We their friends at the very top —

We have a long way to go before we have an economy that works for everyone and a country where everyone counts. Here’s what I believe:The wealthiest corporations and individuals have too much control over our economy and too much influence over our politics. They’ve succeeded in rigging — and writing — the rules to amass more and more power and wealth for themselves. This is the reason why wages are stagnant, independent businesses struggle, and policies that support the middle class, from investments in everything from education to infrastructure, go nowhere in Washington. Millionaires and billionaires like Pete Sessions and Donald Trump are all in for an economy that benefits their friends at the very top — the opposite of the ideals of opportunity for all that our country was founded upon. We need leaders who will fight to restore working families with the political and economic control that has been taken from them. That means:Implementing a competition policy agenda that would finally enforce antitrust laws against corporate monopolies that use their size and profits to put politicians in their pockets, keep wages artificially low and prices artificially high, unfairly drive small competitors out of business, and quash market-leading innovation that might threaten their dominance.Immediately repealing the Republican middle class tax hike — which Republicans openly described as being written to please their donors and lavishes billions on corporations and individuals that bankroll their campaigns.Implementing policies, like equal pay for equal work and ban the box, that help to ensure people who have been wrongly denied opportunity because of their identity or background can contribute to our economy and society to the fullest extent of their talents.Killing Citizens United so that corporate monopolies can no longer corrupt our politics and install politicians who will do their bidding at their constituents’ expense.Ending gerrymandering because elected officials shouldn’t pick their voters — voters should pick their representatives.   Protecting the right to vote because one person one vote is at the heart of our democracy.  In too many places, States are making it hard for citizens to register to vote, to get to the polls, and to express this basic right.  Standing up for the American Dream — that means standing up for community investments, from high-quality childcare and education to safe, affordable housing, that help to ensure that our kids have more opportunities and a better standing of living than we do.—– HEALTHCARE We can be proud of the progress we’ve made in expanding health care access to millions of families through the Affordable Care Act, while acknowledging that our healthcare system is still fundamentally broken.  Here’s what I believe: Every American should have access to affordable, high-quality health care. But the economic and political power of insurance, hospital, and pharmaceutical monopolies stands in the way of progress.Today,  companies in the healthcare industry continue to make tremendous profits even though health care is increasingly expensive and out of reach for American families.  We can’t stand for this.  We need a system that is affordable, transparent, delivers high-quality patient care, and prioritizes keeping people healthy and well. That means:Making Medicare available to everyone and working towards a single payer system –while taking on corporate healthcare and pharmaceutical monopolies that deploy armies of lobbyists to maintain the status quo and put their profits over people.Breaking up the massive insurance, hospital, and pharmaceutical monopolies, because the simple fact is prices will never be under control until healthcare companies actually have to compete with each other.Protecting and improving the Affordable Care Act so we can build on progress made and maintain key provisions, such as allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until 26 and forbidding companies from denying insurance based on preconditions.Supporting Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as affordable public insurance options for millions of Americans.  It also means expanding Medicaid access in Texas where more than 675,000 Texans are above current Medicaid eligibility, but below the lower limit for health insurance premium tax credits. Giving patients the ability to access their own healthcare information, which is all too often difficult or impossible to obtain. When your child breaks her arm, you should know much her care will cost.Ensuring that women have and must maintain the exclusive right to their own healthcare decisions, and have access to the network of healthcare providers–including Planned Parenthood–that provide essential preventative and routine health care services to millions of women nationwide. Prioritizing universal prenatal care and family planning services, so that every child, regardless of their parents’ income, has the strongest start possible.Treating gun violence and mass shootings like the public health crises that they are through truly universal background checks, closing gun show and online loopholes, and prohibiting domestic abusers from possessing firearms.EDUCATION Where a child is born should have no bearing on the quality of education and opportunities that child will have. Our children are our future, but too often we are failing them.  Here’s what I believe: Every child should have the opportunity to reach their full potential. But today a child’s zip code, family’s income, and race predict too much about the future. Our education system is stuck in the past.  Too often our classrooms emphasize skills more important to the industrial economy of the 20th century than to the skills they will need to succeed.  Educators are deeply undervalued–a holdover from when teaching was considered “women’s work”–when we know they are some of our most hard working and important public servants. Meanwhile, higher education is either out of reach or saddling young people with mountains of debt while we’ve all but given up on skills-based programs, such as technical college and apprenticeships.   We need leaders who will say ‘yes’ to kids and fight for our children’s future.  This means: Investing in young children via affordable high-quality child care and universal pre-K, as well as prenatal and natal care, safe and stable housing, and two-generation approaches so children and young families start life healthy with stable footing and the support they need.  Supporting our public schools and teachers with the resources, tools, and public accountability needed to offer all children the opportunity to earn a first-rate, public education. Closing the achievement gap and emphasizing diversity by recruiting diverse, highly-qualified teachers and school staff, emphasizing teacher and school accountability, making school integration an explicit goal, and making use of more creative, modern, and culturally competent educational materials.  Resisting privatization of our schools and education finance, be it through vouchers for private schools, sub-par for-profit institutions, or letting private sector financial institutions profit from student loan debt. Making college affordable by pushing colleges and universities to rethink the way they think and do business–be it improving graduation rates or using technology to drive down instructional costs–making student loans renegotiable, and continuing to expand access to Pell grants. Emphasizing entrepreneurship and innovation because small business owners are the backbone of our economy and innovation is the way of the future.  Apprenticeships, business development support, financial literacy, technical colleges, and training in practical skills are just as important and more appealing to many people as liberal arts degrees or expertise in STEM fields. Modernizing our education system for the 21st century because the economy of tomorrow will require a highly-skilled workforce. With information at our fingertips, knowing things is no longer enough. The workforce of tomorrow must be able to evaluate, analyze, and work with copious amounts of data in highly complex systems and take on tasks that computers and robots cannot. WOMEN’S HEALTHCARE AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS Women have and must maintain the exclusive right to their own health care decisions.  Here’s what I believe: Men in Washington D.C. and Austin have no place dictating laws and policies that interfere with a woman’s decisions about her body, her family, and her life.  But every day men in Washington and Austin are attempting to further erode women’s reproductive rights and access to health care.   I believe women must be in charge of their own bodies.  To stop the assault on women’s rights and protect women’s decision making power, we must be united in: Protecting women’s right to make their own health care decisions. Fighting to protect and increase access to affordable, high-quality healthcare so that every woman–no matter her race, income, or zip code–has access to the information and medical care.   Eliminating barriers to accessing women’s health care, rather than putting them up, as has been done right here in Texas.      CLEAN ENERGY, CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT We only get one planet and it’s on us to be responsible stewards of the climate, land, water, resources, flora and fauna that make Earth our home. Here’s what I believe: Climate change is our greatest threat — but also presents the greatest economic opportunity of our time.Corporate interests have effectively blocked efforts to consider the environment, sustainability, and to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases.  In doing so, these vested interests have stifled innovation and the economic opportunity that would come with fully deploying the technology and practical solutions that are part of living within our means and a comprehensive response to climate change. For the sake of our children and our planet’s future, I believe we need leaders who will stand up to corporate power, prioritize a clean, healthy planet, and tackle climate change head-on.  This means: Devising a market-based approach to reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases at a pace in accordance with climate science, while ensuring that the federal government will encourage — rather than inhibit — innovation and deployment of clean energy technologies.  Supporting the Paris Climate Accord and working cooperatively with nations worldwide to reduce CO2 emissions before it’s too late.Diversifying our energy sources and increasing our energy security with an increased emphasis on renewables and efficiency.Protecting clean air and clean water by upholding rules that were created to protect human health and the environment.Maintaining open space and recognizing the role farmers and ranchers as stewards of our land, water, and natural resources by working cooperatively to build urban-rural connections and to maintain farmland, ranchland, and open space amidst the growth of urban centers like Dallas.   IMMIGRATION The immigrant story is essential to the American story.  While Native Americans have lived in North America from time immemorial, our nation would not exist were it not for immigrants who left home in pursuit of new opportunities.  That’s why I believe:We must not repeat the mistakes of America’s past with cruel, racist immigration policies, but fight to keep families together and achieve comprehensive immigration reform. That means:Immediately passing a clean DREAM Act to protect the 124,000 DREAMERS in Texas who are our neighbors, students, coworkers, and friends.Supporting the Uniting American Families Act so that families are no longer needlessly broken apart for lack of sensible immigration policies and comprehensive immigration reform. Committing to comprehensive immigration reform that prioritizes the unification of families and reflects the reality of our increasingly interconnected world. Taking prudent steps to protect our border without investing billions of dollars in a physical wall between the United States and Mexico that doesn’t improve border security.  Welcoming refugees into our communities, especially from countries where conflict, natural disasters, or persecution have put families in grave danger.Celebrating the incredible value in America’s diversity.  We are a nation of people from all over the world with different histories, languages, beliefs, cultures, and stories–we built the strongest democracy and economy in the world as a result of it, not in spite of it.

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