I have become very passionate about the issues facing rural Texas communities. I know that rural Texas has been neglected by Republican leadership over the past few decades. It’s time to turn that around and work to revitalize rural communities. And there are three priorities that I believe will lay the foundation for that;
Broadband for all – We live in a hyper connected world, but that connectivity relies on the internet and having a strong connection. Most of rural Texas has been restricted to a choice of wireless internet options like satellite or cellular, which have limited bandwidth.
Developing broadband internet will open up new employment options through remote and hybrid work opportunities. Online schooling and degree programs will be available. Most importantly, we will be able to develop telehealth and telemedicine options in rural communities. This will significantly bridge the healthcare gap in rural areas.
Education funding – Texas public schools have become progressively more underfunded by the state over the past 25 years. This has forced counties and cities to make up the funding through increased property taxes. To make matters worse, those counties that do collect enough money for their schools end up having it taken by the state for redistribution to other counties.
Texas students have suffered due to this lack of funding and teachers have become fed up and are leaving at an unprecedented rate. We MUST focus on better funding schools. Our children’s futures and Texas as a whole depends on it.
Infrastructure – Most importantly, fixing the damn grid. What happened in last year was unacceptable and completely avoidable. Even this year, tens of thousands of Texans have lost power due to weather. At certain times, Texas had more power outages than the entire rest of the United States. And rural Texas has been the hardest hit due to this lack of preparation. We need to take steps to ensure the stability and reliability of the electrical grid.
The electrical grid isn’t the only issue. Texas roads received a D+ in a federal report. Many communities are seeing boil water notices do to issues with the water system. And Texas is seeing rapid growth and has been unable to build and improve infrastructure fast enough to keep up.
Gun Rights – I am a gun owner and believe in responsible gun ownership. We can enact common sense safety laws that will protect people while not infringing on people’s right to own a gun.
Voting Rights – Our election system has been and continues to be very secure. We need to be expanding access to voting, not restricting it. I support no-excuse mail-in voting as well as changing the opt-in box to an opt-out when people register for their driver’s license.
Abortion Access –There are better ways to prevent the need for abortion while still ensuring women have the access they need. The Netherlands has the lowest abortion rate in the world while also having free access to providers. This is because they have an effective sex education program in schools and have ensured both control is both accessible and affordable.
Marijuana – I fully support the decriminalization of Marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use. I also support releasing those currently incarcerated for such offenses and expunging those charges from all records.
Healthcare – Texas is one of the only states that did not elect to expand Medicaid. And this has especially hurt rural Texans. I fully support expanding Medicaid to ensure all Texans have access to healthcare.