Tammy’s 2020 Vision 

My goal is to represent the best interest of Central Texans with a spirit of collaboration, independence, and integrity. On the City Council, we focus on working together to get things done. When we disagree, we don’t get mad or insult each other on social media, we just get back to work. If we can do that here, I know we can do that in Washington. 

Healthcare: “Having spent most of my life uninsured, I am committed to transforming our broken healthcare system. I know what it’s like to work full time as a single mom without health insurance. And I know the sense of panic that comes with having a sick child and no money for a doctor’s visit. As a country, we can and must do better.” 

Bottom line: We have to make sure every American has access to quality health care they can afford – especially those with pre-existing conditions. I support improving the ACA and a public option, and subsidies to guarantee universal coverage. 

But we can’t stop there. Sky-high drug prices are driving folks with life-threatening illnesses to ration their medications with dangerous, sometimes fatal, results. Congress needs to crack down on price gouging by bad actors in the pharmaceutical industry and demand lower costs for prescription drugs, using programs like Medicare as leverage. 

Economy: “A strong economy is important to every American family. Whether you are a business owner or employee, good paying jobs and a workforce to fill those jobs is essential.” 

The single most important thing we can do is create and support workforce development programs for people of all ages to gain skills that lead to high wage jobs, without crippling debt. We must support local businesses, the heartbeat of our communities, by training a robust workforce, supporting economic development opportunities that create high wage jobs, and enforcing strong anti-trust laws. 

Texas is the 10th largest economy in the world. In order to continue to prosper, we must also pass fair trade agreements and put an end to tariffs that hurt Texas industries. 

Gun Violence: “Having personally experienced gun violence at the hands of an abusive boyfriend, I understand the importance of keeping guns out of the hands of people who would use them to harm others. We have to pass common sense gun safety legislation, but we can’t stop there. Our crisis of violence is about more than guns.” 

Gun safety legislation is long overdue in Congress. 90% of Americans want Congress to take common sense action to reduce gun violence. We know there is bipartisan support on several key actions that would make a difference immediately. 

I will advocate for expanded background checks, waiting periods that cannot be circumvented at gun shows and ending the boyfriend loophole that endangers the lives of women every day. 

Clean Energy: “Texas has been the leading energy state for decades and we can and should lead the nation in clean energy development. We have enormous potential in solar and wind energy across Texas that can create good new jobs and supply affordable, clean energy—all of which will help combat climate change.”

This administration has taken us in the wrong direction on fighting climate change and protecting our environment. I strongly believe we should rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and work with the rest of the world to lower carbon emissions and fight climate change—even ExxonMobil, Shell and Texas’ leading oil and gas companies support this.

When it comes to fighting climate change, we need to invest in clean energy and invest in new technologies while expanding wind and solar power across Texas and the nation. If we do that, we can lead the world in clean energy, creating new jobs building solar panels and wind turbines, installing and repairing them and upgrading our batteries and electrical grids to meet their needs. It’s a really exciting opportunity that’s good for Texas workers and our planet.

Social Security: “Too many Baby Boomers don’t have what they need to retire comfortably and Social Security cannot be on the chopping block.”

Social Security and Medicare lifted millions of Americans out of poverty—they are absolutely vital programs that should be protected, not cut. Most importantly, seniors paid into those programs their whole working lives. With 1,000 Americans turning 65 every day, we need to expand resources to allow our seniors to age in place. That’s THEIR money and they are counting on it. We must continue to keep Social Security and Medicare strong and sustainable well into the future. We cannot allow massive tax giveaway to big corporations and the wealthiest Americans to jeopardize the long-term viability of Medicare and Social Security. Our Seniors deserve the promise of security that comes with Social Security.  

Education: “I was a high school dropout and teen mom, but worked hard to earn my GED so I could go to college. I graduated in four years with a degree in Special Education. I believe all children deserve a world-class public education no matter their abilities, race, class or geography.” 

I support expanding pre-K opportunities. All the research tells us early childhood is a pivotal time of development and we need to make sure those opportunities are available to all our children. 

We need to make sure our schools, teachers, and counselors have the resources and training necessary to eliminate bullying. As a Special Education teacher and advocate, I’ve seen first hand just how devastating bullying can be and we need to make schools welcoming, friendly, and productive environments for all students. 

Teacher retention continues to be a challenge that takes talented educators out of the classroom. Improving teacher salaries, retirement benefits and working conditions must be a priority. Our teachers need resources and time for planning and evaluating instead of unrealistic expectations and more supervision. 

We need to shift away from the message that a four year degree is the only path to financial security. When, in fact, there are many high paying, high demand jobs available. We should offer skilled trades programs that allow high school graduates to enter a career after graduation. 

I graduated with more debt than I could ever hope to pay back and today I owe the same amount I did all those years ago. We need to make college more affordable. I support expanding pell grants and offering interest-free loans to qualifying college students. 

Veterans: “Our soldiers lay it all on the line. We must provide expanded support for our veterans as they transition back into civilian life and address the persistent crisis of homeless and suicide. The military families in and around Fort Hood are a vital part of our community and should be given more support, particularly while their loved ones are deployed. ”

My husband is a veteran and knows firsthand how challenging it can be to come back to civilian life. We must prioritize helping our vets transition into the civilian workforce and make sure all veterans know the services and programs available to them. We must protect Tri-Care and continue to provide generous pay increases and protections. We also need a more comprehensive, long-lasting approach to assist our veterans throughout their lifetimes.

We have to provide safe and clean housing for our military families on-base. Reports of mold, lead paint, rodent infestation and substandard housing have been reported for more than a year and that’s completely unacceptable. The private housing companies responsible for those homes must be held accountable.

Tragically, Fort Hood has seen the highest suicide rate of any base in the country. So we need to continue to expand mental health treatment for our service members returning home from multiple tours in combat AND for their families who deal with incredible stress as they raise children and make ends meet while they are away.

Equality: “We must undo the inequities that have been woven into the fabric of our society through unjust laws that target people of color or members of the LGBTQ community.” 

Our criminal justice system is in serious need of reform. While it’s encouraging that both parties have begun to understand the disparate impact of mass incarceration, which has locked up nearly an entire generation of young black men and a disproportionate amount of people of color, there’s more work to be done. I strongly support the expansion of drug courts to divert substance abusers into treatment and away from our prisons and jails. 

I support the Equality Act which passed the House but has not been taken up by the Senate. It extends civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans to protect them from discrimination in the workplace, housing and in public spaces. I think that is the single most important step we can take to ensure that LGBTQ Americans aren’t discriminated against because of who they are or who they love. I will always stand up for the LGBTQ community to make sure they receive equal treatment under the law and that that they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.