25 years as a city planner, urban designer and management / facilities operations consultant. I have worked in private and public sectors in Boston, New York City, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. Currently, 18 years as a small business owner in real estate and 9 years stay at home parent - I quit my profession when our twins where born (they attend public school). I have been married for 18 years to a wonderful woman, my wife, who is from New England.
I have a BA in Urban Economic Geography and a Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning in Urban Design and Real Esate --- Both from the University of Texas (Austin). I have studied architecture at the Boston Architectural College and I have studied public policy and urban design at the University of Oslo (Norway).
I also graduated from Jefferson HS in SATX, SAC and Texas State before earning my degrees.
I have lived in London working at the Victoria Albert Museum; lived in Berlin, lived in Oslo as a grad student, and have extensive travel in Europe, Mexico and the United States.
Allow driver's license become voter registration card and to allow same day vote and / or proof of residency (utility bill or appraisal payment receipts). Move voting day (in addition to early voting) to a two or one day weekend event. Move the primaries to late May.
1. Review existing screening / background check programs and make sure they are funded (enforcement is critical) in addition to adding a 'boyfriend' clause.'
2. Eliminate gun show loop hole.
3. Broaden the public and private 'assembly' local regulations that will forbid bringing guns on site, such as public schools and universities, as well as charter schools, churches and other places of gathering.
That the State Legislature take the lead. As a Senator and individual with geography mapping, census analysis, and urban economics, I can lead and challenge any redistricting map set out on partisan criteria. Redistricting is a Senators first year requirement when sworn into office. I have the depth of knowledge and law to challenge any redrawn map that doesn't meet the spirit and intent of the Texas Constitution. I will provide 'for the record' data and testimony for any legal challenges establishing non-constitutional compliance.
I would amend constitutional 'protective clauses' that exempt commercial properties from disclosing purchase prices of land/facilities. I would work with county chief appraisers and the State appraisal regulating board so that we may amend how we evaluate commercial and private residential properties --- especially for low income home owners on fixed incomes who are facing 'housing affordability issues in the inner city'. I would promote the use of the 'rainy day fund' and establish that IT DOES apply to 'basic programs that operated and maintained by the State of Texas,' as mandated by the State Constitution. I would consider a 50% minimum funding from State Budget. I would consider the legalization of marijuana, which will require local ownership/investors, to offset funding costs.
To protect our Hill Country and Aquifers, by giving county governments added land use/platting regulatory jurisdiction to meet the exploding population growth of our region to prevent suburban sprawl and endangerment of ground and aquifer water qualities.
To fund the construction of more desalination plants so our cities, towns, livestock and crops are not threatened by seasons of draught.
To fund programs and require enforcement of methane emission standards so to capture and turn into electric power (micro power stations) converting fracking and compost fields energy.
Expansion of Medicaid via vote in an election that proposes health care for all and which presents/proposes a joint effort of insurers, health providers, and pharmaceuticals that will apply to the highest populated MSA's along with a 10 year sunset. The purpose would be to begin establishing a 'proven model' for health care delivery while still letting other Texans maintain the system they currently prefer.
Property tax evaluation and public school reform. The State demographer for many years says the greatest threat to the Texas Economy is the education system. With a better workforce, skilled labor or college educated indivduals, Texans will be better-off for their families and/or themselves.
NAFTA / foreign trade. Texans need to take the lead in exports and make our State and Nation wealthier...but not at the cost of our environment or the wages of our labor force, or the impoverishment of people working in other countries.
We need to build economic base activities for cyber security, shipping and bio medical engineering as well as maintain the State's military role with the bases that are still operating. These economic base activities can lead to the next wave of technology just as the collaboration of MCI did in making Austin and Dallas leading computer technology centers.
That work environments dominated by males undergo voluntary sexual harassment training; blue collar or professional settings.
If not required by 'policy,' then have men take an oath to respect other women and men.
Have existing parent organizations to offer to young boys and men in middle and high school to work/interact with women/young ladies to understand disrespectful behavior.
Create a 911 number for localities / universities / high schools and grade schools for females to use without fear of 'being in trouble' so they can contact a supportive individual.
To increase the penalty of such harassment if it comes in person, via internet or other format and make comparable to a 'David's Law' type of standard.
Since graduating from Texas A&M in 1995 I've been in IT for over twenty two years with experience working internationally for both large and small firms. I currently oversee software development operations at Praecipio Consulting, a small business that employees over 50 diverse and talented Texans
After 9/11 I put my IT career on hold to enlist in the United States Army Reserve. I served with distinction for over 11yrs including 2 Combat Tours in Iraq and Afghanistan where I specialized in Civil & Governmental reconstruction efforts and was trained as an Army Engineer.
Awards: Bronze Star, Joint Services Commendation Medal, Combat Action Badge
My wife Kelsey are both originally from San Angelo, TX and have lived in Central Texas for over 18 years with our 10 year old twins Everett and Elliott who attend Dripping Springs Elementary School.
Eliminate Voter ID Laws. Eliminate partisan gerrymandering. Increased budget for voter awareness campaigns and allow online registration. Explore and implement online voting initiatives and technologies that allow opt-out, neutral voter push notifications to smart-phones. Move minor elections to weekends and have an annual state holiday.
Eliminate the "gun show" loophole and so-called "Constitutional" carry. Strengthen the Lautenberg Amendment to include anyone convicted of a violent crime and require existing weapon confiscation in new cases. Create a tiered classification of weapons that require increased levels of training and accountability. Owners of antiques or single-shot, bolt-action and pump-actuated hunting rifles and shotguns should have vastly different criteria than those seeking handguns or high-capacity assault rifles. We can still provide Constitutional, responsible and accountable ownership while protecting our communities.
Computer algorithmic redistricting with oversight from a non-partisan board drawn from a lottery of educators and administrators from around the state.
First and foremost: Restore state funding which has dwindled to now 31% due to corporate tax loopholes that allow large companies to get out of paying property taxes. Increase taxes on fossil fuels. Increase the per-child rate to catch up to inflation and allow each ISD to apply for additional per-child increases based upon special needs and eco-dis population counts. Increase teacher pay to meet or exceed national average immediately with state-funded, zip-code based COLA.
Defund any subsidies to fossil fuels over a five-year period, redirecting those funds to subsidize and incentivize investment in renewables with emphasis on wind energy, end-user solar and self-sustaining "micro-grids". Texas has 25% of the US potential wind energy and is one of the fastest growing states in population in America. With proper planning and incentive structures for new housing construction, eco-friendly, erosion-preventing, energy-saving and energy-producing technologies can be substituted in an increasing percentage of new homes. The increased demand will provide for economies of scale, driving down unit costs. This plus consumer-side rebate programs should make retrofits more attractive to owners of existing homes.
Accept Medicaid expansion! Currently over 1,000,000 Texas children and 76,000 Texas veterans do not have health care due to the current administration's refusal to accept Medicaid expansion. It is outrageous. Long term, if Washington cannot find its way to providing a single-payer solution, we should enact one here in Texas based on successful state systems like Massachusetts.
Public education finance reform. See above.
Anti-corruption, campaign finance and legislative reform. Texas politicians can receive *unlimited* contributions from private donors and PACs. This creates a system that gives undue influence to the very few and makes corporate employees of our elected officials. We need strict caps similar to those at the Federal level. Ridiculously low "salaries" ensure only the independently wealthy can afford to serve, leaving out so many qualified and exceptional Texans. And an ever-other-year legislature, established on an agrarian economic system cannot possibly budget or legislate effectively in a fast-paced, every-changing world. Our legislature should meet annually or semi-annually for shorter periods.
Human-centric policy. Business is important. It brings jobs. But attracting the right kind of business is what really matters. Having companies come to Texas to exploit cheap labor and tax loopholes attracts parasites and the wrong kind of jobs.
People who abuse their power over another individual must be held accountable for their actions and their victims' identities should remain anonymous and their reporting of unacceptable behavior free from any type of retaliation. State officials should not, under any circumstances, be able to use state funds for defense or settlement. Elected officials that are not exonerated through a court of law or by an ethics panel should be forced to resign. Out-of-court plaintiff settlements should not exempt them from a formal process to determine innocence or guilt.