Texas was ranked 43rd in an Education Quality Report done by Education Week's Research Center. It received a C- overall and a D when it comes to school finance. We are failing our children. We are too focused on standardized test data. Standardized tests do not determine a student's level of academic success and do not determine a teacher's worth. We must decrease the amount of time students spend on testing and must also decrease the stakes of these tests. As a teacher in Houston ISD, I witness firsthand the stress these tests cause from top to bottom. It all boils down to money. Education is not a business; it is the foundation of our nation's future. We must turn our focus to developing honorable and upstanding students along with developing the strengths of each individual student. Not only do we need to reform the classroom environment, we must reform the educational funding environment also. We must combat the issue of rising property taxes due to frivolous spending by school districts along with local and state governments. We must ensure our tax dollars are being spent on students and providing them a safe and effective learning environment.
Law Enforcement And Community
We must mend the relationship between law enforcement and our community. Yes, there is corruption within law enforcement, and those individuals involved in it must be brought to justice. However, most law enforcement officers are upstanding and truly care about the community they serve. We must bring back trust in our law enforcement. It will take identifying internal corruption and criminal activity and prosecuting those involved, ensuring proper training for all possible situations for all officers, and making sure all officers have positive relationships with the community. Law enforcement officers must also be able to trust the community. When there is mutual trust, there is mutual respect which in turn results in more positive relationships.
President Trump says he wants to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States. If he fulfills his campaign promise to do so, we should urge manufacturing companies to build factories in and around Houston. This would bring thousands of needed jobs to Houstonians. Along with bringing manufacturing jobs to Houston, we can provide tax breaks to small businesses to promote growth and creation of new jobs.
Many of District 18's residents are living in poverty. Those people who want to lift themselves out of poverty should be provided the necessary resources and support to do so. This means providing guidance in finding better paying jobs and also support in gaining the education needed for those better paying jobs. Lifting people out of poverty does not mean simply providing them financial assistance but also providing the education needed to ensure a comfortable life.
Veterans need our help and support also. They need support in reintegrating into society which includes helping to find employment, continuing education, assistance with housing , mental health support and providing the quality healthcare they need and deserve.
Infrastructure And Flood Control
Houston roads and highways are in severe need of improvement. Pot holes, cracks and other damage plague our Houston drivers. Safe roads to drive on are a responsibility of government. Parks are in need of improvements also. Residents of district 18 deserve safe, clean, and updated parks to enjoy. Flooding is a big issue for Houston residents. Infrastructure upgrades and improvements would help alleviate some of the problem. Government officials should be working closely with Flood Control to determine the best way to ease flooding issues and in turn decrease the damage and life loss caused by flooding.
Focus on Us
We have become so concerned with helping other nations that we have failed to fix the problems in our own country. Yes, countries in need deserve our help, but before sending money, supplies or man power, we need to make sure those resources are not needed here. When we become stable, healthy, and strong again, we can be the support the rest of the world needs.
Security And Immigration
Immigrants are always welcome in the United States. We are a country built by immigrants. However, we need to have a firm vetting process for immigrants coming from all countries. This will ensure we are keeping criminals and terrorists out of our country. As far as immigrants already living here, if they are upstanding members of their community, we should help and support them through the process of becoming a citizen.
Healthcare should be accessible to all. It should also be reasonably priced. We must drive down the cost of health care which in turn will lower insurance premiums. We can achieve this by placing maximums on healthcare costs. Also, regulating lawsuits will help drive down the costs of healthcare and health insurance. A high volume of high dollar law suits has driven up health costs across the board.
Civil Rights For All
As a member of the LGBTQ community, I understand the civil rights concerns of others in the community. We share some of the same concerns of other minority groups in our country. The Declaration of Independence states:
" We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."
All men truly are created equal, therefore they should be treated equal. In order to end discrimination, we must teach our next generations to care for each other. Our daily speech should consist of respectful language towards others. This includes government officials and other public figures in our society. We will not always agree, but we can engage in respectful and focused discourse. Let's end discrimination by changing our personal mindset and attitudes towards others.
The people of America are over taxed. We must find a way to keep more money in the pockets of Americans. We work too hard to have government hands always asking for more money. There are many ways to accomplish this goal, but it will take Congress coming together to find the best solution, agree on it, and compromise when necessary.