BA Trinity University, San Antonio, TX -1979;
JD University of Houston Law Center -1982
Legislative Aide to State Representative Debra Danburg -1982-1983;
Law Offices of Rita Lucido - 1983-1997;
Cothrun & Lucido, Partner -1997 to present
Houston Area Women's Center 1988-1996 -Board;
Avance Family Support & Educ Pgm 1995-1997 - Board;
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast 2003-2013 - Board; Bd Chair 2009-2011;
Fellow American Leadership Forum Class XLII;
2014 Dem Nominee TX State Sen. Dist 17
Education funding in TX relies on a non-sustainable formula that punishes districts for healthy property tax revenue & allows the state to not contribute equitably to districts on a per student basis. This system contributes to higher property taxes, our overcrowded classrooms & scarcity of resources for many students.
Neighborhoods all over SD17 were hard hit by the flood last fall & many people are still not in their homes & businesses aren't fully up & running, while Texas sits on $10 billion of our money & state government refuses to do its part in the recovery effort. SD17 wants creativity & leadership in Austin to get the community back to normal.
SD17 residents want leadership in the TX Sen to take care of real issues, not distractions and silly ideological bills. I'm repeatedly told that last session's "bathroom bill" was an embarrassment & unnecessary waste of their money. SD17 residents want state government to get back to important issues like education & infrastructure
I am focused on our education funding system. The state of TX continually hoists its obligation to fund education onto local districts, shifting general revenue away from education, resulting in districts scrambling for funds and forced to raise property taxes. When we require the State of Texas to meet local districts at least halfway in funding education, we can then address other systemic problems.
Texas needs to be a leader in the fight against human trafficking rather than leaving it to the private non-profit sector. Funding treatment for victims, shelter space for child victims and services for homeless kids at the state level would be a start. The Dept of Family and Protective Services is still woefully underfunded and they are the first line of defense for child victims.
Another solution is to stop treating sex-trafficking victims like criminals. When brought into police custody victims often are jailed because the police have no other resource for them. Not only do they feel punished but they are further stigmatized by their criminal record.
The buck stops with Texas Legislature to address this problem and enact real solutions rather than expecting charities to protect these victimized individuals.
Juris Doctor, Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University
Bachelor of Science, Psychology, University of
Partner, Simoneaux & Watson, P.C.
Law Office of Fransheneka Watson
I am an active member of the progressive community focusing on a wide range of issues that focus on LGBTQ equality and racial and gender justice. I have served in leadership in most of the organizations which I was involved.
Access to affordable inclusive healthcare. While District 17 is home to one of the largest healthcare centers in the world, people in rural parts of the District are have issues accessing the care needed. Working on medicaid expansion to bring federal dollars to the state could not only provide communities access to health care, but ensure that regardless of location, services, including telemedicine, would be available.
Traffic continues to be an issue in District 17. While there are some large scale construction projects on the horizon to relieve the congestion, construction is not the only solution. I will work to strengthen access to public transportation and address the issue of affordable housing, as residents must move further out for housing, which means a longer commute times.
Storm Preparedness. I will work to invest in the completion of local flood-prevention projects, and call on ecologists and environmentalists in addition to engineers for flood solutions.
All students, regardless of zip code, should have access to a quality public education. I will work on making sure that our public education system is adequately funded, and that public tax dollars will be used to fund public education. Additionally, we will work to make sure teachers have resources to provide students a well-rounded education that prepares them for college or vocational programs.
With over 300,000 victims and survivors of human trafficking in Texas, the legislature should have a significant role in addressing this problem. For the longest time, including last session, the focus has been on criminal enforcement, which is necessary. There must also be some focus on providing education and awareness, as well as funding to support survivors, as there is a life transition that will take place.