RENEWABLE ENERGY AND JOBS PLAN

Introduction

Two of the most pressing issues affecting Congressional District 6 are the need to develop more and better jobs for our young high school graduates (only 30 percent of our district gets a 4-year college degree) and the need to clean up our air quality, which fails federal standards and is harming our health.

Both problems can be at least partially addressed by an aggressive push to develop renewable energy – particularly solar – in the district. Federal policy on renewables is important because the market does not factor in the value of climate benefits of non-carbon fuel.

Current situation/background

Right now, Texas electricity utilities are importing coal from coal-producing states, namely Wyoming. This does nothing to create jobs in Texas and it contributes massively to our poor air quality. Natural gas, produced here, is about 50% cleaner than coal and will continue to fuel utilities for some time to come. We could, however, rapidly transition to solar and other affordable clean energy production in CD6, helping to clean our environment and create many new jobs.

The renewable energy sector is growing 17 times as fast as the rest of the US economy and increasingly provides more and more jobs. The solar energy industry created 73,000 jobs nationally in 2016, an increase of 25%. We must bring some of those jobs to this district. Less than 1% of the electricity produced here is solar, so there’s tremendous opportunity for growth. We should strive to increase that number every year until it reaches at least 20%.

Every increase in the percentage of solar energy produced here will increase jobs exponentially. That’s because renewable energy is job intensive. The wind and solar industries each employ twice as many as those employed in coal mining (despite producing 30% of energy verses 6% for wind and solar combined): Money invested in oil, gas and coal is mainly spent on getting fossil fuels out of the ground. The jobs created in renewable production are good, blue collar jobs of the future as renewable energy production will only increase over time as fossil fuels are depleted. To install solar panels, you need people who can sell, market, and manage the installation and you need installers: these are typically high-school graduates with some education and training in electrical, carpentry and other building trades.

The entire DFW region is a non-attainment area for ozone. This means we have ozone that damages the lungs and increases death rates. President George W. Bush tightened standards to 75 ppb, and President Obama tightened them even further to 70ppb. Dallas region is at 80 ppb right now. President Trump wants to roll back national standards.

Our district can produce solar three different ways: residential panels, community solar where a subdivision or neighborhood invests together in panels, and utility-scale solar farms. There may also be opportunities to develop small-scale wind or geothermal power in our district.

Promoting Renewable Energy Production

There are numerous state and federal steps that need to be taken to promote solar, wind, and geothermal production in our district. Here are some of the main ones:

  1. Subsidy extension: The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a 30 percent tax credit for solar systems on residential and commercial properties that is scheduled to phase down starting in 2020. This tax credit should be extended and paired with low-interest federal loans, so homeowners can afford solar installations that typically pay for themselves over 10 years. We also need to reinstate the tax credits for geothermal heat pumps and residential wind systems, which expired at the end of 2016. Solar, geothermal, and wind all help Texans save on our energy bills while cutting pollution from power plants.
  1. Import tariffs: The Federal government should drop plans to charge import tariffs on solar panels. In May, the Trump administration informed other members of the WTO that it was considering imposing tariffs on imports. This would drive up the cost of installation.
  1. Net metering: Make net metering mandatory across the state and country. Net metering means utilities have to net out the electricity used by the solar energy producer. Right now, some utilities charge solar customers a much higher rate for the electricity they use than for the energy they contribute to the grid. Solar panel owners should only be charged for the net amount of energy they use over a given month so that they can get the full value from their investment.

Research and Development

Critical to that objective is investment in scientific research and development. It is disturbing that President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress is proposing devastating cuts in energy R&D. I will support increases to make the U.S. the global leader in energy technologies, and I will work ceaselessly to make sure that the great research universities of Texas — UT, TAMU, SMU, U of H, Rice — are poised to be major contributors to this R&D effort. Nearby SMU is already a leader in research on geothermal energy — an affordable, clean energy resource that could be a great complement to other energy sources, since it can provide power when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

University scientific research leads to innovation which can launch the next generation of industry players. The decisions we make in the next few years will decide which state is the friendliest to those businesses. I want those companies to thrive in Texas and not just in California or New York or Massachusetts, so Texas will remain the energy capital of the U.S. and the globe. I will work with state leaders to help create university business incubators that help translate energy research into new business.

 

Our campaign makes front page of The Ennis News

Following an interview with the The Ennis News with Jana Lynne, the newspaper published a very positive story on the campaign on its front page Wednesday. There are a number of factual errors in the story, including descriptions of our opponents – not provided by us. The journalist did his own research. Also the journalist states incorrectly that we are looking to win Libertarian voters. We said we are targeting Independents in addition to Democrats – some 38% of American voters call themselves Independents. We apparently confused him about CitySavvy. That is a company Jana Lynne co-founded in 2005 in London and Amsterdam that is still in operation today. She no longer has any role in the company other than owner. She was CEO of CitySavvy for 7 years.

Despite those inaccuracies, we think the story is positive and helps raise awareness for our campaign in Ellis County. We are working on organizing an event in Ennis now.

To read the full article, click the links below:

The Ennis News Front page 7-5-17

The Ennis News 7-5-17 cont

 

 

 

 

Sanchez for Congress appoints Director of Field Operations

The campaign is pleased to announce we are launching our field operations with the appointment of our first full-time paid staff, Director of Field Operations, Rebeca Ornelas.

Rebeca is a veteran of numerous Tarrant County campaigns, including those of State Representative Ramon Romero, Fort Worth City Councilman Salvador Espino, and candidate for Fort Worth City Council Carlos Flores.

Rebeca will be responsible for Community Outreach developing and implementing our voter ID, door knocking and phone banking activities. She will also be helping coordinate campaign events.

She will work alongside a large group of dedicated volunteers.

She has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Science from Texas Wesleyan University.

We are launching our walking program next week. We will be out walking five days a week – the candidate and volunteers – meeting voters. Please contact Rebeca to join us.

To reach Rebeca, email rebecao@sanchezforcongress2018.com.

Campaign manager, day-to-day operations sought (full-time, paid)

We are looking for a day-to-day campaign manager with experience having worked on several Democratic congressional races in Texas or the South.

Job responsibilities include: oversight and execution of fundraising (digital and traditional), media relations, field operations (managing a paid field ops staff person, who will run this), digital media, and liaising with consultants. This is not primarily a strategy position, but an execution role.

You will also be responsible for managing a team of highly-committed and experienced volunteers in areas including digital communications, volunteer coordination, scheduling, VAN administration, fundraising, events etc.

This is a full-time job based here in the district. Start date July 1.

Please have a four-year degree and about two to four years experience.

Submit a cover letter and resume to team@sanchezforcongress2018.com.

I never slept on Nov. 8, but I sure as hell woke up on Nov. 9

More than a few people were surprised, ok shocked, to see that I decided to run for US Congress. Honestly, I never ever planned to run for office of any sort. Unfortunately I have no choice. As I constantly say: I never slept on November 8, but I sure as hell woke up on November 9.

I am running because our Constitution, democracy, and the American way are under assault and we have never faced a more grave threat certainly in my lifetime. Perhaps never in the history of the US. Like the more than 10,000 American women across the country who have signed up to run for office since November 9, I am here to help form a blue wall against tyranny. I want to be an essential building block to turning Texas blue and in turning Congress blue in 2018.

We are very proud of the campaign we have run to date. We have gained a high-level of social media following (almost 15,000 followers between all platforms), attended hundreds of events where we met thousands of Democratic voters and gained some media exposure following Joe Barton’s “shut up” gaffe at his town hall. See the Ft Worth Star Telegram story.

To date, we have also raised $16,000 cash to date from 145 donors from around the district, DFW area and country. While this might not sound like much, in the first six weeks of our campaign, we’ve already surpassed the amount reported by the 2016 Democratic nominee in CD06 for her entire primary and general campaigns.

Our first FEC deadline is March 31. Our goal is to raise $20,000 by end of day Friday.

If you have not made a donation yet, can you please do it now via ActBlue:

ActBlue: Jana Lynne Sanchez for US Congress

You can also pay directly via PayPal, but please make sure we have your name, address, employer and occupation: PayPal to Jana Lynne Sanchez

In the primary, we need to spend approximately $100,000, all of which will be helpful for building our vote for the general election.

We will spend our funds on the following:

  • The VAN databases from the state democratic party that tells us who all the likely Democratic voters are
  • Doorhangers to leave behind when we walk precincts
  • Push cards to distribute at events
  • Bumper stickers
  • Two district-wide mailings to likely Democratic primary vote
  • Campaign manager to run our ground game
  • Banners, signs, etc.
  • Polling, if we raise enough money

As y’all know, we believe the secret to winning this winnable district is Message, Money and Machine. We are focusing equally on all three throughout the campaign.

Jana Lynne Sanchez

Candidate for US Congress, Texas CD6

New Campaign Song: (Don’t Tell Us to) Shut Up

At crucial junctures in American history, music has had a way of speaking for the voiceless.
Working with my amazing co-writer Judy Klass, we wrote this song about the events of the townhall Saturday to give voice to the constituents of Barton, who have not had a say for the many long decades he has been in office.
I sang this very quick draft version at Starlight Studios with the musical and production assistance of the amazing Robert Stedman.
It’s not perfect, because we didn’t have time to make it so, but I hope you will accept it in the spirit it was intended – of giving voice to the unheard, and unifying us in our struggle.
Throughout the campaign we will perform and record a number of original songs.
Click to listen to “(Don’t tell us to) Shut Up” by Jana Lynne Sanchez and Judy Klass.

Great Day at Rally for Texas DFW 3/6/17

Our campaign was out in full force at Indivisible DFW’s Rally for Texas in Rockwall on Sunday March 6. We were joined by several hundred hearty patriots who braved rain, wind and cold to support progressive candidates for school board, city council, state house and US Congress. The crowd also enthusiastically welcomed Democratic candidate for Texas Lieutenant Governor Mike Collier and Texas State Representative Victoria Neave. A large group of Ellis County Democrats were present.
Jana Lynne spoke about the importance of public service in an extreme time of need. Her main point was that despite the threat to democracy, freedom and the Constitution, we must be brave in the pursuit of public service. She spoke about the hope we as progressives should have as a result of a new breed of public servant emerging today: candidates who are willing to do whatever needed to protect democracy and everything it takes to win. She defined these as 1) creating a winning message, 2) raising the money necessary to run a credible campaign and 3) putting in the time into building a voter engagement “machine” – speaking to every winnable voter in the district. Jana Lynne believes we need to speak more about our values and care less about demographics, as she feels the Democratic brand is broken, although our values are widely favored by the majority of voters even in conservative communities.

You can view Jana Lynne’s speech below.

 

Immigration Reform

Proposal for Immigration Reform (revised)

Introduction

My grandfather, Lonjino Rodriguez Sanchez, came to the US without documentation from Mexico in 1912. He became a citizen in 1969, one year before he passed away. During his many years as an undocumented worker he fathered 27 US citizen children here. The family travelled as migrant farm workers, providing essential agricultural services across the US and living in harsh conditions, even facing starvation at times in winter. Most of his descendants became grandparents and great grandparents and the majority of my extended family lives in Ellis County today.

Immigration is central to my story, my family is central to the American story, and I am a believer in the American Dream.

Today, however, there is less belief in the American Dream, and less optimism about the role of immigrants than there was when my father was born. Many US citizens believe there is a problem with illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America.  Although the influx of undocumented immigrants from south of the border has dropped since 2005 (as economic conditions in Mexico have improved) we still have no firm grasp of how many are in our country illegally. Some may be a threat to law and order in general or involved in the drug trade. Apprehending undocumented entrants, enforcing border controls, and providing public services is costly.

Undocumented immigrants have always filled a labor void by providing services that most Americans are unwilling to do at a lower wage. In addition, fairness to them and their children, practicality, and economics still dominate this complex discussion.

Further Facts

  • Today, an estimated 11.3 million immigrants are living in the US without documentation. Approximately 7.4 million of those originate from Mexico and Central America. However, it’s important to note that a full 43% of those in the US illegally came here legally and simply overstayed their visa.
  • Many who came across the border paid $3,000 – $4,000 to smugglers who are part of criminal cartels. Often risking their lives to cross in dangerous conditions, immigrants live in constant fear of being deported if they do make it into the United States.
  • Until now, the policy we as a nation have pursued is to make it physically difficult for immigrants to get here. This includes increased border enforcement and physical structures such as a wall. The problem with these are that the end result will not eliminate illegal immigration but it will destroy our environment, cost us billions of wasted dollars – and economic damage due to retaliatory measures – and lead to even more deaths of economic migrants who will continue to attempt to cross the border.

Real and perceived Impact on Texas and our district

Some citizens in Texas and District 6 mirror national objections. They complain about the number of undocumented workers here, because they say it’s not fair that people who broke the law in coming here are benefitting from their crime. It’s a matter of right and wrong. Furthermore, they feel they are paying the costs of providing for these immigrants in terms of emergency healthcare, education and other social services. A big complaint I also hear is that because these people live outside of the law without driver’s licenses, they often drive uninsured and are therefore not responsible for damage caused. There is a wider fear that immigrants are not obeying the law more generally and are using so called “anchor babies” as a way to be allowed to stay.

If you accept these problems to be true, then you also need to acknowledge that there are also some positive benefits of undocumented workers. They are being hired because there is a demand for cheap and flexible labor, particularly in construction, farming, food production and the hospitality industry. We all benefit from the low cost of labor and do not pay any penalties for the abuse that might occur to these undocumented workers who live without any protection. Furthermore, in the vast majority of cases, these workers use social security numbers and pay income tax and social security without the ability to claim a refund. Billions each year is paid in Federal taxes against fake or unmatched social security numbers. Any US citizen earning at these low rates would be able to receive all or most of that income back.

I hear these concerns and believe my suggestions for improvement address these issues.

MY PLAN

Background

My plan is based on the understanding that the vast majority of undocumented workers here are simply economic refugees. They plan to stay here several years and return home to their families and communities. Of course, there are exceptions. There are people who want to stay in America, become American citizens and contribute to the building of our great nation. Often, those people already have  family here. This plan is intended to accommodate both sets of migrants.

Legalizing the status of those already here

I’m going to start first with the biggest threat to our security: we simply have no idea who the majority of people who are here illegally are. They have no driver’s license and we have no way of finding them. They are not vetted in any way. There well might be terrorists and criminals among them. They might be hard workers who keep their noses clean or they might be hardened criminals praying on others. How do we know? During the Reagan administration, 2.7 million undocumented immigrants were given amnesty and became citizens following a 30-minute interview. That wasn’t enough.

My proposal, based on the Hoover Plan developed by Arizona scholar and activist Robin Hoover, says we should exchange this much-needed information for the right to legally remain in the US for a limited period of time (up to 3 years for instance).

Come forward and give us your details. You will be fully vetted and we will know who you are and how to find you. The very act of having your status legalized is worth the trade off. It means you can pay tax at the same rate as other Americans, you would be required to get a driver’s license and to have auto insurance like other drivers. And when your visa is up, we know where to find you. We can and should require all these guest workers to deposit $500 to $1,000 into a government account and to further add 10% of their gross salary – taken off the top – for the duration of their legal stay. (They could be given time to deposit the base amount.) If they overstay their visa, they would be charged with a felony, and that money they paid would be forfeited to law enforcement to pay for their capture and deportation. If they leave as required, that money would be wired to them in their country of origin.

This of course puts them within the legal category and decreases the chances that they were victimized by unscrupulous employers and others who prey on them. It also would require them to follow all the laws that citizens are required to follow. We would know how to find them.

Citizenship path

After one year of living and working in the US, these visa holders should have the right to apply for citizenship. They would follow the normal procedure and it would likely take years, during which they would abide by all the laws pertaining to their visa status. It is possible some of the money they amass and continue to amass during the process could be used to fund this process. The remainder would be given to them once their citizenship is confirmed.

This path would only be available to those already in the US. Anyone wanting to pursue family reunification from abroad would need to apply from abroad through the normal channels.

Legal immigrants

It is almost impossible to immigrate legally to the U.S. from Mexico or Central America. For instance, 1.38 million Mexican citizens are waiting in line for a work or immigration visa through a family member. But only 26,000 visas are available yearly for Mexico. Mexico has by far the longest waiting list, according to U.S. State Department figures. It is that scarcity – the realization that there really is NO line to get into – that sends people into the arms of the cartel.

So what if we made it easier to come as a guest worker for a limited amount of time, with a huge financial incentive? If immigrants are willing to risk their lives and pay up to $4,000 to smugglers to live with the constant fear of deportation, we could give them a legal option that was far superior and they would take it. We could modify the quotas to give each country a decent quota so that those who are qualified – and vetted by their governments – could come here. We would require them to deposit an amount – at least $3,000 – in a US government savings account. Additionally, they would pay 10% of their gross off the top straight into the account. If they overstayed their visa, they would be charged with a felony and that entire pot would be given to law enforcement to apprehend and deport them.

This plan would remedy the most challenging problems of the current situation for both sides. It would remove the illegality that bothers so many Americans and create an environment of accountability for these migrants. For those on the left side of the spectrum it would eliminate the senseless deaths as well as exploitation that these workers face. For all of us as Americans, it would dramatically reduce the billions we waste on enforcement each year.

“Anchor babies”

One final point I will address because it is symptomatic of the heated and ideological arguments about this issue. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about “anchor babies” – when undocumented immigrants have children in order that the entire family would be given permission to stay. The reality is that this is impossible to accomplish in the short term as it requires more than 21 plus years to benefit the parent. Children born to undocumented immigrants have the right to petition to bring their parents into the country from abroad, but the waiting list is seven years and they are not allowed to petition until they are 21 years of age. While it might be true that immigrants do in fact use this as a tactic, it’s a very slow and unsuccessful one. So, in reality, this is not an issue. It is symbolic of some of the hysteria around immigration today.

Conclusion

If we will stop listening to hysteria, much of it designed to scare us, we can come up with a creative solution that solves all of the problems associated with illegal immigration. And we can continue to fulfil the American dream – the one my grandfather believed in more than 100 years ago when he crossed the border in search of a future for him and his family.