I understand firsthand the importance of a social safety net for children. As a child, there were times that my free school lunch was my biggest meal of the day.
I firmly believe that the true reflection of a society is in how it treats children. It should go without saying — separating children from their parents is morally wrong and does absolutely nothing to make America safer.
But we can’t stop there. In Texas, the Republican Attorney General spent millions of dollars in court, claiming that the state’s foster care system was just fine, despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary. The court called the system “broken” and ordered Texas to overhaul its foster care system under court supervision. As Texas Senator Kirk Watson asked: “Why is it so hard for the State of Texas to do right by these children?”
As a member of the Board of Directors of Austin Children’s Shelter, I’ve been a strong advocate for the prevention of child abuse. But, violence occurs in a cycle and to break that cycle, we have to address it in all forms, including child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. That is why as a Board we decided to merge Austin Children’s Shelter with SafePlace to form the SAFE Alliance, which is tackling violence in all its forms every day in our community.
In Congress, I’ll continue to advocate for our children, for our public schools, and for policies that allow parents and guardians to care for their children without jeopardizing their jobs.
Here’s where I’ll start:
- Promote universal pre-K and early childhood education to ensure every child has a shot at a better future.
- Protect CHIP and children’s healthcare to ensure every child has access to health care.
- Promote accessible and affordable higher education and college alternatives including apprenticeship programs.
- End child separation and hold DHS accountable for uniting every child with their parent.
- Keep our promises by passing the DREAM Act.
- Enact sensible gun legislation to combat gun violence and mass shootings.