1. JOBS AND THE ECONOMY
Michael understands hard-working Texans need good jobs to support their families and invest in their future. Faced with the national economic crisis that resulted from the failure of the previous Republican administration in Washington to regulate financial markets, Republicans have done nothing but try to obstruct recovery and reform programs of President Obama.
Michael will continue to fight to rebuild the economy and create jobs by:
- Making a decent home, health care, and college affordable again for the middle class;
- Stopping public-sector layoffs that undercut economic recovery;
- Maintaining fundamental income supports provided by Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid;
- Investing in job-creating infrastructure—in sectors from education to energy to transportation to information technology; and
- Bringing back to America manufacturing jobs that have been outsourced by multinational corporations
Michael will continue to rebuild the economy, create jobs, and grow the middle class by promoting entrepreneurship and consumer confidence through a market system that is checked and balanced by government to prevent financial abuses and excesses. By contrast, many Texas Republican politicians support a version of the free market system in which the highest-paid CEO’s make thousands of times more than their employees, even when there is evidence of gross corporate mismanagement.
Michael strongly support the Texas Constitution's recognition that a free, quality public education is "essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people." Michael believes a world class education system is a moral imperative and an economic necessity that requires parents, educators and community leaders to work together to provide our children the skills needed to compete and succeed in a global economy.
Michael believes all children should have access to an exemplary educational program that values and encourages critical thinking and creativity, not the “drill and kill” teach-to-the-test policy Republicans have forced on students and teachers. To fulfill this commitment, Michael will fight to improve student achievement, lower dropout rates, and attract and retain well-qualified teachers, and he will strive to redouble our efforts against those waging an ideological war to privatize and destroy public education.
Michael knows the water issues facing District 16 and will work to address the needs of all citizens of District 16.
Michael believes it is essential that Texas meet the water needs of our population, communities and industries with an absolute minimum of environmental disruption. The ongoing drought has made this a particularly urgent issue. Michael calls on the Texas Legislature to make the protection and balanced distribution of the state’s water supply an emergency item in the 2015 session.
Michael supports the enhancement of water conservation programs including programs for wetlands, ground water recharge, desalination, and storm water runoff and storage. Michael recognizes that the needs of water for agriculture production must be balanced with the needs for water consumption by urban populations.
Michael specifically calls on the Texas Legislature to strictly regulate the use of fresh water supplies in the use of hydraulic fracturing and any other large consumers.
Michael further calls on the Legislature to establish emergency programs to assist communities whose local water supplies are disrupted by drought conditions.
Michael knows with volatile energy costs making it more costly for Texans to go to work and earn a living, our rapidly growing population in District 16 and across our great state requires a transportation system that will safely and efficiently move more people, goods and products to expand economic opportunity. The guiding principles for a transportation system that benefits all Texans should include the impact of transportation on the economy, public safety, affordability, reduced congestion and environmental quality. To that end,
- Feasibility studies for new roads that include assessment of the impact on all factors in surrounding rural or urban environments as well as traffic congestion;
- A requirement that TxDOT incorporate pedestrian and bicycle modes into transportation projects, including connecting them to mass transit to offer Texans alternatives to automobiles to reduce traffic congestion; and
- A requirement that TxDOT mitigate flooding by building water detention ponds with unpaved floors that absorb and filter runoff water, and that these ponds be used to create green space for hike and bike trails.
- Investment in the improvement of our roads and bridges to ensure safe travel on our roadways and create good paying jobs to help grow our middle class.