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VOTE411 Voter Guide

State Senator, District 17

CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Ahmad R. Hassan (Dem) Business Man owner of real estate and mortgage Co.

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    Joan Huffman (Rep) State Senator, Attorney

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    Rita Lucido (Dem) Attorney

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    Kristin Tassin (Rep) Attorney

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    Fran Watson (Dem) Attorney

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

Identify what you think are the three most important issues directly affecting the people in your district and explain how you will address these issues,if elected?

What will you do as a member of the Texas Legislature to ensure that all Texas children receive a quality education?

What role should the Texas Legislature play in addressing the problem of human trafficking in our state and in providing funding for programs that support victims?

Education/Degrees PHD, and Law degree
Professional Experience Real state ,business ,corporate, health care, professional sports ,import, export, air force, public relation and engineering. etc.
Community Involvement sports, social , business , government , leader in Harris county international economic development . I am TX Broker. grass rots . and women equity and diversity. And programs that help the needy women
Campaign Email drhassan06@yahoo.com
Campaign Phone (832) 788-3273
Economics, healthcare, and education. I am a leader in Harris County economic development which will increase Harris Counties development on the global market. It is also important to me that our senior citizens and children are well taken care of under a healthcare bill.
More funding must be given to our public education system, I am also a staunch supporter of free meals for children in school. Improving the quality of training and education of the teachers themselves will also have a direct impact on the education our children receive. I will be present at the board of education meetings to hear first hand the issues that are impacting our children so that they are addressed adequately.
We strengthen our law enforcement's ability to track down the offenders that force others into human trafficking and to heighten the penalties surrounding them. We also need to take more of a role in the lives of single parents to be able to provide for their children. Women are essential to society and deserve to have an increase in support groups and funds.
Education/Degrees Louisiana State University, B.A. 1979 South Texas College of Law, J.D. 1984
Professional Experience Former-Harris County Felony and Chief Gang prosecutor, Gen. Counsel to Org Crime Narc. Task Force and Judge of the 183rd Criminal District Ct.- Current State Senator serving as Chair of Senate State Affairs and Vice-Chair of Crim. Justice Committees
Community Involvement Former- Member of the Children's Assessment Center Foundation Board of Directors and currently serving as a Member of Board Of Directors of Child Advocates
Campaign Website http://www.joan huffman.com
Campaign Phone (713) 304-7868
Twitter @joanhuffman
1. Hurricane Harvey Recovery - As we continue to recover from the devastation of Harvey, we must fund recovery operations and assist families as they rebuild. I will prioritize adjusting tax appraisals, building critical infrastructure, and providing homeowners with better tools to identify flood risks. 2. Public Safety- As a former prosecutor and judge, I know we must ensure the safety of our communities. Doing so means we must defend the rule of law and support the first responders who risk their lives protecting our families. I will continue to work actively with law enforcement, strengthen border security and increase resources for victims of sexual assault. 3. The State Budget- As a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee I know we must continue to be good stewards of the taxpayer's money using fiscal restraint. As population grows, we must prioritize education, transportation, public safety, promises to retirees, and the efficient operation of state government.
The Legislature must continue to invest in Texas students. We must recruit and train the best teachers in the nation. Next to parents, teachers are the key to equipping Texas students for a bright future. We should continue to reform education with a focus on the classroom. We created an easy to understand A-F ranking for public school districts and drastically reduced the number of standardized tests. This past session the Legislature made good on its promise to continue providing a stable healthcare option to retired teachers. This challenge is ongoing and I stand ready to address it. It is important to me that children with dyslexia, autism and other learning differences and challenges have access to the help they need. This past session I sponsored an amendment to a school finance bill that added $40 million to schools for grants for dyslexic and autistic students. I will build on this work in the coming Legislature.
We must shine a light on this tragic reality: we have over 300,000 human trafficking victims in the state. The state plays two vital roles in the fight against human trafficking. First, the State criminalizes the behavior of traffickers so that those who perpetrate these crimes and those who keep them in business can be locked up. Since 2014 as Co-Chair of the Joint Interim Committee on Human Trafficking I have led on this issue and have authored and passed legislation including establishing a statewide tracking system for evidence in sexual crimes, increased criminal and civil penalties for trafficking, compelling prostitution, and related criminal offenses. Importantly, I worked with Gov. Abbott to create the Governor's Child Sex Trafficking Team, which focuses on providing support services to child victims. Second, we must continue to raise awareness and provide law enforcement every tool needed to apprehend and prosecute traffickers who prey on innocent victims.
Education/Degrees BA Trinity University, San Antonio, TX -1979; JD University of Houston Law Center -1982
Professional Experience Legislative Aide to State Representative Debra Danburg -1982-1983; Law Offices of Rita Lucido - 1983-1997; Cothrun & Lucido, Partner -1997 to present
Community Involvement Houston Area Women's Center 1988-1996 -Board; Avance Family Support & Educ Pgm 1995-1997 - Board; Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast 2003-2013 - Board; Bd Chair 2009-2011; Fellow American Leadership Forum Class XLII; 2014 Dem Nominee TX State Sen. Dist 17
Campaign Email info@ritalucido.com
Campaign Website http://ritalucido.com
Campaign Phone (713) 303-8587
Twitter @ritalucido
Education funding in TX relies on a non-sustainable formula that punishes districts for healthy property tax revenue & allows the state to not contribute equitably to districts on a per student basis. This system contributes to higher property taxes, our overcrowded classrooms & scarcity of resources for many students. Neighborhoods all over SD17 were hard hit by the flood last fall & many people are still not in their homes & businesses aren't fully up & running, while Texas sits on $10 billion of our money & state government refuses to do its part in the recovery effort. SD17 wants creativity & leadership in Austin to get the community back to normal. SD17 residents want leadership in the TX Sen to take care of real issues, not distractions and silly ideological bills. I'm repeatedly told that last session's "bathroom bill" was an embarrassment & unnecessary waste of their money. SD17 residents want state government to get back to important issues like education & infrastructure
I am focused on our education funding system. The state of TX continually hoists its obligation to fund education onto local districts, shifting general revenue away from education, resulting in districts scrambling for funds and forced to raise property taxes. When we require the State of Texas to meet local districts at least halfway in funding education, we can then address other systemic problems.
Texas needs to be a leader in the fight against human trafficking rather than leaving it to the private non-profit sector. Funding treatment for victims, shelter space for child victims and services for homeless kids at the state level would be a start. The Dept of Family and Protective Services is still woefully underfunded and they are the first line of defense for child victims. Another solution is to stop treating sex-trafficking victims like criminals. When brought into police custody victims often are jailed because the police have no other resource for them. Not only do they feel punished but they are further stigmatized by their criminal record. The buck stops with Texas Legislature to address this problem and enact real solutions rather than expecting charities to protect these victimized individuals.
Education/Degrees Louisiana State University, 1989-1993 (B.S., Quantitative business Analysis, Computer Science Option); LSU Law School, 1993-96 (J.D.)
Professional Experience Dry & Tassin, PLLC, Managing member; Father's Joy Founder (charitable organization supporting children with disabilities and their families); Fort Bend ISD Trustee (2014-present), President (2016-present); Owner Texas Gun Club; Owner Veterans Mfg
Community Involvement Founding PTO President at Heritage Rose Elementary (Title 1 school), Exchange Club of Sugar Land, Appointed by Governor to Special Education Advisory Committee, FBISD Mentor, Mission trips to support families & educators of children with disabilities
Campaign Email kristin@kristintassin.com
Campaign Website http://kristintassin.com
Twitter @kktassin
Property tax reform, education funding reform, and accountability of bureaucratic agencies and our leaders in Austin. I believe we have failed leadership in Austin, particularly Senate District 17. We must stop the rhetoric and start offering real solutions to the problems Texans face. As Board President in Fort Bend ISD, I cut property taxes for our community while giving teachers a pay raise, something the state government could not do. We have invested in and improved struggling schools for all our students. As a mother of a child with a disability and a long-time advocate for families, I led Fort bend ISD to begin improving special education before it became a headline in the newspapers. We need a senator who understands property taxes and school finance, knows how to solve problems, has the courage to tackle problems & create solutions that actually help people. I will take this experience and record of proven results to the Texas Senate and lead us to solutions for all Texans.
As a school board trustee, I have worked for the past four years to ensure Texas children receive a quality education. I have worked on strategies to improve education in struggling schools, improve special education, reform accountability (STAAR testing) and reform school funding not only for the children in Fort Bend ISD but all children in Texas. I chaired a legislator's district advisory team on education, helped write education legislation, testified for/against various education bills and worked to improve public education for all 5.4 million children in Texas schools. Education funding, over regulation and accountability (STAAR testing) are burdening local communities, driving away teachers, and failing to adequately prepare students for college and careers. It is vital to Texas' economy and future success that we provide solutions to these problems and ensure a quality education for all Texas children. As senator, education will be a top priority.
Human trafficking is horrific, destructive and a threat to the citizens of our state. In making policy decisions, safety must be a top priority. Our legislature, particularly the senate, has not done enough to support the victims of human trafficking and focus on prevention. Studies show trafficking continues to rise in Texas and we are not getting the results needed from our programs. The 2009 victim assistance program, while a good idea, was never funded and thus never able to offer any assistance. We must change this. Our child welfare system continues to be dramatically underfunded leaving them mostly unable to provide the services needed to ensure this vulnerable population does not fall prey to traffickers. It is incumbent upon elected officials to invest in prevention, including education, and support programs and services for victims. We should also leverage private and faith-based programs and incentivize and facilitate partnerships with schools and local governments.
Education/Degrees Juris Doctor, Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University Bachelor of Science, Psychology, University of
Professional Experience Present Partner, Simoneaux & Watson, P.C. Previous Solo Practitioner, Law Office of Fransheneka Watson
Community Involvement I am an active member of the progressive community focusing on a wide range of issues that focus on LGBTQ equality and racial and gender justice. I have served in leadership in most of the organizations which I was involved.
Campaign Phone (832) 736-7597
Twitter @franfortexas
Access to affordable inclusive healthcare. While District 17 is home to one of the largest healthcare centers in the world, people in rural parts of the District are have issues accessing the care needed. Working on medicaid expansion to bring federal dollars to the state could not only provide communities access to health care, but ensure that regardless of location, services, including telemedicine, would be available.

Traffic continues to be an issue in District 17. While there are some large scale construction projects on the horizon to relieve the congestion, construction is not the only solution. I will work to strengthen access to public transportation and address the issue of affordable housing, as residents must move further out for housing, which means a longer commute times.

Storm Preparedness. I will work to invest in the completion of local flood-prevention projects, and call on ecologists and environmentalists in addition to engineers for flood solutions.
All students, regardless of zip code, should have access to a quality public education. I will work on making sure that our public education system is adequately funded, and that public tax dollars will be used to fund public education. Additionally, we will work to make sure teachers have resources to provide students a well-rounded education that prepares them for college or vocational programs.
With over 300,000 victims and survivors of human trafficking in Texas, the legislature should have a significant role in addressing this problem. For the longest time, including last session, the focus has been on criminal enforcement, which is necessary. There must also be some focus on providing education and awareness, as well as funding to support survivors, as there is a life transition that will take place.