In the Fourteenth installment of the 2018 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Ivan Sanchez, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, Texas’ 7th Congressional District.
Please note: Responses have been received directly from the candidate, and have been posted ver batim from the email received. This is done out of fairness to all candidates. Publishing these responses does not constitute an endorsement, but will be considered during the endorsement process.
TL: What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?
IS: Ivan Sanchez
TL: Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?
IS: No. I have never held public office.
TL: As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?
IS: The purpose of government is to provide, as best as possible, a system guided by what is in the best interest of the common good. It must protect and defend the principles of our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence; wherein, “all men are created equal”, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, “that among these are life, liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
TL: If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for the upcoming legislative session. Describe how you plan to accomplish them.
IS: As a freshman congressman, I realize I will have limited opportunity to directly introduce legislation; however, I will passionately support and advocate for legislation that: (1) acknowledges climate change and the need to control abuse of our ecosystem, including development of renewable energy; (2) is designed to implement a path to citizenship for DREAMers and other (non felony) immigrants; and (3) will provide single payer healthcare.
TL: In the coming years, the state of Texas is on course to have an unprecedented boom in the state’s population. But with more people and more opportunities comes an ever-increasing strain on Texas roads and infrastructure. Describe your thoughts on what needs to be done to improve Texas infrastructure now so we can plan for a bright future for the state.
IS: Improving Texas’ infrastructure must be addressed as a two-fold issue—addressing current infrastructure and developing sustainable long-term solutions. Currently, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute is involved in “developing solutions to the problems and challenges facing all modes of transportation.” This research, along with the work being conducted by the Houston-Galveston Area Council and NASA must be collaborated to maintain an effective and efficient infrastructure as we know it today. At the same time, these same types of agencies and enterprises must collaborate to create visionary modalities of transportation and infrastructure. The recent news items regarding the Dallas-Houston bullet train are indication that we are headed in the right direction, but the bullet train must not be the only solution. Government must step up to partner with industry to develop urban area transportation infrastructure that does not only increase current highway capacity (adding more lanes to a highway is not a sustainable solution), but considers automation and other technologically informed solutions. There must be paradigm shift from single-vehicle transportation as the mode to mass-transit as the mode.
TL: Even as impressive growth continues in around the state’s urban centers, rural Texans are faced with a healthcare crisis. According to Laura Garcia of the Victoria Advocate, rural communities across the state have lost 18 hospitals in less than five years, and this was before any additional challenges worsened by natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey. Without hospital services in or near their local communities, the medical and emergency care is at an increasing risk our citizens. As a legislator, how would you plan to address this issue and help Texas’ vital rural healthcare facilities stay open?
IS: The rural healthcare issues and concerns are symptomatic of a national healthcare crisis. Providing affordable healthcare is the goal, which is to-date being compromised by the greed of huge pharmaceutical companies and the skyrocketing cost of providing healthcare. Shifting the conversation of healthcare as a right, not a privilege implies government intervention in regulating the industry to limit excessive costs of R&D and profit-margins passed along to the consumer (patient). Addressing the healthcare crisis will inherently benefit the rural healthcare enterprise.
TL: In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted to overturn an Obama-era rule which classifies internet service providers as public utilities, and thereby governed under the 1934 Communications Act. This decision essentially erases the principle that Internet Service Providers should treat all online content equally without giving preference to particular sources, otherwise known as Net Neutrality. Please describe your views on this decision, and whether or not you would support legislation at the State or Federal level to uphold the principle of Net Neutrality.
IS: What the light bulb was to the 19th century, the internet is to the 21st century. It is an everyday convenience that touches every aspect of our lives. We are in an informational era, and the opportunity to utilize all that the internet has to offer must not be limited by corporate giants who seek to profit based on the speed of a person’s connection, or which web pages and services someone wants to access. I am a strong proponent of net neutrality, who believes the government must ensure the Internet continues to be treated as a utility, and internet providers cannot charge different rates, or favor certain websites over others.
TL: What makes you the best candidate for this office?
IS: I know the struggle. I came to the U.S. as a child when my mother, seeking asylum from the violence that prevailed in Colombia, wanted to raise her children in a safe environment that would provide opportunity for her and her family. It took me seven years, since I had to work multiple jobs, to complete a four-year program and earn my bachelor’s degree. This great land has provided many opportunities and given me much. I say I am DREAMer with papers, yet because of our democracy I am a candidate for the U.S. Congress. I am passionate about being part of the solution to bring change to a compromised system, to ensure that our country maintains its edge as the greatest country on earth and continues to be the land of opportunity for all. My passion is supported by my youth, providing an unparalleled level of energy and fresh perspective, and a contemporary of the next great generation. And, despite my youth, I have had the great fortune to work as a senior liaison in a congressperson’s office. I have developed a network of federal agency leaders, working to solve issues related to such areas as Social Security, immigration, and homeland security. I am familiar with and comfortable to move throughout the bureaucracy, and challenge the status quo as needed.
TL: When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?
IS: I am committed to my family, most especially any opportunity to visit with my toddler niece. My girlfriend and I enjoy evenings alone or among friends, enjoying fellowship. I am energized being around people, and any chance I have to celebrate life is my greatest joy.
Thanks to Mr. Sanchez for the responses.
Texas Primary Election Day is Tuesday March 6th, and Early Voting begins February 20th. For the Primary, you must register to vote no later than February 5th (if you’re unsure of your voting status, here’s where you can check your registration). Early voting procedures can differ depending on your county, but here are helpful links to some: Harris County, Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, Montgomery County, and Galveston County.
For other areas, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s Elections Page for your county information.
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