As a former foster child I know all too well the challenges the most vulnerable in our community face each day. I was fortunate to be adopted, and I want the same for all Texas kids. I also want to encourage more families to consider foster care and adoption and work on increasing the number of available homes. We should be encouraging families to take the opportunity to care for children in need and compensate them and our community social workers to keep our kids safe.
As an educator for 10 years I have seen the value a quality education can mean for a child, especially for First Generation college students. I value our public schools not voucher programs that defund community schools and undercut our kids’ education. We should make our public schools, teachers, community colleges, and universities a priority by reinstating funding levels and offering the support they need for worthwhile programs such as Pre-K and early college high school initiatives. We should also look for ways to help our under-educated adult workforce, many of whom have some college credit, but not enough to graduate. We should look for ways to provide educational opportunities that will help fulfill immediate workforce needs such as technical training and partnerships with non-profits and to help adults better navigate the educational system. We can train and teach our workforce in Dallas.
Being a woman should not be a pre-existing condition. Access to birth control and affordable and necessary healthcare exams keeps Texas women healthier. Maternal mortality rates are the highest in Texas. I want to make it a priority to know why more Texas moms are dying and what can be done to stop the problem. I want more Texas families to get the necessary coverage they need for the medications on which they depend and the screening and preventative care to keep all Texans healthier including investing in community clinics and innovative healthcare options.
Texas is an economic leader but risks losing business with continued discriminatory legislation. We are a welcoming city and home to a diverse, robust, and intelligent workforce. More investment needs to be made in luring workers and companies, especially innovative tech companies, to Dallas as well as expanding existing opportunities in areas such as film and television production. The workforce is also increasingly more female, and I want to make it a priority a welcoming city for female entrepreneurs, executives, business owners, and startups.
As the wife of an immigrant, and the daughter of immigrants, like so many Texans, I know the sometimes difficult transition from immigrant to American. That transition for many never happens because of a lack of access to an attorney or status violations that occurred through no fault of a child. Immigrants and refugees are a vital party of the Dallas economy and important members in our community. They are not aliens. They are our neighbors. And I want to create policies that help bring workers out of the shadows, help keep Dreamers in college, and make everyone feel safe in our city. Policies that require police to serve as immigration agents or encourage racial profiling or “show me your papers” have no business in this state and hurt our economy and image as a friendly state. They are discriminatory and unconstitutional.