A majority of people wants strong and reliable public safety, and Elizabeth Ginsberg fully supports well-funded police departments so that our neighborhoods are safe and officers feel supported. Elizabeth knows that most police officers care about the community and want to keep us safe. She also knows that bad actors should be held accountable. Elizabeth also champions criminal justice reforms that offer low-level offenders rehabilitation and treatment instead of incarceration. These reforms actually save taxpayer dollars and reduce repeat offenses.
Quality education is a core value in our district and constitutionally mandated in Texas. Despite partial fixes passed more recently, the leadership in Austin has a long-running poor record on preparing our children for the future by properly supporting public schools. We need to put more resources into schools, and we need to do it in a way that does not place an undue burden on homeowners who have covered the bill as the state has reduced its contribution to public school funding. We also need to fully fund special education and support trade programs, community colleges, adult education and other ways to prepare our workforce so we can be competitive with other states.
We have to stop thinking about public health as a zero sum game requiring us to give up one thing to have another. We can create a structure that allows for individual choices and also finally expands Medicaid to cover millions of Texans who do not currently have a safety net. It's time for Texas to accept millions in federal dollars to strengthen our system. Moreover, we shouldn't think of public health as a cost alone when it can be an economic driver. Expanding Medicaid will help families maintain stronger financial footing, generate new jobs, and improve our state's economy.
Floods in Europe, all-time record high temperatures and raging fires in the American West and Northwest, more frequent bouts of severe weather including snap winter storms that shut down the Texas power grid: these are signs that climate change and its impact are already here. We need a practical but aggressive plan to reduce our emissions and transition to clean energy if we want to have a planet that is hospitable for human life. It's time to improve our energy infrastructure and incentivize development of new technologies and energy solutions. Our environment will thank us. Our children will thank us. And our economy will benefit from new industries, careers and jobs.
It has been said that business is part of Dallas' DNA. Without question, our business-friendly environment is part of why we live in such a thriving region of the country. As Democrats, we needn't think of business and progress as mutually exclusive. They are not. Free enterprise, the ability to follow a vision by starting a small business, the challenge and achievement of building a large company: these are all integral to the American Dream. We can keep growing and also take care of people with better wages and benefits, and working environments that are free of discrimination. We all benefit from an economy that lifts everyone up.
Many of our representatives in Austin espouse conservative values like individual responsibility and personal freedom, but they have also overreached with legislation meant to take decision-making power away from local Texas governments such as counties, cities and school boards. This goes against the grain of Texas values. If people in Dallas want to pass an ordinance protecting employees' civil rights, or decide to improve working conditions, or make voting easier, then they should have that right. We need a working balance between state authority and local control. Today, we are missing that balance.
Radical forces are undermining our democracy out of fear of change and a deep distrust of the very diversity that has made America the most vibrant and successful country in the world. America is a beacon because we believe in democracy as a way of resolving competing ideas and making decisions. Voter suppression legislation and rampant gerrymandering are un-American and anti-democratic. We must fight to stop those who would take us backwards into a dark past of civil injustice and disparities based on race, gender or creed.
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