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Texas House, District 118

Members are elected by District to represent the people of their District in the Government of Texas.
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  • Leo Pacheco (Dem)

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    Tomas Uresti (Dem) Retired Business Owner

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Biographical Information

What processes do you support to improve elections and voter turnout in Texas?

Identify three measures that you would support that reduce gun violence.

After publication of the 2020 census, new congressional, state and State Board of Education districts will be redrawn. What process do you support to ensure fair representation?

What would you do to provide and fund an equitable, quality public education for all children pre-k through grade 12?

What are your legislative priorities for the Texas environment?

What would you do to ensure healthcare for all Texans?

Explain three priorities for the Texas government in the next three years.

What policies would you support to protect against sexual harassment and assault?

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Campaign Phone (210) 914-5855
Campaign Email tomasuresti@gmail.com
Experience -Retired business owner -2 years service in Texas House -13 years on Harlandale ISD School Board -4 years on Bexar County Appraisal District
Texas is 49th out of 50th in voter participation, and this lack of engagement directly results from state laws that make it harder to vote. First, I’d like Texas to follow 37 other states in allowing voters to register online. A system of online voter registration would be secure, convenient, and accessible to everyone. We should also consider going a step further by automatically register Texans to vote when they get a driver's’ license through an “opt-out” registration system.
Last Legislative Session, I authored legislation encouraging gun buyback programs to take deadly weapons off the street. I also believe that Texas should implement both universal background checks and a ban on “bump stocks” which can transform semi-automatic rifles into near-automatic weapons. There are many other common sense options to reduce gun violence, such as investing in mental health prevention and treatment.
Texas should follow the example of other highly populous states like California and allow a non-partisan committee of experts and stakeholders draw our political maps. It is no secret that Texas has egregiously gerrymandered districts and addressing that problem will require the use of objective metrics to maximize the competitiveness and districts while preserving minority voting rights.
Improving primary education means reforming our byzantine school finance system so that districts can provide the quality education that will prepare their students for the job market or college. Overall, I support reform that will resolve the complaints of the state’s largest districts while providing greater funding across-the-board through simplification and rationalization of the school finance formulas.

This is the most important issue handled by the state of Texas. Kids who receive a high-quality education are far more likely to end up in successful marriages, to have high-paying jobs, to be healthy, and become middle-class. When we don’t give our youth the chance to succeed in their school, we’re robbing him of a better quality of life for decades to come. As technology and automation disrupt the labor market and create higher demand for more-educated workers, we need to ensure every kid is getting a quality K-12 education so they are able to compete in the modern economy.
Texas cities have seen tremendous economic and population growth in the past 2 decades and thus a lot of hazardous waste sites that were once out in the country are now within city limits. Recently, I help arrange the cleaning of a long-standing tire dump in San Antonio, where over a million tires had been abandoned in violation of state law. To deal with the worst polluters, we should give new tools and staff to TCEQ to enforce existing laws. This could be especially useful as the EPA steps back from enforcing federal environmental protections.

Texas should also invest in green energy and recycling technologies. We’ve seen an explosion of wind and solar in Texas due to past investments we’ve made in R&D and improving the energy grid. If we continue to make these sorts of investments, we could see 20-30% of the grid in Texas drawn from fully renewable sources in the near future.
Every year, Texas leaves billions of free federal dollars on the table because we refuse to expand Medicaid to provide insurance to thousands of low income Texans. Across the country, Medicaid expansion has been highly effective in increasing access to healthcare. I believe Texas should follow states like Louisiana and Arkansas and find a bipartisan compromise that would allow us to use all available federal dollars to provide healthcare.

Even after Medicaid expansion, Texas will still have a large uninsured population. On this, we can only hope that Congress doesn’t chip away at Obamacare any further and future Congresses work towards a more sustainable national healthcare system.
1) First and foremost, we need to improve our K-12 educational system. This means passing a well-written school finance reform bill and finding ways to attract more quality teachers to public schools.

2) I remain committed to child safety and welfare. That starts with how we treat serial abusers - last session, I filed legislation to prevent serial child abusers from plea bargaining out of prison time. We also need to build on reforms to our child abuse prevention and foster care systems, which are in dire straits.

3) Texas needs better infrastructure. In San Antonio, population growth has drastically outpaced infrastructure expansion, worsening our city’s traffic problem. Traffic isn’t just the worst part of your morning commute, but a leach on our society, robbing us of time spent being productive in our jobs or being home with our family. Increasing mobility will give people more flexibility both in the labor market and in their day-to-day lives.
One of my primary legislative concerns is the chronic issue of sexual assault on college campuses, and I’ve authored legislation to improve procedures and reporting requirements on that issue. We also must be mindful of the epidemic of sexual assault in places with less visibility, among people with less political power, such as immigrant communities, service workers, and night-shift workers.

With regards to harassment, we need to make sure that men and women know what sort of behavior is not acceptable at work or school. More widespread and higher-quality workplace training is one small step we can take. However, long-term progress will require national cultural change. Right, the #MeToo movement is helping us work out many of our society’s issues with sexual harassment and assault. This cultural moment should help us set new norms that make workplaces safer and more hospitable for all women.