A Latino/a agenda for the 84th Legislature

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      Optimism for the future

      Dear friend: Every two years, we have the opportunity to execute policies that affect the lives of everyone in the state. That’s what we have to keep at the forefront of the debate as the 84th Texas Legislature convenes tomorrow morning. It’s …

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      Sen. Rodriguez proposes principles, good data about border security

      by Marty Schladen, El Paso Times—

      Decrying the Texas Department of Public Safety’s continuing lack of data regarding whether the border is secure, Texas Sen. José Rodríguez is calling on the agency, lawmakers and other state officials to adopt a new approach to the issue. Rodríguez, …

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      Pre-Session bill filing; follow bills as they progress

      Dear friend: It’s hard to believe but another legislative session is fast approaching⎯the 84th Texas Legislature convenes just after the holidays, on Jan. 13, 2015. Prior to each legislative session, lawmakers are permitted to “prefile” bills from the first Monday after …

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      Language “challenge” presents a Texas-size opportunity

      Education is the single-greatest key to strengthening our long-term economic future. Now, demographic changes in our country require a different approach when educating large numbers of children who are not proficient in English. These children, who will make up our …

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      Immigration

      President Obama had to take executive action to put a halt on deportations to some of the millions of undocumented immigrants working and living in the United States. The country can no longer sit idly by as Congress continues to …

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      Issues

        Education

        A former migrant farm worker, Jose understands that education is the key to individual and community success.

        Various measures indicate El Paso, and the State of Texas, rank below national average indicators, for example, per pupil expenditures, teacher pay, and Hispanic high school and college graduates.

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        Border Issues

        Jose firmly believes that the future of the Border is the future of the State (and indeed the nation). But the reality is that Border communities like El Paso have historically experienced a myriad of problems which contribute to slow growth and lack of prosperity, including inadequate funding of education, transportation, healthcare facilities, and job skills training and employment programs.

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        Healthcare

        Access to healthcare is a critical issue for El Paso, the state, and the nation. El Paso suffers from a severe shortage of doctors and other healthcare professionals, a lack of medical infrastructure, and a high uninsured population.

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        Jobs & Economy

        While El Paso is making significant economic gains, its low tax base, high unemployment, and lack of high paying jobs are a barrier to economic prosperity. Young college graduates are unable to find sufficient job opportunities and leave, while other workers find only low wage jobs.

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        Government & Ethics

        Across the nation, including in El Paso, public corruption has grown like a cancer and tested the will of citizens to reign in those who spread it.

        “Pay to play “in the government procurement process, gifts, and other undue influences

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        Public Safety

        Despite El Paso’s designation as the second safest city in the nation, the drug war violence in Cd. Juarez, Mexico has raised legitimate concerns about spill over violence into El Paso. Of particular concern are transnational gangs operating in El Paso that work for the drug cartels.

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        Transportation

        Adequate transportation and related infrastructure remain a critical need in El Paso; without them, El Paso’s progress will be stymied. State transportation funding has literally dried up and our challenge is to find new ways of generating funds to meet transportation needs. 

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