Fund Public Education
Pop quiz: Which costs more, teaching kids to read or keeping them in prison? Which is more productive? Is an uneducated person “free” to lead a meaningful life? These are not difficult questions.* So why the continuing failure of our legislature to invest in public education? Wrong priorities. Proper funding of our public education system should be given top priority.
Research shows beyond question shows that investment in public education generates vast social and economic benefits for everyone – our kids, our communities, our businesses, and our tax base. We must fully fund early learning programs and K-12, expand access to community colleges, and make it possible for those who seek a college degree to do so without incurring crushing debt.
Economic progress: an opportunity not wasted
Texas benefits from its entrepreneurial spirit, deep capital, leading technological expertise, vast natural resources, and above all, people with a can-do attitude, all working together in a productive tax and regulatory environment in the geographic center of the country where the sun shines often… No wonder we have one of the most productive economies in the world! Now, as a friend once said to me, “There’s so much to be proud of here, why screw it up?” I will not allow an anti-business, backwards social agenda in Austin to destroy or threaten the great benefits – economic and social – generated by the thriving business sector we’ve worked so hard, so cooperatively, to build. Instead, I’ll pursue policies that improve our infrastructure, simplify our tax system, and invest in the productive capacity of our people.
Healthcare – is it a right or a privilege?
The question is not helpful. Healthcare is a fundamental human need, and it is vital to the growth and success of our state’s economy. We simply have a decision to make: healthy or unhealthy? Healthy people enjoy a better quality of life, of course. But they also earn more, pay more in taxes, and demand less in state support. If we want to be a pro-business, pro-growth state, if we want people to be free and productive, we must expand access to quality, affordable healthcare in Texas. And we can.
Equal opportunity, equal contribution
Why exclude anyone? In addition to the obvious moral correctness of equal opportunity, there is strength in numbers and strength in diversity. We want all Texans to participate in and contribute to our economy and our cultural richness. Whether it’s equal pay, employment, insurance, or property rights, there is broad agreement on this point. Yet the Texas legislature has repeatedly rejected attempts to pass legislation that would bar discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression; and Texas’s equal pay laws are among the weakest in the nation. If the state legislature can’t get this right, the matter should be left to local governments. (See Local control. Not incidentally, local protective ordinances are not generating litigation.)
Respect local control, not big state intrusion
Each Texas city has its own character – values, challenges, resources, and solutions distinct from any other. Local governments understand this. They are in touch with the local people; they enact policies that reflect the values and needs of the local people; and they respect the expertise of local law enforcement who, likewise, understand the local people. In this way, cities are laboratories of democracy, living experiments in public policy.
When the state preempts local control – particularly at the will of a powerful non-representative few – it denies the rights of communities to have their own character. And it runs counter to the Texas tradition of self-governance. Let local governments determine the best policies for local matters.
Responsive, representative government
Decades of gerrymandering has ensured that our communities are split, voices are silenced, and citizens’ votes are all but excluded from the Texas political process. Current leadership has doubled-down on voter manipulation, enacting policies that even the most conservative courts have struck down as unconstitutional. Put the data in the hands of people who don’t have an incentive to skew the votes against the will of the voters. Appoint a nonpartisan commission that uses computer modeling to draw the most objective lines possible, subject to public hearing and legislative review. Then we will be free to choose our representatives, and our representatives will be accountable to us.
Guns, the Second Amendment, and Safety
Texas has a strong tradition of responsible, safe, gun ownership, in the exercise of established constitutional rights. The vast majority of gun owners agree that this tradition is honored by fair and reasonable gun safety regulation. Universal background checks, restoring the full six hours to the LTC training course, and life-saving “red flag” laws (a.k.a. extreme risk protective orders) have broad support among Texans. While implementing those simple measures, we must reject ill-considered and irresponsible proposals for unlicensed carry and “guns everywhere”.
Maintain a secure border, keeping crime and drugs out, while supporting Dreamers and a pathway to citizenship for hardworking immigrants who hold jobs in the U.S. Meanwhile, listen to local law enforcement about how best to police their communities.
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Nathan Johnson Campaign —12770 Coit Road, Suite 1100, Dallas TX 75251