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Abortion Rights 

In a post-Dobbs world, we need bold leaders who are not afraid or hesitant to stand up, no matter the consequences.  Every Texan deserves the right to make decisions about their own body. Extremists in our state government have passed some of the strictest laws against reproductive care, and at the national level, the overturn of Roe v. Wade has emboldened legislatures all over our country to restrict reproductive choice.  Ken Paxton is terrorizing a Dallas woman who was forced to travel out of state to obtain abortion care in order to protect her ability to have a child in the future.  A recent study showed that there have been more than 26,000 pregnancies in Texas as a result of rape.  These are urgent times.  As a member of the Texas Women’s Health Caucus, I have fought alongside my sisters in the Texas House of Representatives for our right to have control over our own bodies.  I have co-organized the Dallas Women’s Marches throughout the years to fight for our right to control our own destiny.  We must fight to restore Roe v. Wade, and address the crisis that has been created by Republicans’ extreme abortion bans.  For lower income women who have less resources to travel out of state to obtain an abortion, the situation is even more dire.  I’m proud to have a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood Texas Votes.  I’m ready to take our fight from the House to the Senate. 


Our public schools must be fully funded. Voucher scams that drain millions of dollars from our public classrooms have no place in our state. I am proud to be a part of the team of legislators that killed these voucher scams in the House. 


Investments in early childhood and higher education strengthen our workforce and grow our local economies. My work with the state budget has brought in millions of additional dollars into our classrooms, including more money for public programs that offer workforce training and accelerated college degrees. My work in the Texas Legislature has increased access to financial aid for thousands of young Texans through the modernization of the Texas Application for State Financial Aid. Our office hosts yearly college fairs that teach parents and students the ins and outs of college financial aid, and connect local colleges and universities to families all over Dallas.


As Senator, I am committed to defending the financial health of our public schools, as well as the rights of students to equitably funded campuses.

Domestic Violence

There are more than 200,000 reports of domestic violence in Texas every year. And we know that many more are not reported.  Survivors of domestic violence deserve access to comprehensive support services to rebuild their lives in safety with their children. I have worked to expand funding for domestic violence shelters and hotlines, and have passed legislation to create specialty courts to ensure that survivors have the legal and material resources they need to seek safety and healing. I have worked with the families of survivors to pass House Bill 5202, a free online database of repeat offenders of family violence and stalking.  I also passed House Bill 39 to expand access to protective orders for survivors of family violence and human trafficking. 

In the Senate, I will continue to write legislation that supports family violence survivors and family violence shelters.  I’ve also written legislation that has not yet passed to prevent immigration officials from questioning the immigration status of individuals at family violence shelters.  I also continue to work on legislation to allow applicants for protective orders to appear remotely for court proceedings so that they are not followed home from the courthouse after reporting their abuser.  The Family Place in Dallas has named me in 2023 the Texas Legislative Trailblazer for my work to pass House Bill 5202. 

Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment

There are about 18,000 rapes reported in Texas every year.  We know that many do not come forward for many reasons.  To tackle the backlog of thousands of untested rape kits, I have filed and passed into law multiple pieces of legislation to address this long-ignored issue.  First, I passed House Bill 1729 that allows an individual to donate towards the testing of evidence in a sexual assault case when one applies for or renews their driver’s license.  This law has raised over $5 million from $1 or more contributions from thousands of our fellow Texans. 


I then created a local HD 107 Sexual Violence Task Force composed of subject matter experts like law enforcement, SANE nurses, survivor advocates, and others who helped me develop a series of legislative proposals which have now been signed into law and have culminated in my landmark legislation– the Lavinia Masters Act.  


Lavinia Masters was 13 years old when a man crawled through her window in Dallas and raped her at knifepoint. Lavinia’s rape kit sat on a shelf untested for more than 20 years before her rape kit was finally tested.  By that time, it was too late to prosecute her perpetrator because the statute of limitations had already run. The Lavinia Masters Act has made Texas a leader on rape kit reform.  We got an unprecedented $50 million from the Texas budget to tackle the rape kit backlog.  The Lavinia Masters Act implemented strict timelines for the testing of rape kits so that survivors are not waiting for years for justice.  Because of Lavinia’s courage to speak out, rape kits are now being timely processed and one of the rape kit backlogs has been eliminated. But, we still have work to do.    


I also passed House Bill 21 which extends the statute of limitations for sexual harassment in the workplace.  I passed House Bill 1729 to create a specialty court with services for sexual assault survivors.


One of the most critical issues for our veterans is protecting and expanding their access to comprehensive healthcare, including mental healthcare. In the Texas House, I have filed legislation to lower the risk of suicide among veterans. I also passed legislation to designate June 12th as Women Veterans Day in Texas to shine a spotlight on the brave women who have served our nation.


As State Senator, caring for our veterans will be at the forefront of my legislative priorities. Texas has one of the largest populations of veterans in the nation, and the highest number of women veterans of any state in the country.


No Texan should face discrimination or prejudice because of who they are or who they love. I support passing comprehensive laws that protect the rights of LGBTQ+ Texans. Everyone deserves the right to live, work, and thrive free from discrimination and harassment. As a member of the LGBTQ Caucus in the Texas House, I have fought for our LGBTQ+ community by arguing amendments, debated on the front and back mic, called points of order, and helped lay the record for litigation when bills that attack our LGBTQ community come to the House floor or committee. 


I’ve spent my years in the legislature fighting against discriminatory legislation targeting LGBTQ Texans in our state from fighting book bans to bathroom bills to attacks on drag shows.


As State Senator, issues that impact the LGBTQ community will be at the forefront of my fight.

Gun Safety 

Every year, thousands of Texans are impacted by gun violence.  I’ve authored and supported legislation to implement red flag laws, or extreme risk protective orders, to prevent gun deaths in situations of intimate partner violence, and legislation to close the boyfriend loophole. I support universal background checks and other legislative solutions that have significant bipartisan support. I’ve stood with the families of the Uvalde community advocating to raise the age to purchase an assault rifle to 21 years of age. Concerns over celebratory gunfire in our communities are pervasive, and I am committed to working with local police departments to address these concerns.


Families looking to make ends meet deserve to benefit from our growing Texas economy.  I’ve supported legislation eliminating taxes on common household items, including the diaper and tampon tax. Minimum wages at the federal level have remained stagnant, which means we must take action at the state level to implement minimum wage laws that represent the size of our economy. 

Texas has the largest number of small businesses in our country, and the highest number of Latina entrepreneurs. We must also protect programs like the historically underutilized business (HUB) program that supports small businesses owned by veterans, women, and traditionally disenfranchised communities. Supporting small business owners is critical to growing our local economies. Small business owners create jobs and grow our economy, and our state must maintain the health of our small businesses.

Housing/ Property Tax Relief

With property taxes rising, many Texans are unable to afford to stay in their homes. This year, we had a record budget surplus of $33 billion dollars, of which $18 billion was used for property tax cuts to help alleviate the burden for many homeowners. I supported legislation in the House to increase the homestead exemption from $40,000 to $100,000, a huge win for communities all over Dallas.  We still have work to do. Renters are 40% of the Texas population and more than half of the residents of Senate District 16 reside in renter-occupied housing according to the Census.  Renters also contributed to the budget surplus and they deserve relief too.  


Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country, making it essential to improve access to healthcare for all residents, especially those in underserved areas. We must expand Medicaid in Texas to provide healthcare coverage to low-income individuals and reduce the uninsured rate. I have passed legislation to expand access to affordable healthcare options and doctors under the Healthy Texas Women program.  I have also filed legislation, which has not yet passed, to require the Healthy Texas Women program to update its list of medical providers on a timely basis so that women obtaining services know which doctors provide these services.  


As Chair of the County Affairs Committee, I have passed Local Participation Provider Fund legislation to help county hospitals draw down federal dollars to help people be able to see a doctor.  I also support mental health education and awareness campaigns in schools and communities to reduce stigma and encourage early identification and treatment. I also passed a bill creating a mental health district from the County Affairs Committee, which other counties are now working to create in their own districts.


I am the proud daughter of a Mexican immigrant who taught me the value of hard work.  Immigrant and mixed status families deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.  As Chair of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, I have spearheaded the fight against Governor Abbott’s discriminatory and cruel attacks in the Texas House. From equipping my colleagues with amendments and coordinating the floor strategy, I was proud to personally defeat HB 800 in the regular session with a parliamentary procedure, this bill is the exact same bill that my opponent voted for in the Third Called Special Session. Under my leadership, we were also successful in defeating HB 20, which would have created a vigilante border death squad to harass and arrest people they think are not citizens across the state with no consequences. Time after time, my colleagues and I defeated measure after measure.


The surge in migrant crossings is a global, diplomatic, and humanitarian issue. Our federal and state and local governments must work together with shared resources to adequately process migrants in a humane and proper manner. Currently, the whole world is experiencing a global migration at historic levels due to the global unrest. It is long past time for Congress to pass real immigration reform, reinstate the Dream Act, and protect our Dreamers.


What we cannot do, is allow Governor Abbott to continue his cruel tactics that are only creating chaos at our border during an election year as a political stunt. While wasting upwards of $12 billion dollars on anti-immigration measures and dehumanizing migrants, our Governor should instead have been prioritizing fully funding our neighborhood schools, giving our teachers a much deserved raise and re enrolling the almost 2 million Texan children and seniors that have lost Medicaid.


I am committed to modernizing our cannabis laws to better serve the needs of Texans and promote justice and compassion. I support decriminalizing and legalizing cannabis for adult use, and expanding access for medicinal purposes. Texans suffering from debilitating medical conditions deserve access to safe and effective treatments, including medical cannabis. I support expanding our state's Compassionate Use Program to include a broader range of qualifying conditions and allowing patients access to medical cannabis products to address complex conditions like PTSD. Legalizing and regulating cannabis can create new economic opportunities for Texans, including for small businesses and entrepreneurs. I support policies to license and regulate cannabis businesses responsibly, because by harnessing the economic potential of cannabis, we can create jobs, stimulate local economies, and generate revenue to support vital public services.


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