Standing up for the border
The U.S.-Mexico Border is a place of profound potential – a place where two peaceful nations come together and share not just a boundary, but opportunity as well. El Paso, Texas, at the center of that opportunity, is one of the crown jewels of the U.S.-Mexico Border: We are one of the safest communities in America, where families, trade, commerce and culture flow, enriching the fabric of our state and our nation. Much of what is being debated and voted on in Washington, D.C. will have a direct impact on our families and community, and it’s imperative that El Pasoans have a representative who not only understands our community, but who will stand up for our values and families as well.
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 given the privilege to be your Congresswoman, I will continue to do this.
Every year, $90 billion of trade comes across our ports of entry, making cross-border trade one of the most important components of our local economy. One of four jobs in El Paso is a result of trade, and the purchasing power of our neighbors positively impacts innumerable small and large businesses locally. While NAFTA had an initial devastating impact on El Paso, increasing our unemployment rate and sending our local economy reeling, El Paso re-tooled and took advantage of our strategic international location in order to benefit as much as possible from free-trade. Border tariffs and the dismantling of NAFTA pose a significant threat to our local jobs and economy.
I will work hard to defeat efforts to implement border tariffs, I will defend the gains made through trade, and if NAFTA is re-negotiated, I will work to ensure that we expand protections for workers, local businesses and the environment. I plan to open an Office of Border Economic and Public Policy and work with other leaders to continue to grow jobs and raise incomes for El Paso’s hard-working families.
El Paso is an example of the values America was founded on. We are compassionate and welcoming; we are a community that takes care of the most vulnerable among us; and, we respect the hard-working men and women who make our communities better. The demonization of migrants who seek a better life and the talk of building taller walls does nothing to get to the root of a broken immigration system. It is long past time that this country finally reforms the laws that make hard-working individuals live in the shadows, pushes out educated immigrants, and refuses to honor the talents and labor of non-citizens who make our country stronger.
I will push for comprehensive immigration reform – applying sensible public policy that acknowledges the realities of undocumented immigration and the injustices of our outdated laws, protects our DREAMERs, and recognizes the benefits of an educated workforce. Thoughtful immigration reform not only makes our country safer, but makes us more competitive as well.
As County Judge, County Commissioner, and as a private citizen, I worked to honor our environment, celebrate our natural resources, and highlight the ecotourism opportunities we have as a community. I will work with other environmental advocates to preserve Castner Range and to honor the beauty and majesty of our environment.
Improving quality of life
El Paso’s hard-working families have seen our community grow and evolve. Work done by the private and public sectors has helped bring about a renaissance for El Paso, with increased quality of life and improved services. But we are still struggling with stagnant wages and high numbers of our population who are uninsured.
As your County Judge, I supported expanding your access to affordable healthcare through our hospital district, its clinics, and our own children’s hospital; I also worked to increase wages for County and hospital district employees, whose wages were among the lowest in the region; and, the County worked to connect veterans with services they earned. If given the honor of being your Congresswoman, I will continue to fight for these values.
Health insurance is fundamental to a productive, healthy citizenry. 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 like ours at University Medical Center. Emergency rooms are where care is the costliest, and where people go when they are the sickest.
There should be no doubt that Obamacare expanded coverage for millions of Americans. And while some El Pasoans enjoyed an increase of coverage as a result of Obamacare, our state refused the Medicaid expansion, leaving thousands of El Pasoans without care. The current debate at the national level is focused on cutting care – especially healthcare to women – and giving tax-cuts to the wealthiest Americans. We should instead be focused on fixing a broken healthcare system and covering more Americans, especially those in need of mental health-care and those like El Paso residents, whose states refuse to allow them access to coverage.
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 you have access to quality healthcare.
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. No one has done more to shed light on the unacceptable deficiencies that exist for our veterans than Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
I will honor and continue the work started by Congressman O’Rourke and will work to improve the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, making its service to our veterans second-to-none.
From access to childcare and paid leave, to equal pay for women; to tax credits for those who need it and protecting Medicare for senior citizens and the disabled in the face of efforts to give tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, our working families and senior citizens need a champion who understands that El Paso families are already under tremendous economic stress. I will protect and expand Social Security and Medicare benefits – and scrap the cap on what the rich pay into Social Security so the wealthy pay the same rate into the program as everyone else.
I see the impact of income inequality everyday and will fight to fix our broken economic system, while protecting the gains made by working families and fighting for tax reforms that support the families I represent.