Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

Texas House District 122

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

    Claire Barnett
    (Dem)

  • Lyle Larson
    (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 38
Education MEd from UMass Boston BA from The George Washington University
Campaign Phone 210-665-3680
Website www.claire4texas.com
Facebook www.facebook.com/claire4texas
Twitter @claire4texas
contact claire@claire4texas.com
Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90Tze98FX4A&feature=youtu.be
The most pressing issue Texas will face over the next five years is a global one--dealing with the growing effects of climate change. San Antonio and South Central Texas are already feeling the effects of more intense heat during our summers and longer periods of alternating drought and heavy rain. To avert catastrophic effects as global temperatures continue to rise and extreme weather conditions become more frequent, we must arrive at a shared commitment to reducing carbon emissions and decreasing reliance on fossil fuels. Texas has already been a leader in renewable energy, and we should continue to make investments in wind and solar power. We must also work to ensure clean air and water and the protection of natural resources for the current and future health of our communities.
The public school financing system must be reformed. In recent years, the burden of funding schools has increasingly shifted to homeowners as property values have increased and the state has cut its share of funding. The state should fund at least 50% of per-pupil public education spending to allow localities to provide relief to homeowners. Commercial property holders should bear their fair share of property taxes, and the state tax code scrubbed for outdated loopholes and exemptions.
Without a doubt. We see it in our schools, and it's long been a reality for the poor and communities of color. To address this grave issue, we should: 1. Enact common sense gun legislation that a vast majority of Texans support, including red flag laws, universal background checks (closing loopholes for gun shows), and safe gun storage. 2. Invest in mental health services in public schools and improve availability of such services more broadly through community resources and expanded insurance coverage. 3. Reduce poverty and reform our criminal justice system to address the ravages of the drug trade which underlie the majority of gun violence.
Health care is a human right, not a privilege that should be reserved for the wealthy. As a society, we have a responsibility to ensure all of our residents can receive the health care they need regardless of their employment status, the job they hold, or their socioeconomic status. The free market excels at many things, but it fails when it comes to a public good like health care. Our government, both state and federal, should be taking steps to a system of universal health care. The first priority in Texas must be to expand Medicaid. I support the most sustainable and cost effective approach to achieving health care and am not tied to any one solution to getting there… but get there we must.
Yes, our state's growth brings great benefits but also new challenges, in terms our public schools, our health care system, and our physical infrastructure. To address these challenges, we should: 1. Increase state funding for public schools and reform the recapture system, taking burden off the shoulders of individual property holders. 2. Expand Medicaid to reduce number of uninsured in Texas to realize health care cost savings and to benefit from federal government dollars. 3. Make investments in transportation and infrastructure to support continued population growth and the needs of a modern-Texas economy.
Our immigration debate often hinges on the economic impacts of more or less immigration and whether we need a wall to protect against perceived threats. What we don’t discuss are the underlying reasons that cause many to leave their countries and the U.S. role in creating those conditions, including the drug and illegal arms trade. While we talk about immigrants seeking a “better life," we don’t consider the psychological effects on refugees fleeing violence and persecution, not simply seeking a better paycheck but physical safety. These refugees have already experienced trauma. Our immigration system can either reinforce that trauma through draconian policies of detention and family separation, or we can reenvision our immigration system, form compassionate policy to those who seek protection, and work to address the underlying conditions. This does not mean open borders. This means a critical examination of globally interconnected economies and flows of goods and people.
When I was three, my family moved to South Africa, and we were there for two years; my earliest memories are from this time. This was in the early 1980s, still in the days of apartheid. I didn’t fully understand what it meant at the time, but my parents instilled in me the ideals of social justice, anti-discrimination, and the importance of standing up for those whose voices were stifled. After returning to the U.S., and through my childhood, they continued to teach me in both word and deed the imperative of compassion, empathy, and using our privilege to help those in need from neighbors, to strangers on the street, to those we disagree with most. This is what I carry with me now, the importance of listening, caring for others, and speaking up when no one else will.
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