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Sunday, September 10, 2017 1:07 PM

Statement on Undocumented Immigrants

Immigration has long supported the growth and dynamism of the U.S. economy. Immigrants and refugees are entrepreneurs, job creators, taxpayers, and consumers. They add trillions of dollars to the U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, and their economic importance will only increase in the coming decades as America’s largest generation—the baby boomers—begin their retirement, spurring labor demand and placing an unprecedented burden on the social safety net. Still, additional benefits to the U.S. economy and society more broadly could be obtained through legislative reforms designed to modernize the U.S. immigration system and provide undocumented immigrants in the country today with a path to citizenship.

From 2020 to 2030, 7 million U.S.-born individuals are expected to leave the labor force. 2 million immigrants and 6.9 million children of immigrants are projected to join the labor force during the same time period. Looking further, from 2015 to 2065, immigrants and their descendants are expected to account for 88 percent of U.S. population growth. As such, immigrants and their children will be critical both in replacing retiring workers—preventing labor market contraction—and also in meeting the demands of the future economy.

In 2010, undocumented immigrants paid $13 billion into Social Security and received only $1 billion in services—a net contribution of $12 billion. Further, from 2000 to 2011, undocumented immigrants paid $35.1 billion more into Medicare than they withdrew.

Undocumented immigrants pay an estimated $11.7 billion a year in state and local taxes. This includes more than $7 billion in sales and excise taxes, $3.6 billion in property taxes, and nearly $1.1 billion in personal income taxes. Granting all undocumented immigrants legal status would boost their tax contributions an additional $2.2 billion per year. Immigrants—even legal immigrants—pay to support many of the benefits they are statutorily barred from receiving.

DACA increased recipients’ average hourly wages 42 percent, and many moved into jobs with better pay and working conditions. A further 6 percent started their own businesses. With better jobs and higher wages, many individuals are buying cars and homes, leading to more state and local revenue in the form of property and sales taxes.

Legislative reform that includes a path to citizenship would create extensive economic benefits. Such reform would increase the GDP $1.2 trillion over 10 years and create 145,000 jobs annually. Americans’ income would increase by a cumulative $625 billion. Immigrants added an estimated $2 trillion to the U.S. GDP in 2016.

By contrast, the removal of undocumented immigrants from the workforce would lead to a 2.6 percent decline in GDP—an average annual loss of $434 billion. Such a policy would reduce the GDP $4.7 trillion over 10 years. Mass deportation would additionally cost the federal government nearly $900 billion in lost revenue over 10 years. Further, industries could lose large shares of their workforces, up to 18 percent for some.

Mass deportation of undocumented workers would create income losses for large and important industries such as financial activities, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail trade. Annual long-run GDP losses in those industries would reach $54.3 billion, $73.8 billion, and $64.9 billion, respectively.

Mass deportation of the undocumented immigrant population would also cost the federal government billions of dollars. Deporting the entire undocumented population would cost $114 billion over 20 years—an average of $10,070 per person removed—including the costs of detaining these individuals while they wait for removal, processing them through the immigration courts, and transporting them abroad.

If mass deportation of undocumented workers were to occur, states with the most undocumented workers would experience the largest declines in GDP.

Texas would lose $60 billion.



Sunday, September 10, 2017 1:06 PM

Statement on Abortion

Actively denying a woman of her right to choose is a reprehensible and violent attempt to control her body. There are boundless reasons as to why a woman may not be capable of carrying a fetus, should not carry a fetus, or simply does not want to carry a fetus. These reasons, however, should not matter. Regardless of her reason to abort, denying a woman of that personal choice would effectively deny her of the most basic human liberties.

Since 1980, women have faced a 61 percent decrease in funding for the Title X program, which supports low-cost family planning services. Socially-charged issues including the inaccurate persecution of Planned Parenthood, supreme court cases such as Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, and state-enacted refusal clauses have all contributed to the declining availability of contraception. Ironically, those who are attacking contraception providers are also attacking abortion providers. Without contraception, the need for abortion will logically increase at exponential rates.

Over 33 percent of women obtaining abortions lack health insurance, while 31 percent are covered by Medicaid. For the uninsured, the average cost of pregnancy ranges from $30,000 to $50,000. This is a 50 percent increase over the past two decades. Forcing a financially insecure woman to carry out a pregnancy can wreak havoc on both the woman and the child.

And despite the pleas and vows of adoption by pro-life advocates, there are still over 100,000 adoption eligible, already-born U.S. children in the foster care system, and the 13 million children without parents throughout the world.

Another pressing issue with many pro-life advocates is the prevalence of a religious argument. In the United States, freedom of religion includes the protection of and protection from religion. This means that an individual’s religious beliefs have no authority over another individual’s actions. One person’s God, morals, and religious beliefs are not the universal standards that all people must live by.

Every year approximately 20 million unsafe abortions occur globally, resulting in some 68,000 maternal deaths and leaving 5 million women with chronic health complications so let me say this: A woman is an autonomous being, and bodily autonomy is a basic human right.

I am pro-choice because I support the empowerment and advancement of women.

I am pro-choice because a woman’s sexual, health, and reproductive choices are none of my business.


Sunday, September 10, 2017 1:03 PM

Statement on Social Security

Privatization is not a plan to save Social Security; it is a plan to dismantle Social Security. Privatization means increased retirement risks, severe cuts in Social Security benefits, and a multi-trillion dollar increase in the federal debt.

Privatization diverts money out of Social Security into individual accounts leaving an even larger solvency problem. Privatizers fill this funding gap by dramatically cutting Social Security benefits. They cover the rest by borrowing money, thereby increasing the debt burden on all taxpayers by trillions of dollars over the next half century.

If Congress does nothing - makes no changes or "reforms" - Social Security is projected to deliver full guaranteed benefits until at least 2037. Even after 2037, again without any changes, the trust funds will continue to pay 76 percent of benefits for years after that.

Right now, Social Security provides a guaranteed income, paying benefits every month for life, with increases for inflation. After adjusting for risk, Social Security has a rate of return equal to that of any mix of financial assets in private accounts.

In fact, the Boomers have helped pre-fund part of their benefits by building a huge surplus that should keep Social Security alive and well for many years. With privatization, however, workers would end up in a double bind - paying taxes to support the Boomers' retirement plus investing money in their own individual accounts, in hopes of building retirement funds for themselves.

To make matters even worse, today's workers would have to bear the transition costs of switching to privatization, estimated at nearly $5 trillion over just the first twenty years- a cost that would fall on today's young people.

Administrative costs for Social Security are very low - less than 1% of the program's budget. Diverting money to the stock market would incur the very high costs of brokers' commissions, mutual fund management fees, and other expenses inherent in buying and selling stocks and bonds.

Small investment accounts are very expensive to administer. Commissions and fees could easily burn up as much as 15 cents out of every dollar of a worker's annual investment as they do in some countries with privatized systems.

Wall Street brokers and fund managers would stand to make billions of dollars a year thanks to privatization, so it's no surprise that they strongly support the privatization movement!

I will fight the "privatization" movement and to keep Social Security solvent.


Sunday, September 10, 2017 1:03 PM

Statement on School Vouchers

Charter schools, vouchers, and other “choice” options redirect public money to privately operated education enterprises, which often operate for profit. That harms public schools by siphoning off students, resources, and funding while reducing the ability of your public schools to serve the full range of student needs and interests.

When schools lose students, they have to cut services. Because schools can’t reduce expenses incrementally, they cut support staff – such as a reading specialist or librarian – and courses – such as art and music – that engage the diverse needs and interests of students.

In Nashville, TN, an independent research firm MGT of America estimated the net negative fiscal impact of charter school growth on the district’s public schools result in more than $300 million in direct costs to public schools over a five-year period.

Another study by MGT in Los Angeles, CA found district public schools lost $591 million due to dropping enrollment rates among students who leave and go to charters.

Privatizers Believe: Money should follow the child; I Believe: Children should not have a price tag.
Privatizers Believe: Parents need choice; I Believe: Parents need a guarantee of high-quality schools, close to home, for every child.
Privatizers Believe: Parents should vote with their feet; I Believe: Parents should have a voice in schools that serve the whole community.
Privatizers Believe: School governance should be corporate; I Believe: Communities should govern schools by electing school boards.

Another problem is that school vouchers are little more than a backdoor way for the government to subsidize religious and other private schools. Under most voucher bills, private schools can take taxpayer money and still deny admission to any student they choose. Unlike public schools, private schools can and do discriminate against students based on various criteria, including religion, disability, economic background, academic record, English language ability or disciplinary history. Public funds should pay only for public schools that are open to all children and accountable to the people.

In other words, vouchers force Americans to pay taxes to support religion. This runs counter to the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty. In America, all religious activities should be supported with voluntary contributions.

In any policy discussion of education, the goal should be to provide the best possible system for all children, given the resources available. While alternatives to public schools may provide better options for some children, on the whole, charter and voucher schools perform no better than the public school system, and often worse. At they same time they have a negative fiscal impact on existing public schools, and are creating a parallel school system that duplicates services and costs. Let’s stop draining our public schools and work together to strengthen them instead.


Sunday, September 10, 2017 1:02 PM

Statement on Women's Issues

Although the female uninsured rate has improved dramatically, from 21% to 16% since 2013, Texas remains the state with the highest uninsured rate overall and the highest number of uninsured women and girls in the United States. Of the nearly 14 million women and girls in Texas, more than 2.2 million are uninsured (16%).

WalletHub examined factors relating to women’s economic and social well-being, as well as health care and safety, in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Texas came in at No. 42.

For highest uninsured ranking Texas placed at 51.

Local governments now pay half the matching funds needed for Texas Medicaid payments to hospitals, because of high numbers of uninsured and low payments approved by the Legislature. In 2013, uncompensated care costs for Texas hospitals — which are largely supported by local property taxes — totaled $2.4 billion.

In Texas, 61 percent of families rely wholly or substantially on women’s incomes. 30 percent of all households are female-headed, yet 53 percent of all households living in poverty are female-headed. 17 percent of all women and girls in Texas live in poverty. For adult Texans, women are 1.4 times more likely to live in poverty than men in the same age group. About 63 percent of workers earning minimum wage or less are women.

And women in poverty spend 30 percent of their income on child care, cutting into what they can spend on quality housing or education. The cost of higher education in Texas has risen 40 percent in 16 years. And studies show that the average annual cost of child care in Texas is between $7,000 and $9,000, higher than the average yearly college tuition fees.

And for non-caucasian women it is worse. Only 25 percent of Hispanic women between 25 and 34 in Texas have some level of higher education, compared with 34 percent of African-American women, 55 percent of white women and 72 percent of Asian women.

Even women who are living above the poverty line in Texas face significant challenges to achieving economic security – from low-paying jobs, the high cost of child care, the lack of insurance benefits or the high costs of housing

Among those who have received a bachelor's degree or graduate degree, men on average make $27,000 more a year than women.

With a medicare-for-all system in place, with an increase of the Federal minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour, and working to ensure equal pay for equal work we can raise the socio-economic and healthcare status of women across Texas.


Sunday, September 10, 2017 1:01 PM

Statement on Public Education

Once the standard of the world, U.S. schools now rank 20th in high school graduation rates, 24th in college graduation rates and 27th (out of 30 countries) in college graduation rates of scientists and engineers. The 180-day school year, the one teacher per 25 students (on average), the six-hour school day, the same general subjects, and the same graduation requirements has resulted—not surprisingly—in the stagnation of our educational system.

The current system is obsolete. And despite the claims of many, more money is not the answer. Pouring more money and more staffing into a failed system simply yields a more expensive failed system. Over the years, hundreds of reform efforts have been tried and billions of dollars have been spent in an effort to make that happen, but to no avail. It is time for a different approach.

As reported by the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation, a recent study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) suggests that if the U.S. could boost its average PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) scores by 25 points over the next 20 years, it could lead to a gain of $41 trillion for the U.S. economy over the lifetime of the generation born in 2010.

Let’s put the control for our schools back into the hands of the folks who know the most about learning, pedagogy, and our children--their teachers and parents.

  Let’s adequately fund all of our schools, and make sure that the school in the inner-city is as clean, safe and well-equipped as the one in the wealthiest of suburbs.

Let’s stop allowing non-certified, unqualified educational tourists from groups like Teach for America to be handed the responsibility of educating our children in urban and rural schools, and insist that all kids be taught by dedicated, committed professionals, with the appropriate course work, licenses, and certifications.

Let’s demand that all schools offer a rich, engaging curriculum, including music, art, and physical education--and let’s stop referring to these subjects as “extras,” or “specials”--our children certainly don’t see them as “extras.” For some kids, these are the things that make school worth going to.

Let’s educate our students to be employable. High-growth sectors like information technology require a workforce with advanced skills. We must increase access to STEM education, encourage students to pursue STEM studies earlier and with greater focus, and better train STEM educators.

Let’s guarantee that every publicly-funded school is held to the same standards, regulations, and expectations, that all such schools are required to admit any child who wishes to attend, that “lotteries” and other similar methods of artificially “managing” student enrollment are eliminated, and that every child has access to a high quality public school, regardless of geography or socio-economic status.

Let’s stop pretending that competition and choice are the solutions to the problems that have been created by competition and choice.

Let’s stop trying to fund two parallel, “separate but equal” school systems, and put a moratorium on the creation of new charter schools until all publicly-funded schools are “competing” on level playing fields.
And let’s return control for our public schools to where it belongs: elected school boards made up of concern citizens from the communities in which their schools are located, and put an end to schools governed by unreliable charter “management companies” and state-appointed “emergency managers” and “CEOs”.

We need politicians to get their hands out of education and enact policies to give it back to the people who love it. Give education back to the teachers. Give us teachers who have worked and understand what it’s like to have a connection to their students and care about their well-being later in life. 

Let’s make American public education the envy of the world again.


Sunday, September 10, 2017 1:00 PM

Statement on Gun Control

Unlike about a dozen other states, Texas law does not ban high capacity magazines, does not place restrictions on gun shows, does not extend background checks to private transfers, does not require weapons be safely stored when possessed or transferred, and does not require waiting periods.

In 2011 there were 2600 gun deaths in the State of Texas and each year since then the number has increased and we are now at over 3200 gun deaths each year in Texas.

Guns are now the number 2 cause of accidental child death in Harris County here in Texas.
In regards to the number of gun owners in each state population, Texas is number 30 with 35.9% of the population owning a gun.

High-capacity magazines should be banned because they too often turn murder into mass murder. A Mother Jones investigation found that high-capacity magazines were used in at least 50% of the 62 mass shootings between 1982 and 2012. When high-capacity magazines were used in mass shootings, the death rate rose 63% and the injury rate rose 156%

Guns are rarely used in self-defense. Of the 29,618,300 violent crimes committed between 2007 and 2011:

1. 0.79% of victims (235,700) protected themselves with a threat of use or use of a firearm, the least-employed protective behavior.

2. Of the 84,495,500 property crimes committed between 2007 and 2011, 0.12% of victims (103,000) protected themselves with a threat of use or use of a firearm.

The US General Accounting Office (GAO) estimated that 100% of deaths per year in which a child under 6 years old shoots and kills him/herself or another child could be prevented by automatic child-proof safety locks.

According to a Pew Survey:

Only 1/3 of gun owners support permitless or “Constitutional” carry laws that allow people to carry concealed firearms in public without a permit. This is something the NRA is lobbying for.

82% of gun owners support banning gun purchases by people on terrorist-watch lists.

71% favor creating a federal government database to track all gun sales.

68% favor banning assault-style weapons.

65% favor banning high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Among Americans overall, a majority (52%) would like to see stricter gun laws.

The NRA opposes all of these.

How many senseless acts of violence in our streets or tragedies in our communities will it take to get our nation to stop caving to special interests like the NRA when people are dying? We need to pass real gun control--laws that ban high-magazine weapons, increase licensing standards, and require fingerprinting for handgun purchasers.


Sunday, September 10, 2017 12:53 PM

Statement on Health Care

Today, we have the most expensive, inefficient, and bureaucratic health care system in the world. We spend almost $10,000 per capita each year on health care, while the Canadians spend $4,644, the Germans $5,551, the French $4,600, and the British $4,192. Meanwhile, our life expectancy is lower than most other industrialized countries and our infant mortality rates are much higher.

Further, as of last September, 28 million Americans were uninsured and millions more under-insured with premiums, deductibles, and co-payments that are too high. We also pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.

The ongoing failure of our health care system is directly attributable to the fact that it is largely designed not to provide quality care in a cost-effective way, but to make maximum profits for health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, and medical equipment suppliers. That has got to change. We need to guarantee health care for all. We need to do it in a cost-effective way. We need a Medicare-for-all health care system in the U.S.

Our dysfunctional health care system is not only causing unnecessary suffering and financial stress for millions of poor and middle-class families, it is also having a very negative impact on our economy and the business community—especially small- and medium-sized businesses. Private businesses spent $637 billion on private health insurance in 2015 and are projected to spend $1.059 trillion in 2025.

Why as a nation are we spending more than 17% of our GDP on health care, while nations that we compete with provide health care for all of their people at 9, 10, or 11% of their GDP?

Eliminating the for-profit private insurance system will save at least $600.8 billion per year in administrative costs plus outpatient prescription drug costs, according to Annals of Internal Medicine. Doctor and hospital staff negotiating with health insurance company staffs over charges, tests, etc.? Gone. With no premiums there would be new, modest taxes based on one’s ability to pay. And 95 percent of families would save money compared with the current system.

The Commonwealth Fund’s 2014 report on international health system efficiency ranks the United States last of 11 developed nations on measures such as quality of care, access to care, efficiency of care and equity of care.

Yes, this would most likely mean new taxes but it also means the end of premiums, the end of deductibles, the end of copays, and it means never having to deal with another medical bill again. If you are spending more in taxes, but your premiums go down more than you’re spending in taxes, then you’re benefiting.

One other matter – a single-payer program is not socialism. Doctors, clinics and hospitals are free to practice medicine as they know best. A single-payer approach is simply a better financial way to fund health care in this country.


Sunday, September 10, 2017 12:48 PM

Statement on Energy

The wind energy industry currently employs over 100,000 full-time-equivalent employees in a variety of capacities, including manufacturing, project development, construction and turbine installation, operations and maintenance, transportation and logistics, and financial, legal, and consulting services. One of the fastest growing occupations is Wind Turbine Technician with a median salary of $51,000.

The State of Texas currently has over 12,000 wind turbines with plenty room to grow.

Other renewable energy technologies employ even more workers. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Energy, solar power employed 43 percent of the Electric Power Generation sector's workforce in 2016, while fossil fuels combined accounted for just 22 percent. This included people on a part-time or full-time basis, including jobs in solar installation, manufacturing, and sales.

Solar energy added 73,615 new jobs to the U.S. economy in 2016 while wind added a further 24,650.

In addition to the jobs directly created in the renewable energy industry, growth in renewable energy industry creates positive economic “ripple” effects. For example, industries in the renewable energy supply chain will benefit, and unrelated local businesses will benefit from increased household and business incomes.

In addition to creating new jobs, increasing our use of renewable energy offers other important economic development benefits. Wind and solar power are more predictable; the prices don't fluctuate like oil and gas. So, a municipality can sign a contract today and know what the bill is going to be for the next 25 years.

Local governments collect property and income taxes and other payments from renewable energy project owners. These revenues can help support vital public services, especially in rural communities where projects are often located. Owners of the land on which wind projects are built also often receive lease payments ranging from $3,000 to $6,000 per megawatt of installed capacity, as well as payments for power line easements and road rights-of-way. Or they may earn royalties based on the project’s annual revenues. Similarly, farmers and rural landowners can generate new sources of supplemental income by producing feedstocks for biomass power facilities.

  A Union of Concerned Scientists analysis found that a 25% by 2025 national renewable electricity standard would stimulate $263.4 billion in new capital investment for renewable energy technologies, $13.5 billion in new landowner income biomass production and/or wind land lease payments, and $11.5 billion in new property tax revenue for local communities.

Renewable energy projects therefore keep money circulating within the local economy, and in most states renewable electricity production would reduce the need to spend money on importing coal and natural gas from other places. Texas alone spends over 1 billion on net coal import.

In the end, renewable energy is new jobs, lower bills, and a cleaner planet.


Thursday, June 22, 2017 4:26 PM

Campaign Issues: Audio Versions Volume 2

More audio versions of my campaign issues:

 

 

 

 


Thursday, June 22, 2017 3:03 PM

Campaign Issues: Audio Versions

I understand not everyone likes to read a wall of text so with that in mind I have made audio versions of some of my campaign issues with more to come:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Monday, June 19, 2017 11:54 AM

Corporate Tax Reform

Somebody asked me to clarify what exactly am I hoping to work towards when it comes to Corporate Tax. Hope this helps!

 


Saturday, June 17, 2017 2:11 PM

Social Security Reform: A Starting Point

By no means my absolute final judgement on Social Security Reform but a good starting point, I think.

 


Friday, June 16, 2017 11:17 AM

ActBlue Account Up and Running!

Greetings!

I know many of you out there would prefer to make contributions through ActBlue so I have set up an account! Remember, a campaign is an expensive and exhaustive process and only with your help will we succeed in taking back District 17!

Take Back District 17!


Thursday, June 8, 2017 11:00 AM

The Campaign Begins!

The time for a change in Washington has come and so the campaign has begun! Join up today as we take the fight all the way to the capitol. I look forward to meeting my future constituents as the campaign marches on and I hope to see those who are looking for a change in our Government come out and volunteer! We are going to need help spreading the word!


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