Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Houston.
Currently the principal for Girasol Consulting, LLC. Houston City Council Member, 2002-2008. Senior executive assistant to Houston Mayor Lee P. Brown, 1998 - 2001.
Board Member, Sunshine Kids.
Board Member, Unity Bank.
Former Board Member, Planned Parenthood.
Homeowner in Idylwood in Houston's East End.
Attends St. Alphonsus Church
Public Education: Update our foundation school formula to meet the needs of our school districts and not rely on local property taxes to meet our obligations. The basic allotment of per student spending should be increased to $6,600 per student. Economic Development: We need to emphasize the need to for an educated skilled labor workforce. I passed the Recruit Texas Program which allows the skills development fund to recruit out of state employers and offers workforce development services.
When a natural disaster is declared in our state, the Rainy Day Fund should be eligible to meet funding needs. In the case of Harvey, I believe the Rainy Day Fund should have been tapped to meet short term and intermediate needs of individuals and local government entities that were subjected to waiting on Congress to act. In addition, the intent behind the fund was to ensure sustained essential funding during times of an economic and budget shortfall.
The state needs to make a bigger investment in our public schools. The state has not adjusted its school formula funding since the early 80's. To make the state and local shares of public education funding equal without reducing local contributions would require nearly $10 billion in additional state funding per year. We need to increase the basic allotment of per student spending and increase the state's share of public school funding from 38% to 50%.
The government must do its part in increasing access to healthcare providers by providing funds in the form of increased appropriations to spend on partnership programs and grants. Many mental health and addiction treatment services can only service as many people as they have funding for and in Texas we are seeing a greater demand for these services. As Chair of the Urban Affairs Committee, we held a hearing to study the overlays among housing instability, homelessness and mental illness.
Currently enrolled at the University of Houston- Downtown
Gun control, and the War on Drugs. Gun control acts as a means to strip away the rights of individuals by removing their ability to protect themselves from out of control governments, and in the current political climate where tearing apart peaceful immigrant families is a matter of policy debate, we are facing an out-of-control government. The War on Drugs is a symptom of that out of control government, and removing prohibitions on gun ownership and prohibitions on drug usage are a start.
I question the fact that we even have a rainy day fund, it only speaks to the fact that we are taxing Texans at a rate higher than we are actually spending. So my solution to what justifies spending reserves in the rainy day fund, would be issuing tax refunds to those paying in across the state. Abolishing the fund once those who have been taken from to fund it have at least partially been made whole.
By myself? There's very little I could do even as a legislator. Because the solutions to the problem are not politically viable. Privatizing education would be the real solution, and until we realize that is the case, we are going to continue to waste money on an education system that fails to educate. We have a system set up to get better scores on a standardized test, and we show improvement by making the standardized tests easier.
Right now the number one mental health provider in Harris County is the Harris County Jail. I would imagine the same is true for addiction treatment services, because we have a system set up to criminalize mental health issues and criminalize drug addiction. We need to revolutionize how we address mental health problems and how we address drug addiction, and the first step to doing that is ending the failed War on Drugs.