Research Scientist & Teaching Associate
Associates in Science (North Lake College)
BA in Spanish (UNT); Biology (UTD)
MS in International Agriculture (Oklahoma State)
Almost done with PhD in Biomedical Science (Oklahoma State)
I've been helping other campaigns and progressive candidates since 2002 - I was there when we turned Dallas County blue in 2006. I have led a life of service by volunteering in animal shelters and vet hospitals, and researching a cure for diabetes.
I grew up in the Texas public school system, and benefited immensely from it – but we can do better. We need to keep moving forward, to protect state-funded public education, as our Constitution intends. The push for "school choice" is as deceptive as it is dangerous, as it funnels public tax dollars into privately-run schools which aren’t held accountable for the quality of their instruction, nor obliged to provide services for our most vulnerable students.
Our students also deserve highly qualified teachers. Texas ranks 43rd in education, and 34th in average teacher salary. There is a correlation. To improve the quality of our education, we must attract and retain highly-qualified teachers. We can do that by increasing teacher salaries to meet or beat the national average, improving their health insurance coverage, and removing test-based performance pay.
Lastly, the only way to decrease our property taxes is to properly fund our schools, plain and simple.
Texas has an economy that is big and bold, just like its culture. But we still must actively cultivate our job market so that hard working Texans can get the jobs they need, and so that businesses can flourish.
This means having a competitive workforce emboldened by comprehensive education programs, government-funded two year and vocational degrees, reliable public transportation systems, and affordable property tax rates so that we can choose to live in the best city for our work. This also means giving businesses the support and the flexibility they need to be their best, and giving folks the ability to create jobs for themselves.
Environmental protection has been on the top of my priority list since Day 1.
If we don't fight for the health and longevity of our home, what else is there? Texas already produces more wind energy than any other state – and if we can get the lobbyists out of government, we can offer good jobs and sustainable technologies which can support all Texans. I support state-funded retraining programs to help carbon-based energy production workers transition to cleaner, healthier, more sustainable energy employment. Texas is nothing but innovative - we can change the way we energize the world.
Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege.
Until we as a country are ready to move towards a single-payer system, Texas needs to accept Medicaid expansions made available by the federal government. We must also support preventative medicine (as it is repeatedly proven to be cheaper than emergency medicine), paid maternity and paternity leave, and quality, affordable childcare services.
The fact that the maternal mortality rate in Texas has been rising and is the highest among developed countries is not only alarming, but the fact that this was largely ignored by the State Senate during the 85th legislature is appalling - Texans deserve better.
I firmly believe in a woman's right to choose.
But I want what many Texans want: less abortions. And the path to fewer abortions is through accessible women's healthcare, birth control, and screenings. The more available we make these family planning avenues, the fewer abortions we'll have.
Wages: Hard work deserves fair pay. Yet for many cities in Texas, including Dallas and Fort Worth, the minimum wage falls below the estimated cost of living by about $3 per hour. We must increase the minimum wage so that every employed person can support themselves.
Marijuana: Safe combinations of THC and CBD oil have been repeatedly found over the last several decades to assist patients with a wide variety of physical ailments. Texas presently only allows medical marijuana to be used for exactly one condition, for intractable epilepsy. And while that is a good first step, it's time to start taking the next one: legalizing medical marijuana for a much wider range of prescribed treatment options and diagnoses. Furthermore, states with medical marijuana laws have reduced their overdose deaths by an average of 24.8%, as well as improved their local economies. This is no longer an option, it's a necessity.
Texas Wesleyan, BS and MBA
Burleson ISD Board of Trustees, 2007-2017
The state's share of funding for public education is at a 20 year low. Yet as a state, we continue to add an additional 1,000 residents every day. The math simply doesn't add up. If we do not invest in our schools, we will have overcrowded classrooms, facilities that can not handle the population growth and teachers who are even more overworked and underpaid. This is not a recipe for success. The state of Texas must find ways to strategically increase our state's share of education funding, thus reducing the property tax burden placed on Texas homeowners. We must also strategically use economic development programs to stimulate local economies. A line by line analysis of the state budget is desperately needed as there is not a greater investment we can make than in Texas' children.
I would support continuing tax incentive programs that are proven to create good paying jobs. Right here in Tarrant County, businesses and families see the benefits of strategic economic development and tax incentive programs every single day. In Arlington, our state's event fund has helped attract the Super Bowl and College Football National Championship. In the northern part of Tarrant County, bipartisan economic development legislation has attracted the Facebook data center. The success these programs have helped create good jobs in Tarrant County. We must fight back against attempts to dismantle these programs and instead look at ways to create new investment opportunities, educate our workforce and finds new ways to attract great businesses to Tarrant County.
Energy production is the backbone of the Texas economy. It’s crucial we balance the economic benefits of our state’s thriving energy industry with a responsible environmental approach that ensures clean air and water and safe neighborhoods. The first approach is to encourage the development of clean, renewable energy such as wind and solar. At the same time, we have to recognize the economic benefits of natural gas and oil exploration. Not only do Texas companies benefit from oil and natural gas, but Texas families with mineral rights benefit. In the State Senate I will respect the rich history and tradition of energy exploration while keeping an eye toward the future long-term environmental challenges facing our state.
Healthy Texans are productive Texans. Access to quality and affordable health care will keep our state economy strong and is crucial to our quality of life in North Texas. Texas-focused solutions like expanding Medicaid to improve health care options for all Texas families while encouraging job growth within the health industry should never be out of reach. I will focus on bringing more resources to the Tarrant County medical community to meet the critical needs of local patients and healthcare providers.
Recent reports of Texas’ rising maternal mortality rate are unacceptable. We must prioritize good care for mothers, for all women, and for the state’s children as it is crucial to the health of the family and of Texas. I will focus my attention on expanding access to quality healthcare for all Texans, including our underserved populations--care focused on prevention, education and treatment.
I think further action on CPS reform will at the top of the agenda next session after the recent federal court ruling stating that lawmakers and DFPS have not done enough to address the long-standing issues at CPS. As more reports show that kids under CPS care are being abused and even dying, it is incumbent that we make drastic reforms to save the lives of Texas’ most vulnerable children. I believe that the state must further invest in additional CPS caseworkers to relieve the already overworked caseworkers. Hiring additional workers in addition to making salaries more competitive will go a long way toward solving many of the long-standing issues at CPS.