislation in recent years. What is your philosophy on the future of public school funding?

Do you believe America has a problem with gun violence? If so, how do you plan tackle it?

Congress and the President want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and have taken steps to dismantle it. What role should the government have when it comes to health insurance?

Texas adds about a thousand people a day. This rapid growth has caused several problems. What are the top three issues the government should address because of this growth?

As a Texan, what do you believe is missing from the conversation about immigration and border security? How would your beliefs influence your approach to those policies?

Describe a unique experience from your childhood that shaped who you are today.

Age 42
Education UTSA - BS Biology UAG - MD
Campaign Phone 956-236-2843
Website www.cantu4tx85.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cantu4tx85/
Twitter @cantu4tx85
website www.cantu4tx85.com
contact Jennifer Cantu
Video https://youtu.be/VScV4OkUuqg
Texas is ranked 50th on infrastructure which affects everyone from Transportation for our public schools, EMS immediate access to local hospitals, we must invest wisely. Agriculture, Texas is not on the top 5 for organic fruit and vegetables, our local farmers needs to be able to compete with out of state farmers, but that can only be done if we invest on broad band internet. Also on Agriculture, even with the tremendous amount of rain that has occurred on the last 15 months, we are still in a drought, the hemp seed has been approved at the Federal level, I would push that we request for our local farmers, with a pilot program at first. Property Tax- The burden of cost for public education cannot be funded by our home owners, we must close in the loopholes. Healthcare- 1 in 6 Texans does not have healthcare, we must expand medicaid, and roll out a health care system that works for Texans, which would need to include raising our wages to a living wage.
We can begin by decreasing the number of state exams, we are spending millions on End of Course Exams(EOC), exam preparations, administrating the exam as well scoring these exams, these funds can be diverted to Art, Music, Civics. One of my philosophies include partnering with our local small businesses to invest in the future of our children. Just like the 2+2 program that exists from community college to a four year college I would like to introduce a 2+2 program that goes from 11th and 12th grade onto local community college, and partner with local businesses to have apprentice positions available upon completion.
We must first begin by recognizing that gun violence is a critical and preventable public health problem. We must have comprehensive solutions that include community planning as well as implementation of comprehensive safety plans that include both prevention and intervention. It is also important that we have readily access to high quality, culturally competent, coordinated, social, emotional, and mental health supports and address the impact of trauma.
Scientific advancement in healthcare has allowed human beings to double their life spans and effectively this leads to individuals eventually having a diagnosis of a chronic disease such as DM or HTN, which if not managed correctly can lead to more complications such as renal failure, blindness and/or death. Governments have every role and responsibility to set the right price for both providers and consumers in these situations; which is why I believe we need to have accessible and affordable health care for all, we can begin by expanding medicaid in Texas, and proceed to have a tier healthcare private system for those families that do not wish to have public healthcare.
Population growth is placing stress on the natural environment, communities, and financial burdens : 1. Global warming 2. Water scarcity 3. Infrastructure
As a Texan, and from someone who grew up in a border town, the missing piece is inviting everyone onto the dinner table. The conversation needs to include our local communities from El Paso, Laredo to Brownsville. The conversation needs to include families that live there, and not just the wealthy but from all levels of social economic statuses. We must include both small farmers to large ones, include immigrants on the conversation, invite them to the table, but we must first of course repeal SB4.
My father, whom we lost this year to cancer, always told me to climb the ladder and reach for the stars, but never forget who built the ladder. I didn't grow up with central air/heat, Cable TV, or even Sesame street but I did know from the actions of my parent a simple truth, I learned as a child in Las Lomas that "you are only as good as your word, and your word is only as good as your actions." I live by these words.
Age 73
Education BBA Accounting Texas Tech University
Campaign Phone 979-232-1037
Website www.philfortexas.com
Facebook PhilforTexas
contact mattminor@wildblue.net
School property taxes. We must get property taxes down. They eating homeowners and businesses alive. The problem is the school tax portion of a respective property tax bill. I will, and have, advocated for expanding the sales tax base to pay for at least a healthy portion of school property taxes.
See answer above.
We have a cultural decay problem, gun violence is a symptom of this. The state needs to take a hard look at safety measures in schools. I would not take anything off the table. We treat other gov. buildings like fortresses but not our schools. As far as limiting firearm access or confiscating guns, I am against it. It will not solve the problem, only criminalize existing gun owners. I am pro 2nd Amendment. Regarding mental illness, we need to heed warnings signs. Based on the empirical evidence associated with most instances of gun violence we have failed to do. The civil rights of the mentally ill should not take precedent over public safety. This is common sense.
In many ways government is the problem with healthcare. I believe in free market solutions. Create cross-state individually tailored policies and this will broaden access. By broadening access you create larger money pools.
Transportation; public safety and school funding.
Nothing is missing, in fact there are too many irresponsible opinions out there. We need a wall but we also need to make it easier for companies who need skilled workers to get them here and keep them here. What we don't need is endless waves of unskilled workers who will tempted by the Democratic Party into government dependency.
I grew up poor. My father died when I was very young. It instilled in me the belief that hard work and perseverance are crucial. Motivation and morality are the keys to happiness.