In the Sixth installment of the 2014 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Luis Lopez candidate for the Texas House of Representatives, District 132. He is a Democrat.
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?
LL: Luis Lopez
TL: Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?
TL: As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?
LL: My seven siblings and I grew up in poverty, which forced me to take on adult responsibilities at an extremely young age; this made me aware of the inherent economic inequalities in Texas, and of the lack of investment in critical aspects of everyday Texans’ lives. Government should provide all communities with a well-funded, high quality, public school system, a well maintained infrastructure, economic security, and access to clean water.
TL: If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for 2015 legislative session. Describe how you plan to accomplish them.
LL: I will accomplish the following goals through working with legislators from both parties.
- As State Representative for District 132, I will make Texas Education a priority by fighting to appropriately fund our public school system and distribute resources in a fair and equitable manner. In addition, I will work towards making college more affordable.
- My focus will also be geared towards ensuring that families and the local businesses in House District 132 are provided with the best opportunities for growth. I will introduce legislation that will provide tax relief for small businesses owners. Moreover, I will support and will prioritize a gradual phase-in increase of the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, as it will increase worker productivity, increase business profits, and help bring families closer to achieving the American Dream.
I will work to expand health coverage for the large number of uninsured Texans via the Medicaid Expansion.
TL: A 2013 survey found that 54 percent of Texas voters support Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Expansion is also supported by the Texas Hospital Association. Without Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution, Texas Hospitals are having to provide over $5 billion dollars annually in uncompensated care to patients who lack insurance. This leaves Texas taxpayers paying not only for the uncompensated care of our residents, but also paying for expanded healthcare benefits in other states. If elected, would you support Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution for the state of Texas, so we can bring our tax dollars back where they belong? If not, please explain why. If so, please explain how you would work to pass such a measure.
LL: Yes, as the State Representative for House District 132, I will support Medicaid Expansion.
TL: In the coming years, the state of Texas is projected to have a population boom of historic proportions. 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.
LL: Republicans avoid this reality with all of their budget cutting talks. Starving our state budget for political purposes when our population continues to grow is irresponsible. There is a lot of waste in the budget that can be eliminated if we responsibly scrutinize the budget, and utilize savings on expanding our investment in roads and infrastructure. Obviously, federal investment in our roads and infrastructure will only bolster our investment. We cannot promote a successful business climate when our crumbling infrastructure goes ignored. It’s just bad governing.
TL: What makes you the best candidate for this office?
LL: I have real life experience and knowledge regarding Texas’ current challenges, such as education, employment, and small business development—the kind of challenges Texas families worry about every day. I will stand up and fight for our public schools and for our institutions of higher education, so they will provide our Texas businesses with a robust and well-trained workforce. I will promote transparency and accountability on the legislative and budget process so that my constituents can once again trust in and count on state government. And I will protect the interests of the foundation of our economy: small businesses. The families of HD-132 need a representative who will fight for them.
My opponent offers the status quo provided by Rick Perry, Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, and others who have run this state based on self-serving values that have divided our great state. Such valuies ignore our public schools, overtax our small businesses, and promoted cronyism in our state government. My opponent prides himself as being Gov. Perry’s “point man” on the Voter ID bill, a bill that we know will only hurt our democratic process. In addition, this is my opponent’s third time running for a State Representative seat in a District where he does not reside.
It’s time to put an end to this and get to the work of governing based on our families’ needs. Residents of House District 132 need a State Representative that understands their daily struggles and will work tirelessly, always keeping in mind the best interests of our communities’, families and of our small business owners. I am that representative.
TL: When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?
LL: Growing up with 7 siblings, I strongly value and take advantage of all opportunities to spend time with my siblings, parents, wife, and beautiful one year old daughter. I have been involved in our communities since the age of 14. Community services continues to be my passion and one of my favorite ways to spend my free time. I also enjoy playing and watching sports.
Thanks to Mr. Lopez for his participation.