Higher Wages for Working People
Work with our state legislature and pass a bill providing local city and county governments the sovereignty to establish a minimum-wage suited to the economic needs of its region. We will also fight for the increase of a statewide minimum-wage, push for higher wages for law enforcement officers and public school teachers in South and rural Texas, and work with both our state and federal government to establish a 5 year student loan forgiveness program for all public servants.
With poverty ratio ranging from 24.1% to 41.5% in South Texas, and the difficulties of retaining and recruiting good peace officers and teachers across our state, we believe the path to higher wages in Texas begins with investing in those who constantly make the the ultimate sacrifice in keeping our communities safe, drive our economy, and build the future leaders of tomorrow.
Criminal Justice Reform
With a 500% increase of our current state inmate population, from the 1970’s to present, and the huge financial lobby and growth of private prisons in our state; Texas has grown to a prison-driven- economy with over 246,000 adults and juveniles currently behind bars and over 735,000 Texans in the on-going-cycle of our criminal justice system. Race and income disparity have also played a crucial role in determining who is in prison with 62.13% of our inmate population being African-American, 21.15% Latino, 16.17% Anglo-Saxon (White), and over 57% of the inmate population coming from the lowest tier of our income bracket.
Our long term plan will focus in passing legislation or a ballot initiative in the upcoming years for the legalization of marijuana that will eliminate existing non-violent marijuana misdemeanors and felonies, reduce penalties for minors to educational programs and counseling, provide $65 million in economic development, job placement, and legal services to low income communities who have been disproportionately targeted by the “War on Drugs”, and grant hundreds of millions of dollars a year to youth education, dropout and drug prevention, and substance abuse programs in at risk youth schools. In the short term, we will work with local governments in our state by ensuring more community-based policing and a more progressive policing approach for non-violent marijuana offenses.
Lastly, we will lead the efforts to end for-profit prisons in our state and be the active opposition to the industrial prison complex who have destroyed a generation of Texan families since the early 1980’s. If the Correction Corporation of America (CCA) has the money and the lobbying muscle in our state’s capitol, Texas Victory Project will have the people and the grassroots movement to go toe-to-toe with them end put a stop to this vicious cycle. We will work with both Democrats and Republican legislatures to reduce this budgetary waste of $7.14 billion dollars and use this money to fund mental health and drug treatment centers.
Veteran unemployment still remains high, with the state unemployment rate being above the national average at 5.1%. It will be our job to work with state and local governments to ensure we tackle the unemployment rate, partner up with law enforcement agencies, non-profits, business, and governmental agencies to ensure priority higher for veterans and protect the benefits are men and women in uniform had fought so hard to earn.
In the past six years we have seen an increase of legislative bills in the Texas House to cut Hazlewood, veteran healthcare benefits, and mental health funding. It is both shameful and immoral that our service members have fought bravely overseas and are now in the verge of losing the college benefits for them and their children due to irresponsible legislators who call themselves “patriots” but attack our Veterans. We will work closely with the top Democratic and Republican leadership in both chambers and build a strong bi-partisan coalition that will ensure we protect Hazlewood, increase the number of state funded programs who will be responsible of providing a proactive approach in veteran health care, mental care, and tackling veteran housing and homelessness.
It is more than providing state exempt plates, it is about “never leaving a fallen comrade” and always placing “the mission first”. We are committed to fixing the VA in the national level and ensure we give our veterans real victories with passing legislation they deserve.
With over $5.3 billion cuts in our public school system in the past six years, a statewide public school teacher deficit, large bureaucracy, a $90 million dollar budget waste on a standardized test that does not prepare our kids to go to college nor allows teachers the flexibility and liberty to teach and teach with passion, our long-term and short term solution(s) will be:
Work with federal, state, and local governments to increase salaries for public school teachers and establish five year loan forgiveness plan to career committed educators.
Work with governmental agencies, legislatures, and labor unions to transition to a decentralized school-site organizational model giving budgetary power and decision-making to administrators, teachers, support staff, teacher, and students, and work on implementing a student-funded formula that works to provide our children and schools better funding.
Work on a transitional model that gives teachers more liberty and flexibility to teach while removing the budgetary waste of statewide standardized testing.
Work with governmental agencies and non-profits to establish free SAT/ACT prep courses in our public schools, push for higher enrollment of Dual-Enrollment and AP classes, and find effective measures to make our children more well-rounded. One of the greatest difficulties facing public education is that our children are not college ready or ready to tackle our constantly changing market. We believe that a healthy mind comes from a proper balance between a strong liberal arts education and STEM. We have produced a generation of students and people who lack independent and critical thought and the fundamental scientific knowledge to grow and obtain the future jobs of tomorrow.
Work with federal and state government to reduce the hyper-inflation of higher education and the $1.2 trillion student loan debt that is crippling young Texans, destroying the institution of family, and crumbling potential job growth, career opportunities, the entrepreneurial spirit of a whole generation.
Work with local and state government to push for the implementation of universal pre-k.
We will fight against the voucher and for-profit charter schools that take money out of our public school system and turn education into a for-profit business.
- We will also fight to protect Title I and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that provides resources and opportunities to those who need it the most: low income students and children with special needs.
Protecting Our Seniors
Protecting our Seniors and Social Security is one of the most important issues at stake in our right now in our federal government. We must protect our seniors and keep the program strong for future generations. Republican legislators who are out of touch with working families across our country, want to privatize social security, which would would turn over the hard-earned savings of millions of Texans to the stock market and risk losing everything in an economic downturn.
People should know that the system they’ve paid into their whole lives will be there for them when they need it. The average Social Security benefits across the state of Texas is $826 per month. The average rent for a one bedroom apartment in Texas is $1,020. Let’s add a car payment for a modest car: $320 a month. Keeping electricity on average $120 per month. Without food, medical cost, and travel and logistical cost our Texan Seniors are at a deficit of -$634 dollars, and with the previous mentioned cost our Seniors total monthly deficit totals -$2,085.
Social Security was passed in 1935 with a promise from President Roosevelt to protect the working man/woman and give “some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age”. The Texas Victory Project will fight to ensure the old, the ill, and the unemployed are represented and protected in government. We will lobby legislatures, elect candidates who support the funding and protection of Social Security, and ensure we protect the safety-net that has ensured the least fortunate and those who gave the best years of their lives in building the America’s economic powerhouse are not left without a voice in Austin or Washington D.C..
As Texas has been the king of “drill-baby-drill” and the oil and gas industry has produced millions of jobs across South and West Texas, one of the biggest issues we have found is the lack of strong governmental enforcement to protect our water and air supplies across our state. With clean water issues in El Cenizo, droughts in Midland/Odessa and Laredo, and heavy air pollution in Eagle Pass, Houston, and Corpus Christi our goal will be to work with local, county, and out state legislature to find a bipartisan approach to protect our families and kids.
Regionally in South Texas, we will work with local leaders and elected officials to stop “illegal” dumping. With beautiful landscapes from El Paso to Brownsville and Hidalgo to Corpus Christi our land has been contaminated by the irresponsibility of our own residents to properly dispose of trash, citizens who do not report, and elected officials who do not take a proactive approach in enforcing and protecting our environment. We will work with local elected officials, law enforcement agencies, and non-profits to draft the necessary and most effective plan to reduce “illegal” dumping in own back-yard.
Texas leads the nation with nearly a quarter of its population lacking sufficient health insurance coverage. While the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature refuses to expand healthcare coverage for purely political reasons, despite available funding, we will has fight to expand coverage and create jobs for Texans.
Texas Victory Project believes it is time for leaders to put people over politics and expand health insurance coverage to over 1 million hard-working Texans. We will work with legislature for Medicaid expansion for Texans that will have a projected income revenue of $90 billion back to our state that will create jobs and alleviate tax burdens on taxpayers and local governments.
Our second priority will be working with Congress to tackle the ongoing inflation of prescription drugs. The recklessness of Congress to regulate big pharmaceutical companies, reduce prescription medication cost, and failure to protect the American consumer, should be a bipartisan issue that unites both liberal and conservative legislatures. With a total lobbying power of over $57,000,000 dollars spent in the 2015-2016 cycle, we saw both Democrats and Republicans Senators this January protect the hands that feeds them and turn down Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) amendment to end the high prices of prescription medication.
We will support candidates who will fight for working families and ensure Medicaid and Medicare are protected, more people covered at a lower cost, and protect American consumers from big pharmaceuticals companies.