I love this country and the freedoms the Constitution ensures each citizen.  I will fight to protect these rights so my constituents can enjoy the peace, dignity, and respect they deserve.

Freedoms of Speech and Press

Everyone has a right to express his or herself; government should not prevent people from speaking their minds, particularly to their chosen representatives.  I will always make efforts to meet with constituents because I care about the needs of the people of this district.  There is a reason that the government is “of the people, by the people, and for the people,” as Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address.  I am responsible for engaging with and listening to you.

I endorse a free and uncensored press. The free press is necessary to sustaining democracy and to ensuring that politicians, like myself, are held accountable for their words and actions.

Freedom of Religion

People should be able to freely choose and practice their beliefs.  Discrimination based on religion is unacceptable. The government should not interfere with religious freedoms unless it is necessary to protect the safety of the greater community.

Right to Bear Arms

I support the Second Amendment, and the people’s right to bear arms.  I also believe in the sanctity of life and that the purpose of firearms should be first and foremost the protection of self and others, hunting and ranching. In addition, I support hunting not only as a time-honored tradition in Texas but as a basic right. The right to bear arms is Constitutionally-protected, but with rights come responsibilities.

Congress needs to support the will of the majority of Americans, who want increased regulations of firearms and who have to right to attend church, school or a concert without fear for their lives. We need universal background checks for all handgun sales. We should prevent convicted domestic abusers from owning firearms. Congress should stand up for states’ rights of high standards for concealed carry licenses and not allow concealed carry reciprocity as many states have extremely lax standards. Likewise, permitless carry is a threat to safety. I carry a handgun and have been through the LTC training. I take seriously my responsibility to keep my training up to date and to store my handgun in a safe manner.

Eminent Domain

The government shall not infringe upon private property rights.  Government projects that may require the use of private property should compete for these resources in the free marketplace.  Homeowners should not be forced to move simply because the government has decided that their land should be put to public use.

Right to Privacy

All Americans have the right to privacy under the 4th Amendment to the Constitution.  The courts have decided that the right to access abortion, is protected under the 4thAmendment.  Abortion must remain safe, legal and rare. A proven way to reduce abortion further is by increasing education and access to birth control.

All reproductive healthcare decisions must be made by women in consultation with their doctors and without government interference.

Disability Rights

From preserving the Americans with Disabilities Act to debates today about special education and quality healthcare, rights for people with disabilities must be protected and defended. I believe that quality housing, healthcare, and education must be accessible and affordable for all Americans. I will fight to protect disability rights in all areas of life. I will fully support the Disability Integration Act which would mandate that states provide community-based services to people with disabilities so that they can avoid living in institutions. I will oppose the HR 620 introduced by Republican Congressman Ted Poe which would seriously weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act.

LGBT Rights

The government’s place is not to police the relationships between consenting adults.  What occurs in one’s own home is the decision of the individual.  LGBT individuals have the same rights as everyone else.  The stigmatization of these fellow Texans serves no good purpose and may, in fact, be detrimental to the economy.

Right to a Jury Trial

The right to a jury trial is affirmed in the 6th and 7th amendments in criminal and civil trials respectively. Over the years, an unacceptable erosion of this right has occurred.
The right to jury trial protects consumers and the accused and is a fundamental part of the rights and freedoms afforded by the Constitution. 

Parental Rights

Parents should be able to make medical and educational decisions for their children that they, not the government, deem to be in the best interests of the child.  However, if those decisions endanger the greater community, then it is the duty of the government to ensure the safety of the greater community.  I believe that children should be vaccinated in order to protect vulnerable members of the community such as the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, and other children.

Decriminalization of marijuana

Marijuana should be legal, taxed, and regulated. We need to stop sending people to prison for non-violent offenses like recreational drug use. The use of medical marijuana can have substantial benefits and can be an effective part of a pain management and wellness plan. Texas should join the other states that deal with marijuana through regulation rather than criminalization. This would free up law enforcement resources and provide additional revenues for schools and infrastructure.