/// PRIORITIES ///
I’m a big believer of investing time and energy into these priorities. When the quality of life of many Kansans improve, Kansas as a whole will succeed.
My parents, especially my father taught me to participate in our democracy through the simple act of voting.
He became a US citizen after immigrating from Mexico and he held a strong belief in exercising his right to vote. I have fond memories going with my father to vote when I was a child. It was only after I became an adult that I understood why my dad would show a piece of paper that looked like a receipt when he voted. This was called a Poll Tax, and Texas did not repeal it until 1966. All eligible minority voters were required to pay about $1.75 in order to vote. The poll tax law kept the poor and minority population from voting.
I will continue to focus on changing the laws to make it easier to vote. We must stop every attempt to lead us back to the days of paying a poll tax.
Every child should have a clear path to quality education. We must invest in our children and give them every opportunity to succeed. Kansas’s issues with school funding are well known and while we have worked in the legislature to reverse the damage, we need to do more to invest in our children, our teachers, and provide them with the tools they need to succeed.
Not all people in Kansas are able to get an equal chance at succeeding due to their race, socio-economic status, health diagnosis, gender identity, immigration status, or sexual orientation. I have, and will continue to work on legislative measures that will put an end to discriminatory practices in our state and invest in the advancement and safety of our communities.
As the first Latina part of the LGBTQ Community to become a state representative in Kansas, I am committed to making our state a safe and welcoming place for everyone
As a social worker who has worked in the healthcare field for many years, I know the myriad of problems in our current healthcare system. Expanding KanCare will bring federal tax dollars back to Kansas. Many hard-working Kansans can’t afford healthcare, and often have to decide between seeing a doctor or putting food on the table. That’s why I’m a proponent of universal healthcare for all. But as a good first step, we must focus on Medicaid expansion in Kansas.
As we navigate this current pandemic and the virus continues to spread, it’s urgent that we get this done before more Kansans die needlessly or lose their life-savings over surprise bills.
Needless to say, that the mental health of our communities has long been neglected. We are now living in a time when people are actively seeking the help they need, but cannot access that help for various reasons. We need mental health services to be easily accessible for families and individuals. Medicaid expansion will go a long way in meeting this goal. However, we must require all health insurance policies to cover mental health services, from addictions to trauma. Everyone deserves a chance to heal.
Kansas continues to have the second highest food sales tax in the nation. I will be a part of all legislative efforts to decrease and eventually eliminate the food sales tax.
One of the best investments we can make in our state’s future is to provide 3- and 4-year-old Kansans the opportunity to receive early childhood education. There are many benefits of early childhood education. Pre-K lays the foundation for brain development and future learning and children develop important social and self-regulation skills.
Last year, I was assigned to serve on the Military and Veterans Committee. Long after they have served to protect us, veterans and military professionals still contribute enormously to our state and communities. We owe it to them to continue to push for improvements in health services.
Kansas CO2 emissions are at their lowest level in 40 years. We must continue to invest in wind and solar energy resources. Children in Kansas deserve our attention to climate change. Their future — and ours — depends on it.
Several states across the nation have taken the bold step to legalize marijuana, which in turn boosted their economy, reduced crime, and improved accessibility for people who need it for medical reasons. I will support legislative efforts to legalize cannabis for all adult Kansans over the age of 21.