B.B.A, University of Texas at Arlington (Summa Cum Laude)
J.D., University of Texas Austin
Every American should have high-quality healthcare, be able to see a doctor, and be able to afford prescriptions--no matter if they’re rich or poor, young or old, or have pre-existing conditions or not. This is a top campaign priority and with nearly 20 years of experience in healthcare finance and taxation, I am uniquely positioned in this race as someone who knows how to get high-quality healthcare for every Texan and every American affordably and with real consistency of care. My commitments include:
A new Medicare plan available on every state & federal exchange; fully funding Medicare and Medicaid; Expanding healthcare for Texans in rural parts of the state; Defending access to reproductive health care; Expanding funding for community health centers, and supporting the healthcare workforce; Requiring every hospital where babies are delivered to have "hemorrhage toolkits" and "hemorrhage carts"; Lowering prescription drug costs; A single-payer healthcare system
Texans will not see real property tax relief until the state pays its fair share for public education.
Every child in Texas should be guaranteed a high quality education, no matter his or her background, ZIP code, or skin color. We have to empower teachers in the classroom with better pay and we have to invest in and modernize our public schools.
My commitments include: No public funds should be given to private schools; Protecting teachers' retirement; Providing states and school districts funding to help scale computer science instruction and vocational training programs in lower-income and rural school districts; and capping student loan interest at 2%.
We have to reduce gun violence in this country.
Extensive background checks and improving mental health services statewide will make Texas safer. Congress owes the parents and loved ones of the victims of Sandy Hook, Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas, Parkland, Florida - and every victim of gun violence that is ravaging this country - a real debate and vote on this issue.
My commitments include: Empowering the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to fund research into firearm injuries and deaths; Requiring universal background checks and universal licensing requirements (including all gun show and internet gun sales); Closing the “boyfriend loophole” so that anyone who commits acts of domestic violence cannot purchase firearms; Passing legislation that prohibits straw purchases to help stop illegal gun sales; Banning the sale and purchase of assault weapons and/or accessories which which turn firearms into assault weapons; and opposing concealed carry reciprocity.
Medicare for all. The government should be the payer.
1. Invest in the rural economy. We can continue to drive rural economic growth and create thousands of good jobs with key investments in infrastructure such as water, wastewater treatment, and green energy infrastructure.
2. Real immigration reform, with policies that do not break families apart. We should end the practice of CBP and ICE contracting with private, for-profit prisons like the GEO Group.
3. Meaningfully address climate change. After Hurricane Harvey, Congress can no longer ignore climate change as the issue of national security that threatens our survival and our kids’ and grandkids' future that it plainly is.
At a time of low and falling illegal entries, we do not need a $30 billion wall, or more detention facilities (operated by for-profit corporations). Furthermore, sending troops to the border is an unnecessary waste of time & resources that could put Americans in harm’s way for no gain. And the policy of separating children from their parents is immoral. It will be to our lasting shame if we allow it to continue.
Instead, here's where our focus should be:
1. Over 100,000 Dreamers and their families in Texas who contribute in the most meaningful, fundamental ways need to be protected from deportation
2. Wages for most Americans remain stagnant while CEO pay has risen by over 800% since 1978
3. 20 veterans commit suicide a day
4. People can’t afford to see a doctor or pay for prescriptions
5. Our government has been taken over by corporations and special interests.
Creating real solutions to those urgent problems are where my priorities lie in Congress.
I was born in poverty in South Oak Cliff, moved to a rural Texas hamlet called Ovilla at 11, and I relied on Medicaid as a teenage mom.
It was thanks to Medicaid that I was able to get good prenatal care and deliver a healthy baby girl one week before high school graduation.
University of Illinois-Chicago, M.A. (economics), 2009
University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 2005
Southwestern University, B.A., 2002
The most critical issue for Texas is health care. Over 80,000 people in District 25 lack health coverage. This results in preventable illnesses often turning into major problems that require costly, life-saving operations. People can't reach their potential unless they're healthy -- health is freedom. The primary problem with our health-care system is the for-profit motive of the insurance companies (leading to unaffordable premiums, co-pays, and deductibles), along with hospital and pharmaceutical monopolies causing soaring costs. The only way to eliminate the administrative waste associated with for-profit insurance is to move to Medicare for All. The way to address the cost issue is to enforce our anti-trust laws to break-up the hospital and pharmaceutical monopolies. We also need to allow the HHS to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies in order to lower prescription costs.
Our most important resource is people, and we must invest in public education in order for people to reach their potential. While public education at the primary/secondary level is mostly funded by the state and local governments, the federal government also has an important role in intervening in areas where there's a funding shortfall. These federal dollars could be used for teacher training, class-size reduction, and early-childhood development programs. I stand firmly against any attempt to defund our public education system, such as the school voucher program advocated by Betsy DeVos.
Yes, America has a huge problem with gun violence, and our elected officials have been too cowardly to act. I support the following:
• Universal background checks, including repealing the gun-show loophole, which allows private sales of firearms without background checks, and repeal the “boyfriend loophole,” which allows people with domestic violence convictions to purchase firearms if they were not married to their victim and had no children with that victim.
• Require permits for all gun owners
• Ban guns from college campuses
• Ban the sale of military-style (assault) weapons
• Vicarious liability on gun manufacturers and retailers so that they can be sued by victims of gun violence. By hitting these corporations’ bottom line, they’ll be motivated to prevent firearms from ending up in the wrong hands.
• Campaign finance reform to stop special-interest groups like the NRA from controlling our elected officials on the gun-violence-prevention issue
I believe that universal, affordable, and quality health care is a human right, and the government's role is to ensure that everyone has health coverage. Over 80,000 people in District 25 do not have health insurance coverage. This is unacceptable. People can't reach their potential when they're sick, and too many people have to choose careers based on health-care benefits instead of following their passions. Moreover, universal health care makes economic sense because preventing an illness is far less costly than a life-saving operation. Because of the waste of the for-profit insurance system, I’m in favor of Medicare-for-All as the most cost effective method of delivering universal health care. We also must break-up the corporate hospital and pharmaceutical monopolies in order to lower costs, increase market competition, and restore our freedom of choice in our health-care system.
1. Affordability: income is distributed increasingly unfairly in this economy, and we need bold initiatives to ensure that everyone has a fair opportunity to succeed. I'm in favor of a universal living wage, along with a federal jobs guarantee by instituting a nationwide infrastructure program similar to FDR's Public Works Administration.
2. Environment: As our population grows, environmental issues worsen, especially due to the burning of fossil fuels. We must move to 100% renewable energy as quickly as possible. There's also the environmental justice issue whereby people with less money often live in the areas most ravaged by severe storms, such as Hurricane Harvey.
3. Education: It's imperative that we find ways to increase funding for our public education system in order to accommodate the increasing number of children in Texas.
We are a country founded by immigrants. It takes a special type of courage, dedication, and faith in America for people to uproot their lives to relocate to this country. It is that type of bravery we must strive for as a nation. I believe that we have a moral duty to pass a Clean DREAM Act, and it’s also good for our economy, enhancing our social safety net and filling a labor shortage in many markets. Moreover, I believe that we need comprehensive reform of our immigration system so that there is a reasonable pathway to citizenship for all undocumented people. Regarding border security, I'm against a Border Wall, which is ineffective and costly. Our current border patrol system also leads to human rights violations, and I'm in favor of reducing the amount of armed personnel at the border, and instead investing in the more cost-effective mobile video surveillance technology.
As a freshman in high school, I was in a Japanese language class, and our teacher did not speak fluent English. Several of my classmates decided to take advantage of the situation by playing embarrassing tricks on her, such as having her say vulgar phrases that she didn't know the meaning of. The bad behavior escalated over the course of the school year. She tried to turn the students into the administration, but the offending students denied the allegations, leading to a war between their parents, the administration, and the teacher. I decided that someone needed to stand up for the truth about what was going on in that class, so I published a column in the school newspaper defending the teacher while revealing the extent of my classmates' despicable conduct. While the move wasn't popular with my classmates, I believed it was the right thing to do, and the teacher was vindicated. To this day, I continue to believe we must stand for truth and justice regardless of whether it's popular.