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Texas House, District 146

CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Roy Owens (Dem) 3rd Generation General Contractor

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    Ricardo Soliz (Dem) Attorney

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    Shawn Thierry (Dem) Lawyer

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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 Texas Southern University/ Construction Management
Professional Experience 3rd Generation Commercial Contractor (40Yrs)/SBA 8-A Contractor on Federal Projects/Commercial, Federal, State & Municipal/Pres. Minority Contractors Alliance 10yrs/Houston Waste Water Board/Mayor Brown Transition Team Past Small Business Advisor
Community Involvement 2016 National Democratic Convention Delegate/Sustaining Member Harris County Democratic Party/ Lifetime Committeeman HLSR/ Lifetime Member NAACP/Member Senate District 13 PAC/ Red Cat Jazz Preservation Society/Ensemble Theater Platinum Member
Campaign Email just4owens@gmail.com
Campaign Website http://Just4Owens.com
Campaign Address 6415 Conley
Houston, TX 77021
Campaign Phone (713) 527-9222
First, Texas House District 146, located in South Central and Southwest Houston, suffers from great economic disparity. In the less affluent areas, chronic unemployment and the vices that follow plague the district. More than 1 out of 100 Texans living in poverty reside in HD 146 (almost twice the rate living in poverty throughout TX). Second, our constituents need JOBS. We must encourage local businesses to hire residents, especially those from economically depressed areas. Procurement opportunities on state funded projects should reward vendors, contractors and grant recipients, for using local wage earners, especially those residing in economically depressed areas. Third, Hurricane Harvey taught our district ( and other parts of the gulf coast) that our bayou systems are in disparate need of improvement. Through state funded infrastructure programs, we can put Texans to work.
In order to continue attracting the best and brightest, teacher's pay must reflect the professionalism required. By reducing class size, not only will students benefit from more individual attention, but teachers will suffer less burn out. Measures must be initiated to save and improve our failing schools. We cannot allow schools, like prisons, to be privatized. If fewer than 30% of constituents are degreed, we must have a path to the middle class for the remaining 70%. It is imperative that vocational training for students and retraining for displaced workers be made available. Our people need careers, not dead end jobs. We first, need to save the schools in danger of being shut down. Second, we must partner with community colleges and Union apprentice programs to provide students with training.
Human Trafficking involves both sex and labor victims. As Texas' 4th largest city, filled with diverse ethic groups, many of Houston's victims are suffering in plain sight. It is estimated approximately 79k Texas minors and youths are victims of sex trafficking, at a cost of $6,600,000,000 to the State. Totally, there are approximately 313k victims of sex trafficking state wide. 234k victims of labor trafficking are economically exploited by nearly $600,000,000. State funding must be made available to investigate violators, enforce laws and retrain victims. Awareness programs must be funded so that victims are made aware of community efforts to rescue them, as well as protect youth from being enticed or forced into this circle of shame. Violators & exploiters must be prosecuted, as a deterrent to others. Exploited immigrants, must be protected and given leniency in immigration status investigations. Consumers must be trained, to recognize and report the businesses they suspect.
Education/Degrees Doctor of Jurisprudence Bachelors - Business Administration
Professional Experience Practicing Attorney - Solo Oil and Gas Business - Employee
Community Involvement Elementary School Tutor Little League Baseball Coach Big Brothers and Big Sisters Volunteer Legal Line Phone Bank recurring volunteer 200 yearly hours minimum of pro bono free legal work
Campaign Email jrs@att.net
Campaign Phone (713) 228-1900
Citizens in my district need access to a more open government. They need job security to be able to support their families. And they need a competent, well-trained and well-educated police force to protect neighborhoods and businesses. I would introduce or support any legislation introduced to accomplish these goals.
I will support any legislation that primarily places school children first. Education is the building block of the future. My support would include meals for children and proper pay for educators. I would support a solid infrastructure that would include improvement of physical facilities and transportation. Bullying would be considered more serious than today and dealt with appropriately. I support the abolishment of corporal punishment that is still legal in Texas, especially in grades above the 5th grade.
Human trafficking is not kidnapping and the "victims" voluntarily agree to be transported for a fee that the "victim" pays. Current politicians pretend to be tough on crime by publicizing the most egregious cases of abuse during journeys and increase punishment for this mostly victimless crime. Human trafficking in and of itself should be a lesser crime than other more serious illegalities that might occur during the transportation or after arrival at safe houses - where the remainder of the fee is collected from relatives before the transportees are released. "Victims" are often promised things of value by the government in order to testify against those arrested and bolster the prosecution evidence. Interestingly, a valuable item often offered by our government is legal status to those who just paid to enter the country illegally. Moreover, human trafficking inasmuch as it affects illegal aliens, is a matter of federal jurisdiction and expense and not Texas' responsibility.
Education/Degrees BA, Broadcast Management- Howard University Doctorate of Jurisprudence- Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University
Professional Experience 21years of legal experience; Vice Chair, Harris County Delegation of State Representatives (85th Legislative Session); "Freshman of the Year" (85th Legislative Session); Passed signature legislation addressing maternal mortality (Special Session)
Community Involvement Board of Directors for Beyond Careers; Houston Endowment Maternal Mortality Steering Committee; YWCA; RMM Women’s Workgroup; Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force; created “Heroes for Harvey Coalition” & made my district office a Command Center
Campaign Email Repthierry146@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (832) 426-4776
Twitter @RepThierry146
1. Ending maternal mortality in Texas: Texas leads the nation in the number of women who die due to complications in childbirth; Harris County's rate exceeds that of 56 other countries; and African American women are disproportionately impacted, at a rate three times as high. To combat this endemic, I filed legislation during the special session and sponsored SB 17, which passed in August 2017, and adds a labor and delivery nurse, and a critical care doctor, to The Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force. 2. Protecting senior citizens: I filed HB 959, the Financial Elder Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Act, which created penalties for those who prey on the elderly, through financial and other scams, and mandated that banks report any suspected financial abuse. 3. Housing Reform: I authored HB 3919, which aimed to help prevent longtime homeowners from being taxed out of their homes. I also authored HB 3871, which sought to crack down on substandard/unsafe rental properties.
I am a proud product of the public education system and my mother was a dedicated, passionate teacher, so reforming the Texas public education system is one of my top legislative priorities. I am a staunch advocate for public education and am vehemently opposed to the voucher system. As a mother myself, I understand the value of advocating for individuals most directly impacted by education policy- the students and teachers. During the last legislative session, I worked to address issues of homelessness in higher education, teacher expenses for the classroom, and increased accountability for prejudicially motivated offenses that occur on school grounds. I also believe, taxpayer dollars need to be utilized to their full extent, to enhance and upgrade the current conditions of our public school system for ALL children. Children are one of our most vulnerable populations, and ensuring a safe educational environment is key to a successful future for all of our children.
During the 85th Legislative Session, many of my democratic colleagues authored legislation relating to the prohibition of human trafficking. I supported their efforts in the House of Representatives and I believe that in the future the State of Texas must work with local law enforcement officials and independent victim service organizations in order to combat human trafficking, support victims and potential victims, and to raise awareness, ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice.