Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Texas House, District 46

Primary Election: March 6, 2018Early Voting: February 20 - March 2, 2018
  • Warren Baker (Dem)

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    Sheryl Cole (Dem) Attorney

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    Ana Cortez (Dem) Small Business Owner

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    Dawnna Dukes (Dem) Small business owner

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    Casey L. McKinney (Dem) Gov. Affairs Consultant

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    Jose 'Chito' Vela (Dem) Attorney

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

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

Identify three measures you would support that reduce gun violence.

After publication of the 2020 census, new congressional, state and 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? Discuss water management, renewable energy, and clean air.

What would you do to ensure healthcare for all Texans?

What other issue do you consider most important and how would you address it?

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Background I am an attorney and accountant by trade and have a long history of public service. I served on Austin City Council for 10 years and as Mayor Pro Tem.
Education Doctor of Jurisprudence, University of Texas School of Law, 1991. Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Texas at Austin, 1986.
I support online voter registration and same-day voter registration and believe that anyone should be able to vote by mail. I oppose discriminatory Voter ID laws, which disproportionately affect low-income communities, students, and people of color.
Closing the Gun Show Loophole, where background checks and identification are not required during gun sales at a gun show, is an easy place to start. We also need to ensure that existing background check infrastructure is functioning, to reduce the odds that a tragedy like Sutherland Springs, where the gunman purchased firearms despite a violent criminal background. We also need to look at causes of violence. We need to expand access to mental health care and intervene earlier in cycles of domestic violence - both of which would require increased funding from the state.
I believe California’s system of a nonpartisan independent committee to draw maps for redistricting is a strong answer to Texas’ hyper-partisan Gerrymandering. It allowed for greater input from the community, and the resulting districts are much healthier for democracy and representation.
I support a fair and equitable state income tax. However, since I do not believe that is likely to pass in the current political climate, I believe we absolutely must revise the school finance funding formula and reexamine recapture rates. As it stands, AISD is losing $500 million or more to recapture, despite the fact that a majority of our students are from low income houses and have free or reduced-price lunches. School finance should not be funded on the backs of those who can least afford it.
On Austin City Council, I formed a Water Conservation Task Force and defended Austin Energy’s progressive policies at the State Legislature, and I would continue to be a strong voice for the environment if elected. We must invest in the future so that our children’s children have a beautiful, clean, and habitable Earth to inherit. They should not have to live in fear of alternating drought and super storms from the gulf. Texas has a great potential for investing in solar and wind energy, and I strongly support efforts to improve our infrastructure to better guard against flooding and drought.
Texas should have accepted the Medicaid expansion. Unfortunately, we failed to do so, and many Texans have paid the price. We need to invest in accessible and affordable community clinics, including for mental healthcare. We need to study why Texas has such an overwhelming Maternal Mortality Rate, and do everything we can to address that. We need to invest in nonprofits, such as Planned Parenthood, that pay overwhelming dividends in how much they help our communities. The Health and Human Services budget needs every dollar it can get, and I will fight for them during the budget process.
There are many facets to affordability and no one way to address these issues. We need to ensure economic development is for everyone. We need to address rising housing costs by making sure the Legislature pays for its fair share of education. We have to fix the trend of rising deregulated tuition and healthcare costs that have outpaced stagnated wages. On Council, I revived failing affordability efforts and made sure they passed, supported prevailing wages, and made sure businesses responsibly contributed to our tax base. I pledge to actively seek progress everywhere we can.
Background Grew up as a migrant farm worker. Owner of Healthcare Consulting firm since 2004, School Board Trustee, MASBA Board of Director, Master Trustee
Education La Joya High School Honor Graduate Indiana University of South Bend Business owner 2004
I would support and advocate for online voter registration and same-day registration to make it easier and motivate people to exercise their right. We must allow people every opportunity to make their voice heard.
I would support a) the requirement of universal background checks; b) the reversal of recently passed open carry laws; and c) a general ban on firearms on school properties. For the purpose of safety and care for others, we should always work to ensure that individuals who own and carry firearms, do not have a history of mental health issues or a propensity toward violence, which could result in tragic outcomes should the individual choose to use their firearm when upset or misunderstood. The introduction of weapons to a place of learning for young people poses many risks.
One party is in control of the process, which means they can draw boundaries to give themselves a numeric advantage over their opponents. However, often times, the outcome is not a true representative picture of what our great State truly looks like. In order to make this process as fair as possible, I would support having an independent commission (not appointed) draw up the districts to ensure a non-partisan result.
I have constantly advocated for Austin policymakers to take a solutions-based approach to education. I would recommend and support making the appropriate amendments to state revenue allocations and tax reform which would put in place mechanisms for the state to be the primary funder. There is no better use of existing and new tax dollars than to equitably and fully fund our schools. Public school finance is a perennial issue, It is unwise for the state to continue to take up the issue of diverting public dollars to private entities. Transparency and accountability to our tax $ is important!
We must begin to explore and attack the issues of water and energy as one issue instead of approaching the topics as 2 separate issues. The state spends far too much time being short sighted on this issue instead of creating comprehensive policies aimed at true environmental stewardship. We must create legislation to support better tax incentives for water and energy conservation investments. We must also ensure that our schools properly discuss climate change as a real issue instead of the theory that the Republican Party and Republican members of the State Board of Education have pushed.
Texas leadership has left more than $100 billion unused over the past decade. We pay plenty of tax dollars to Washington and will fight to use them in our state to responsibly close the health insurance gap, and ultimately insure all our State.

I will work to ensure that all government funded positions in the state, as well as local municipalities, study progressive pay trends and adjust pay to ensure that women are properly compensated. I would also work to raise the minimum wage in Texas. All Texans should have the option to attend college, without incurring massive amounts of student debt. We can achieve this by capping the amount of tuition that colleges charge our students. Communities should not be held hostage to toll roads and congestion. I will work diligently to end the introduction of new toll roads in Texas.
Background Rep. Dawnna Dukes is the most senior member of the Travis County state delegation, having served 12 terms.
Education Texas A&M University B.S. Psychology
I believe the democratic process. Elections and voting rights are important to our country and House District 46. We need to follow better design practice for new ballots for voters to view easy and clear. Also, supporting free and fair elections,while republicans are making it a challenge.
1. Ban sales to mentally ill 2. Universal background checks 3. Child proof locks
The 2020 census around the corner, the Republicans will be gerrymandering the new districts to have the upper hand against the Democrats. As your State Representative for House District 46, I will do everything in my power to see fairness and accountability throughout the process. Eventhough, we are a red state, I will not stop fighting for fairness and accountability during the new redrawn districts for the State of Texas.
Education is the cornerstone for our kids future. I will continue to champion better education for our kids. Public education of all levels need to have all the resources necessary to assist our kids in providing a top notch education. My experience and leadership of over 20 years in the Texas Legislature has showed a track record of being a fighter for our kids education.
The Texas environment is important to all citizens of Texas. We have to provide a better quality of life for our community. As your public servant, I have the always been a fighter for clean air, better public drinking water, better clean energy solutions, and water conservation. The fight is never over and I will continue to fight for the Texas environment.
Healthcare is important to every Texan. While Healthcare technology is increasing at a fast pace. Healthcare insurance is becoming too expensive. We need to ensure our community has access to to affordable healthcare. I have the been on the frontlines fighting for better healthcare and will continue to fight. My experience in the Texas Legislature has allowed me to work across the isle to make sure we come to agreements and concessions to provide better healthcare to Texans. I have increased funding for our Medicaid and CHIP programs and I fought for women's rights for better healthcare.
Fight for Child Protective Services so our children are better cared for. Lead efforts to equalize our Public School Funding system. Continue efforts to reform Criminal Justice system.
Background I AM a native Texan (born & raised in Houston), committed Democratic leader, community activist, business woman, mother, proud Texas-Veteran.
Education I am a product of Texas public schools and later (subsidized by the U.S. Military) I attended the University of Maryland with studies in biology and n
We are stronger when we protect citizens’ right to vote, stop corporations’ outsized influence in elections. I will fight to end the broken campaign finance system, overturn the disastrous Citizens United decision, restore the full power of the Voting Rights Act, and return control to the citizens.
We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. I support legislature that will: • Expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws • Repeal the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” (PLCAA) to revoke the dangerous legal immunity protections gun makers and sellers now enjoy; • And keep weapons of war - such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines (LCAM's) OFF OUR STREETS! We need to study gun violence as a public health issue.
While Democrats have also used their power to draw partisan lines, the net impact of gerrymandering benefits the GOP because it controls the process in key contested states. Republicans enjoy [a net of] 16 to 17 extra seats in Congress under the maps of this decade because of partisan bias. Contrary to belief, Texas is NOT a "red" state - it is a non-voting state. Get out the vote efforts, voter education and monitoring voter suppression are also key elements to fair representation.

Address the whole child. Ensuring that children are physically and emotionally healthy and safe. Deepen family engagement and support. Strengthen neighborhoods and communities. Family stability is critical to addressing the needs of the whole child, community partnerships are required to coordinate multipronged approaches to serving children and families, and early childhood is the ideal time to begin this work. These priorities form the spine of what I believe is a growing movement to create P-3 partnerships devoted to improving children's experiences along the entire prenatal-through-3rd-g
I am committed to legislature that curbs the effects of climate change, protecting America’s natural resources, and ensuring the quality of our air, water, and land for current and future generations. From investing in clean energy to protecting our ecosystems, I will work to address our biggest environmental challenges, paving the way to a more sustainable America. It will take all of us acting together - workers and entrepreneurs, scientists and citizens, the public and the private sector to address the challenge of climate change and seize our clean-energy future.
President Johnson signed Medicare into law in 1965 providing healthcare security to America’s seniors. In 1997, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was passed, which currently covers 8 million kids. But it took nearly a century to extend that basic measure of security to all Americans. I am committed to preserving and protecting the Affordable Care Act and the peace of mind it has brought to millions of Americans, and I will fight all attempts to repeal the law and take health care away from tens of millions of Americans.

I am committed to ensuring full equality for women. I will fight to end gender discrimination in the areas of education, employment, health care, or any other sphere. I support legislature that will combat biases across economic, political, and social life that hold women back and limit their opportunities and tackle specific challenges facing women of color. I am committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice.
Background I am currently an immigration and criminal defense attorney. Before, I worked for a State Representative and at the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
Education I received a bachelor’s in history, a master’s in public affairs and a law degree from The University of Texas.
I support making registration as easy and as quick as possible, including allowing online registration and allowing people to register to vote on election day. I would repeal the disenfranchising voter ID laws that Texas has recently passed. They negatively impact poor and minority voters.
I would support the following measures to reduce gun violence: (1) universal background checks without any loopholes or exceptions (2) repeal the open carry and campus carry laws (3) ban the sale of assault weapons. As a young boy, I grew up hunting and fishing in South Texas. I appreciate the tradition of gun ownership in Texas. However, I also woke up in Las Vegas, Nevada on the morning of Oct. 1, 2017 when a madman with an assault weapon killed 58 and wounded more than 500. That horrific scene will forever haunt me. Our country must ban assault weapons.
The current congressional districts clearly establish the fact that the last people that should be drawing a district are the politicians that will inherit those districts. Texas should have an independent, bi-partisan re-districting committee made up of diverse members selected on a statewide basis. There should be no elected officials on the committee.
Funding quality public education is a core function of state government. Sadly, Texas has one of the lowest levels of per student funding in the U.S. We must move away from our reliance on local property taxes to fund education and toward a statewide tax system. A statewide tax system allows us to end the inequitable “Robin Hood” system that punishes Austin and other urban districts. Other states have legalized and taxed marijuana. Texas should do the same and dedicate that revenue to education. We should also look at legalized gambling and dedicate those revenues to education.
Water Management - The cities of San Antonio and Austin, have successfully reduced water consumption through aggressive public awareness campaigns. The state should support funding for a myriad of water conservation programs at the local level. Renewable Energy - I support a carbon tax on producers of electricity. This would both limit carbon producing electrical plants, such as coal and natural gas, and raise badly-needed revenue for the state. Clean Air – I will advocate to ensure the state complies with the federal Clean Air Act and holds polluters accountable.
One of the biggest issues facing Texas today is our refusal to accept the Medicaid expansion that was part of the Affordable Care Act. About 900,000 Texans could have access to free and comprehensive health care through Medicaid if our state government simply said yes to the federal money. I strongly support accessing those federal funds and will make this my priority at the Texas Legislature.
Criminal justice reform is an overarching issue that ranges from grappling with major shifts in policy to addressing mundane changes to the Texas Penal Code such as making it easier for people to keep and renew their drivers’ licenses by reducing fines that disporportionally affect the poor.

The war on drugs has failed. Texas should stop the over criminalization of possession for personal use and treat illegal drug use as the public health crisis that it is. And we must end the use of the death penalty.