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ISSUES

Criminal Justice

I’ve been on both sides of the law before, both as a prosecutor and as a defendant. This rich experience affords me a comprehensive perspective on a broken criminal justice system. America is founded on law and order but grow stronger in the presence of mercy and justice. As your representative, I will work to pass comprehensive, bipartisan criminal justice reform that our country desperately needs. To this end, I support:

Private prisons provide private corporations and the government with an incentive to lock up as many people as possible, overwhelmingly targeting marginalized communities. Matters of criminal law should not be subject to profit motivations of large corporations. In Congress, I will sponsor legislation to abolish private prisons and enhance oversight of state and federal prisons administered by appropriate government agencies.

Mandatory minimum sentencing has condemned too many nonviolent offenders to prison for terms far outmatching the severity of their crimes. It also strips away the discretion of judges to do justice according to the particular case. I will work to reshape the federal sentencing guidelines to reduce mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent offenders.

Too many people, especially young black men, are locked away in prison for nonviolent offenses. When they are released, they often struggle to find jobs due to a lack of training as well as being marked as a criminal. In Congress, I will work to provide services to people in prison that will help them effectively re-enter society and contribute to our economy and community. These initiatives will help reduce mass incarceration and prevent recidivism. I will also explore common sense methods to expunge the records of nonviolent drug offenders who remain on the right side of the law for a period of time after release, reaffirming the idea that America is a country of second chances.

Our democracy is founded upon universal suffrage and the right to vote. Even after leaving prison, many nonviolent offenders are stripped of their right to participate in the democratic process, further alienating them from society. I will work to restore the voting rights of nonviolent offenders once they pay their debt to society and serve their time in prison.  

Immigration

As a local official, I’ve witnessed the strength of Pearland’s diversity firsthand. When I say that we are a nation of immigrants, I don’t use it as a political punchline but rather as an affirmation of the truth that defines our community. At the same time, I recognize the importance of border security to our national interest. That’s why as a member of Congress I will:

The only way to cut through the polarization surrounding immigration is to bring together the different sides and pass common sense reform that includes a tough but fair pathway to citizenship. At the same time, I’ll advocate for investment in border security to ensure that our communities and our country remains safe for all.

For over 800,000 undocumented children, America is the only country they’ve ever known. The attend our schools, pray at our churches, and pledge allegiance to our proud flag. I believe that if America is the only country you’ve ever known, you are an American. That’s why I’ll fight to protect DACA and expand protections for kids who came to this country when they were young.

Economic Policy

As a small business owner, I know that hard work and good management are the primary drivers of the American economy. While most measures of economic prosperity like stock prices and the unemployment rate indicate that the economy is doing well, it isn’t doing well for everybody. Middle class families are struggling as health care costs skyrocket, wages stagnate, and upward mobility seems further and further out of reach. To combat this, I will tirelessly fight in Congress to:

Nobody should work full time in the most prosperous country in human history and still live in poverty. We must raise the minimum wage to support working class families, providing them with wages that value the quality of their work.

The workforce is undergoing a massive transformation, the likes of which has not been seen since the industrial revolution. Automation will replace large swaths of jobs in the economy, especially of our more vulnerable community members. I will work to prepare for this seismic shift by working to direct resources to job training programs that have a track record of success. I will also work to make community college and vocational training affordable for all Texans, investing in an agile and skilled future labor force.

Wealthy individuals and giant corporations got the lion’s share of the recent tax cuts, and small businesses and middle-class families wound up footing the bill. In Congress, I’ll make sure that small businesses and Texas families get tax relief that will create new jobs and drive our economy forward.

If my business consistently added debt year after year, we would go bankrupt. It’s wrong to saddle our children and grandchildren with an obligation to pay what they are not fully able to enjoy. That’s why I’ll do everything in my power to rein in wasteful spending and corruption that privileges the wealthy few at the expense of the rest of us. I’ll take these savings and use them to pay down the debt and invest in the future of Texas.

Health Care

Health care has been a defining issue in my life. I experienced the fatal flaws in our health care system up close when my Mom passed away despite the appearance of a recovery. The Affordable Care Act made great progress by expanding access to coverage and protecting Texans with pre-existing conditions. Despite this groundswell of progress, we still have a long way to go before every American can afford high-quality health care. As your representative, I’ll work with members from all over the country to put together a progressive, common sense package of reforms to build on the system that we have.

Every American should have the option to buy into government run insurance if it is right for them. This program will increase competition in the insurance marketplace, reducing both public and private sector premiums. I also support subsidizing the buy in for individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid but find private insurance out of reach. At the same time, Texans who like their health care and want to keep it should be able to.

Mental health problems are tied to homelessness, increased crime, tragic violence, and recurrent poverty. Despite its wide-ranging societal impact, current programs fall short of meeting the healthcare needs of our citizens. In Congress, I will support increased research into treatment for anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other common mental health challenges. I will also work with my colleagues to streamline the delivery of services to middle- and lower-class patients, especially in rural areas.

While the incomes of middle-class Americans have remained steady for the last several years, prescription drug prices continue to skyrocket. I will stand up to the prescription drug companies who have obstructed any effort to decrease drug prices. I will co-sponsor legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies directly—a policy already adopted by the rest of the developed world. This will save Texans money on drugs, and more importantly save the lives of countless Americans that die because they can’t afford outrageous drug costs.

Americans pay higher health care costs than most other high-income countries. While the rise in costs has at times slowed, I believe we have much more work to do to stamp down the ballooning costs of health care in this country. In Congress, I will explore a wide range of options to reduce the cost of seeking care, including reducing the bureaucracy faced by doctors so they can spend more time with patients.

The current health care system repeatedly fails women, especially women of color, who suffer from higher instances of infant mortality and pervasive medical discrimination. As long as I represent the 22nd Congressional District, I will tirelessly fight to provide our mothers, sisters, and daughters with the high-quality care they deserve. This includes protecting a woman’s right to choose, making birth control available over the counter without a doctor’s prescription, and mandating bias training for doctors so they are better attuned to the needs of marginalized communities.

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