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VOTE411 Voter Guide

U.S. House, District 16

Elected to a two-year term, each representative serves the people of a specific congressional district by introducing bills and serving on committees, among other duties. To be elected, a representative must be at least 25 years old, a United States citizen for at least seven years and an inhabitant of the state he or she represents.
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    John Carrillo (Dem) University Lecturer

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    Norma Chavez (Dem) Retired State Legislator/Small Businesswoman

  • Veronica Escoar (Dem)

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    Dori Fenenbock (Dem)

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    Enrique Garcia (Dem) Attorney

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    Jerome Tilghman (Dem) Middle school teacher

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

Identify what you think are the three most important issues directly affecting the people in your district and explain how you will address these issues, if elected?

What, if any, measures would you propose to strengthen our economy and increase employment access?

How would you propose to balance the federal budget? Do you support tax increases, cuts to entitlements, elimination of government programs or other measures?

The tax code was recently overhauled. Do you think it is better or worse than the previous code and what changes, if any, would you make to it?

Would you advocate overturning the federal healthcare legislation? If so, what alternative would you propose?

What other issues do you consider important, why and what would you do to improve them?

Campaign Phone (915) 594-0878
Education/Degrees BA-Mass Communication MA-Communication Studies--Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year--perfect 4.0 grade point average.
Professional Experience For the over 40 years, I have been a working professional. This includes executive level jobs in broadcasting, technology, public relations, and school administration. This also includes ten years working at the network level with NPR in Washington, D.C. One of the highlights of my tenure with NPR was receiving the prestigious Peabody Award for my work with Wynton Marsalis. I am currently the Development Director for KTEP FM the NPR affiliate in El Paso, and a lecturer for the UTEP Communication Department. I have certificates in Conflict Resolution and Mediation, an Executive Director Training Certificate from Austin Community College, and a National Incident Training Certificate from FEMA.
Community Involvement I have worked for nonprofits most of my life including: NPR, The El Paso Empowerment Zone, Anthony ISD, Communities in Schools of El Paso, and the U.S./Mexico Border Health Commission. I currently work for KTEP FM and UTEP. I am also a member of the Cielo Vista Neighborhood Association.
1. Improving VA services to our veterans—Better qualified administrators are required to run our VA facilities. We must increase the starting pay for doctors to attract more of them to come to El Paso. 2. DACA—A pathway to citizens for the “Dreamers” must be implemented. 3. Border Wall--We do not need a wall!
I am going to support legislation that: Creates jobs by investing in our infrastructure, developing renewable energy sources (this is where the new high tech jobs are), and supporting investments in affordable housing. We must improve job quality by raising the minimum wage to $15/per hour. We must invest in our human capital. A university education should be free.
First, we must stop increasing the debt ceiling. It is currently $19 trillion. Much leaner operating agencies must be a requirement.
The problem with the reformed tax code is that tax cuts implemented for the middle class will disappear within 10 years. Meanwhile, tax cuts for the rich will remain in place. Tax reform must be equitable for all Americans.
ObamaCare must be kept in place! In addition, Medicaid must be expanded. Every American must have access to high quality, affordable healthcare.
We must Invest in the future of our children. Every young person that wants to attend a college or university should be able to do so—free of charge. I strongly believe higher education is a basic right not any different than our 1st Amendment Right guaranteed by the Constitution
Campaign Phone (915) 549-5444
Twitter @normachavez915
Education/Degrees Attended public schools Hillside Elementary, Ross Jr. High, and graduated from Burges High School; 2009-University of Texas at Austin, Bachelor of Arts, Government Major/Business Minor; 2002 Harvard, Kennedy School of Government Leadership Studies: Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government; 1997 American Council of Young Political Leaders-National Democratic Delegate to Japan; 1998, Center for Policy Alternatives: Flemming Fellows Leadership Institute: Urban Education and Leadership Studies; 1996, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Institute (NALEO), Organizational Leadership; 1992-1994 Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) Leadership Training-Urban Education and Leadership
Professional Experience Licensed Realtor, 1988 to current (inactive status); family owned business owner NCN Texaco; Texas House of Representatives 1997-2011; Texico Communications & Productions-consultant and promotions; Airbnb Superhost
Community Involvement Served as a leader for EPISO & was invited to participate in the 2 week organizer training; served as a public action organizer for the United Farm Workers of America; engaged community through public action, education, and advocacy for a progressive reflective El Paso Museum of Art, against the low level nuclear dumpsite in Sierra Blanca; organized 170 small businessmen and women against regulatory matters impacting their industry after the passage of the Federal Clean Air Act Amendments; participated and organized various marches for a safe and just food supply, social justice, Cesar Chavez; and participate in various of my church activities
1. Protect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, & Anti-Hunger Programs The Republican agenda is clear: to address the debt and deficit by attacking Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Anti-Hunger programs. Republican Speaker Paul Ryan said they are the “the big drivers of our debt” and Republican Senator Marco Rubio said “the driver of our debt is….Social Security and Medicare for beneficiaries.” (12/6/17 Washington Post). I will be a strong voice to protect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Anti-Hunger programs.

“Estoy de acuerdo a proteger Medicaid, Medicare, Segura Social, y los DREAMERS sin muro, pero con Reforma Inmigratoria.” – Norma Chavez

2. Veterans First. Fort Bliss Always I will serve as an advocate for all Veteran issues. I will work to abolish the “date of service and war” provision in order to provide equal service for all veterans. I will review the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Service Act. Fort Bliss is the single largest employer in our region, creating an estimated annual disposable personal income of approximately $8.2 billion. I will advocate for continued growth and full funding for Fort Bliss and Defense related projects.

“Serviré como defensor de todos los asuntos relacionados con los Veteranos. Trabajaré con los Miembros del Congreso para desarrollar una ley que asegura la ciudania para los Veteranos dados de baja honorablemente.” – Norma Chávez

3. Constituent Services I will staff a competent constituent services team that will address your needs promptly. If you need assistance with a federal agency, your Medicare or Social Security benefits, need military personnel or Veteran assistance, have legislative questions, or need help with student loans I will hire staff dedicated to serving the people of Congressional District 16. Serving the people of Texas House District 76, I know the importance of rapid constituent response from your representative. I am ready to serve you again at the federal level. “Formar
Good Paying Clean Energy Jobs I will identify clean energy jobs and industries that can be relocated to our beautiful Sun City, our community’s number one natural asset. I will advocate for high tech companies to base satellite and hybrid projects in El Paso such as Latino Facebook and Latino Google. We are a bilingual, bicultural, bi-national gateway to the Americas.
You don’t balance the budget on the backs of the poor, working class, disabled, veterans, single mothers, or by under funding Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and anti-hunger programs. As a freshman Congresswoman I would work with the leaders of the Democratic Caucus and Members of the Appropriations Committee to advocate for a fair balanced budget.
The 500 page tax code has provisions that expire in 10 years. Most damaging is the the Act repeals the Obamacare tax, which estimates are that an estimated 13 million Americans will no longer renew their insurance plan. This will increase higher taxpayer debt, due to individuals only seeking healthcare when chronically ill, raising the cost. Taxpayers can deduct up to $10,000 in state and local taxes, but they must choose between property taxes and income or sales taxes. The Act lowers the maximum corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, the lowest since 1939. The Act is good for the rich, and has a sunset clause for the working and middle class.
No! Amend don’t end Obamacare. Equal access and quality healcare for our El Paso region is one of my top priorities. I am committed to fighting any attempt to repeal health care improvement under Obamacare.

“Luchare contra la agenda Republicana y protegere los programas de Medicare, Medicaid, Segura Social, y programas de nutricion.”
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA Dreamers and Comprehensive Immigration Reform I will be a strong advocate for immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship for law-abiding residents, funds staff to decrease backlogs of applications in process, bans childhood separation from families in facilities, and reform that utilizes common sense practices to secure our borders. DACA Dreamers that are eligible deserve the right to petition for full citizenship and not fear deportation and family separation.

“Sere un firme defensora de la Reforma de Inmigracion y para los DACA Dreamers que califican para tener un camino hacia la ciudadania.”
Campaign Phone (915) 760-0192
Twitter @vgescobar
Education/Degrees BA, English & American Literature MA, English & American Literature
Professional Experience Faculty member - UTEP, EPCC Co-Coordinator, Border Rights Coalition Communications Director - Mayor Raymond Caballero Executive Director - Community Scholars County Commissioner - Precinct 2 El Paso County Judge
Community Involvement Board membership/leadership in: Border Rights Coalition Border Network for Human Rights Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center Hispanic Leadership Institute And support to many other community groups over the years
The most important issue for me is health care. When the federal government makes cuts to our healthcare, Americans who go without insurance have no place to go when they are sick, and as a result, they frequently end up in emergency rooms. Emergency rooms are where care is the costliest, and where people go when they are the sickest. If elected, I will fight for health coverage for all. The only way to care for everyone is to have a single payer healthcare system, and I will work at the federal level as I did at the local level to ensure you have access to quality healthcare.

The second most important issue is standing up for our border community. We are one of the safest communities in America and much of what is being debated and voted on in Washington, D.C. will have a direct impact on our community. It’s imperative that El Pasoans have a representative who not only understands our district, but who will stand up for our values and families as well. That means fighting for a path to citizenship for our DREAMers and working for comprehensive immigration reform. As your County Judge, I was a strong, vocal advocate for El Paso – for protecting our economy, touting our international location, and debunking the myths told about our community. If elected, I will continue to do this.

The third issue I am passionate about is care for our veterans. Our commitment to our veterans and wounded warriors should be reflected in the kind of care they receive when they return home. They have made tremendous sacrifices for our nation and deserve access to world-class health and mental health care. If elected, I will honor and continue the work started by Congressman O’Rourke and will work tirelessly to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs, making its service to our veterans second-to-none.
I believe that we need to provide opportunities to ensure all families can earn a wage that will allow them to raise a family and not worry about where their next paycheck is coming from. We have made some gains in the last decade. Less than 20 years ago, El Paso’s unemployment rate was at double digits. Our economy was floundering, and we were losing talent. In response,
I would approach budgeting at the federal level in the same way I did on commissioners court: by cutting waste, eliminating programs that are not effective, and funding those that make a difference in people's’ lives. Congress should be making sure that the wealthiest Americans and corporations pay their fair share, and cutting tax loopholes, while protecting entitlement
I believe the new tax code is worse than previous versions -- 83 percent of the tax cuts go to the wealthiest 1 percent. This new code lowers taxes for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, instead of protecting the middle class and the people who need it most. Republicans have indicated that they intend to pay for these tax cuts by cutting entitlements, a move that could put vulnerable Americans that count on this safety net at risk. Democrats need to fight for tax cuts for the majority of Americans - not the wealthiest 1% and we need to ensure that we have adequate resources available to fund government. In El Paso, we must protect our elderly, our children, our vulnerable, our veterans, and the disabled -- the people our country made a promise to take care of through social security, medicare and medicaid. We must also protect our middle class -- the individuals who work hard and pay into the federal system and expect it to work for them.
If elected, I will fight for health coverage for all. The only way to care for everyone is to have a single payer healthcare system, and I will work tirelessly at the federal level as I did at the local level to ensure that all Americans have access to quality healthcare. Without universal care and access, too many are left out of the system.
There are a number of other issues of importance to our community, including protecting our environment and natural open spaces, including Castner Range; protecting civil rights and voting rights gains that have been fought for by our predecessors; advancing women’s issues, including reproductive health and equal pay; investing in public education from K-college to include universal pre-K; protecting labor rights -- the right to organize, collect dues, and negotiate for safe; and, too many more issues to mention here. Our next congresswoman should be a zealous advocate for our community, someone who knows how to reform government to make it work for the people, and someone with the courage to stand up to powerful forces. I hope that El Pasoans recognize that I committed myself to those values as County Judge and will do so again if I have the privilege of serving them in Congress.
Campaign Phone (915) 519-0268
Education/Degrees I received my high school diploma from Holland Hall in Tulsa. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin, while attending summer school at UTEP (Go Miners). I then attended the University of Tulsa School of Law and received my Juris Doctorate in the state of Colorado, where I am currently a licensed attorney.
Professional Experience I put myself through law school and then started a small successful packaging business right here in El Paso. I did this as a single mom raising two boys. I know what it's like to struggle under the weight of everyday bills, making payroll and raising a family. I met my husband Mark whose family are third generation El Pasoans. We own a steel business with 200 employees that has plants on both sides of the border in Vinton and Juarez.
Community Involvement Jewish Federations of North America, Member of the Board of Trustees; Jewish Federation of Greater El Paso, Member and Immediate Past President; Paso Del Norte Tejano Democrats, Member; Northeast Democrats, Member and endorsement recipient; El Paso County Democrats, Member and Compañero; Westside Democrats, Member; Eastside Democrat, Member.
Educational opportunity is the great equalizer in our country and almost always is a path to better paying jobs and a better quality of life. Educational opportunity doesn’t just mean college. It can mean getting a vocational degree or pursuing a career in the military. Regardless, every American should be afforded the opportunity to improve their lives through higher education. At EPISD, I worked every day to ensure our kids had computers to do their homework on. For some kids, that was their family’s first computer in their home. I also saw to it that our students were being taught life skills, not only being taught to a standardized test. I will fight to ensure every American has the opportunity to make their lives better through education.

Jobs are good. Good paying jobs are better. There are some Americans who are working 40 plus hour weeks at multiple jobs and are still struggling to provide for their families. In fact, El Paso County had 23.7% of its population living below the poverty line in 2009. This is unacceptable. El Paso needs high-paying, quality jobs. Texas has become one of the fastest growing states in the nation and the jobs in El Paso are not keeping up. As a result, we are losing our kids to Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. We have to change that. That starts with developing and attracting companies with good paying jobs to El Paso.

Healthcare is one of the most important issues affecting Americans today. A short decade ago, Americans were denied health insurance because of pre-existing conditions and cancer treatment was not considered an essential benefit. The Affordable Care Act has changed this and, while it is not perfect, the intention of the law is clear, provide as many Americans with affordable healthcare. I will be a staunch defender of the ACA and look for additional ways to make healthcare more affordable to the people of El Paso.
If we can reduce gridlock at our international bridges and allow more people and trucks to get across, there would be a tremendous explosion of growth. Increasing employment access will require that we address inequalities in the workplace. Every American deserves a chance to pursue the American dream. I will fight for policies to give everyone the opportunity to succeed.
We are only going to balance the budget through a bipartisan approach. Clearly, Democrats and Republicans have different ideas and priorities on taxes, entitlements, and various government programs. Neither Democrats or Republicans will get everything they want, but the American people will get the fiscal responsibility to ensure their children's and this country's future.
As corporate profits are getting higher, American wages are stagnating and getting lower. The most recent tax reform effort was nothing short of tax relief for large corporations and ultra-wealthy individuals. I could not support these tax breaks when sunset clauses exist that make tax cuts for individuals temporary, but corporate and ultra-wealthy tax breaks are permanent. Tax reform only works when it has people in mind first.
I am not in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act. The intention of the law is clear, to provide affordable care to every American. I agree. Healthcare is a basic human right, not a privilege for a wealthy few. Healthcare costs are rising while quality declines. Congress needs to ensure there is sufficient competition in our marketplaces.
Washington is broken, Congress is too busy fighting with each other and, most importantly, not doing enough for the people of El Paso. I believe we need a representative with demonstrated experience in bringing people together to serve the needs of our region. Our country was founded on the principle of ordinary citizens stepping up to serve in public office. That's why I ran for the EPISD Board of Trustees, was elected President, and led the successful bond campaign that will continue to provide state of the art technology, facilities and security for our schools. El Paso needs a proven leader in Congress who will fight for the values, culture and unique needs of a border community. The people of El Paso want better educational opportunities, good paying jobs, and affordable healthcare. I have proven I can work across the ideological spectrum and bring people and communities together to get things done. That's why I am running and that's what I intend to fight for in Congress.
Campaign Phone (915) 207-7287
Education/Degrees Juris Doctorate MBA - Computer Information Systems BBA - Finance and Marketing
Professional Experience Immigration Attorney - 10+ years experience Corporate Business Positions - 10+ years
True Immigration Reform - Protect DACA recipients until a true and final immigration bill is passed. Present legislation that would make our immigration system a true and fair application system. I would
We need to utilize NAFTA as the key to improving our infrastructure. We need to concentrate on bringing new innovative and diverse industries to our city so as to provide high tech and high salary positions.
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The tax code was passed in favor of large corporations and the richest 1% of Americans. It is aimed to cut funding out of Medicaid and to remove credits for low and middle income Americans.
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Campaign Phone (915) 328-5262
Education/Degrees BA Political Science w/International Affairs Minor; MA Human Resources Management, Human Resources Development, and Public Administration; UTEP College of Education
Professional Experience 21 years Active Federal Service US Army, 16 years Classroom Teacher El Paso Schools, Membership Vice President and Development Director for GEPCC, Mutual of New York Financial Planner, Professor of Government UTEP & EPCC
Community Involvement Chairman Committed to Redirecting Youth/Youth Enrichment Seminars, Cub Scouts Master, Co-Author Zero Tolerance for Violence in El Paso Schools w/El Paso Federation of Teachers, Co-Author African American Studies at UTEP, Rules Committee Chairman of State Democratic Convention
1. Quality healthcare especially for El Paso veterans. Decrease wait times by assuming a percentage of med school loans in exchange for committed service to the VA and other healthcare delivery systems. 2. Preserve DACA. Argue for its retention by extolling its economic and financial benefits to the Gross Domestic Product. 3. Arrest & reverse the flow of illegal narcotics into the US especially thru our southern borders by introducing retrofitted hard/software adopted from TSA state-of-the-art hardware being used at our airports
1. Incorporate / assimilate a vocational education curriculum into our secondary school system. Students who do not aspire 4-year-college can develop a near immediate marketable skill as they attend school. That newly cultivated demographic would more rapidly be converted from tax consumers to tax payers. 2. Extend fed tax breaks universally.
1. Spend no more than we take in. 2. If it helps to pay down the national debt...yes. 3. If feasible, freeze entitlements where until we can offset consumption by a balanced revenue stream. 4. Eliminate programs with evidence of redundancy
Worse. It expands the federal debt and the tax cuts have reduced the revenue stream to help pay the nation's bills. Corporate tax cuts were abrupt and too ambitious. They should have been phased in so as to gradually measure their positive or negative impacts on the U S economy.

We have no coherent federal healthcare legislation. We have vestiges of the Affordable Care Act. It should have been and should be examined for revision vice repeal.
1. Prison reform. We spend twice as much to incarcerate than we do to educate our citizens and that needs to be reversed. 2. Prisons should not be a for-profit enterprise. It incubates policies and lobbying efforts to cultivate a client pool to fill jail cells. 3. Promote legislation that reduces the pay gap between males and females. Equal pay for equal work. Stop sexual exploitation. 4. Congress should not use federal funds to settle sexual harassment law suits. 5. Make sure that before we deploy any more soldiers that we have a VA program to care for them when they step off the battlefield