Texas Decides 2018 Voters Guide
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Voters Guide

State Representative District 97

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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  • Craig Goldman
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Beth Llewellyn McLaughlin
    (Dem)

  • Rod Wingo
    (L)

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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.

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Age 61
Education BA, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Campaign Phone 817-723-9690
Website beth4tx97.com
Facebook Beth Llewellyn McLaughlin @beth4tx97
Twitter @beth4tx97
At the state level we must craft a budget that adequately and fairly funds public education, infrastructure and access to healthcare. We must start making difficult political decisions for long-term solutions, not quick 2-year fixes.
After watching state legislators systematically underfund public schools and renege on promises made to current and retired teachers I decided that the only way to change this trend was to change the people sitting in those seats. So I decided to run for the Texas House, representing the district where I taught at a public high school for 29 years. Educators must have a seat at the table. The state of Texas has a constitutional obligation-and a moral one-to provide equitable, quality education for all children. Budget priorities have not demonstrated this obligation, as the state has shifted the economic burden to local homeowners through property taxes. The budget process is far from transparent. We need to take a hard look at how our tax dollars are being spent. We need to stop playing ideological games and get down to the hard business of planning for the future of our state.
I do. I experienced the long-term effects of gun violence after the 1999 mass shooting at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth. More than 50 of my students were in the sanctuary that evening, one was shot. It was the hardest 4 years of my teaching career. The trauma of gun violence stays with victims and witnesses for life. During those four years I helped these young people deal with post-traumatic stress and grief. It was eye-opening. But it is not only high-profile mass shootings that demonstrate we have a problem. Nearly every year I taught we would lose one or more students to suicide involving guns. We must tackle this problem as a public health issue. For me, there is no difference between the kind of safety regulations we require to drive a car and those we should enforce for gun ownership. We suspend a driver's license for those who drive under the influence, in order to protect the lives of others. There are common sense ways to help curb gun violence.
As the wife of a disabled cancer survivor, I have lived through the challenges of dealing with an expensive and flawed healthcare system. As retired Texas teachers we have seen our healthcare benefits slashed. As middle-class Texans, we have drained retirement savings to cope. We will never be out of medical debt. This is the reality faced by millions of Americans. It is a national disgrace. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Do we value these concepts as a nation united? Then we must find a common solution that takes care of ALL of our people.
Education, infrastructure and access to healthcare.
Immigrants have been dehumanized into an abstract concept of "the other"-frightening criminals and selfish people coming to take our jobs and freeload off our institutions. This is a twisted subversion of the facts. Many of my students in Fort Worth were first-generation Americans, some were DACA-eligible. During my career I taught immigrants from many different countries. We must look past the rhetoric of hate to realize that immigrants are people like us-who strive to better their lives and the lives of their children. We must recognize the huge positive impact that working (and spending) immigrants have on the Texas economy. Are there border security problems to be addressed? Of course. But we need to find solutions that treat all people as deserving human beings AND that recognize the positive contributions immigrants make to Texas' prosperity.
As a high school senior I spent 13 months in France as a foreign exchange student. It was not the idyllic France of travel programs-I was placed in a little coal-mining village in a decidedly non-touristy region near the Belgian border. Most of my school classmates were the grandchildren of Polish immigrants who had come to work in the coal mines. No one in my French family spoke English. No one in the little village spoke English. For me this was a year of incredible growth. I became fluent in French. I experienced and embraced a new culture. I came to truly appreciate all the comforts of my American home and the love and support of my parents and 4 siblings. I also learned to critically compare and assess different ways of looking at the world. It taught me that I love my country. But it also taught me that we can be better.
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