To inform readers about the candidates seeking their votes on the November ballot, the San Antonio Report asked all candidates to answer the following questions. We edited answers for clarity, not substance or grammar, and we did not fact-check responses. We restricted responses to 200 words for each question.
Read other candidates’ answers here.
Link to campaign website:
Education background/degrees earned:
Claude Black Community Center – General Education Development (GED)
Current occupation, employer, or job title:
Business owner, J Arnold Services, LLC
Previous elected offices held and/or sought:
San Antonio City Council, District 3 candidate
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the office you are seeking?
My experience in the Texas Legislature. I have worked in the State House of Representative as a constituent services coordinator, and I have served in the Texas Senate as a district director and chief of staff. I have successfully assisted constituents with their individual needs and advanced legislation for our schools, cities, and counties. My legislative experience will help me represent the interests of our district more effectively.
What three issues do you feel are most important to voters in your district?
I have lived in District 119 my entire life and personally knocked on 4,000-plus doors over the last year. Therefore, I know that the three most important issues in our district are jobs, education, and health care. With regard to jobs, we can start by supporting Proposition B on the November ballot. This workforce initiative will ultimately lead to better jobs and higher salaries for our friends, families, and neighbors. On the education front, we are 37th in the nation with regards to per-student funding in our public schools. The future of our state depends on our ability to adequately fund the education of our children. I will be a fierce advocate of public schools in the upcoming legislative session. When it comes to health care, the state of Texas has the highest uninsured population in the nation. This is unacceptable; therefore, I support expanding Medicaid to immediately insure 1.5 million Texans that do not have coverage today.
If elected, what would be your top priorities after taking office?
In addition to jobs, education, and health care, my top priorities are criminal justice reform, home health care for seniors, and real solutions for the homeless. With regards to criminal justice reform, I support and will work towards: decriminalizing marijuana, statewide police accountability measures, increased funding for mental health and police training, less funding for the militarization of our local police force, investments in education to end the school-to-prison pipeline, elimination of for-profit prisons, and re-entry programs that will give people a second chance and reduce recidivism.
How has the coronavirus pandemic shaped your priorities?
Due to coronavirus, the State Comptroller is reporting a $12 billion drop in revenues and estimates a $5 billion deficit. Therefore, legislators will inherit a deficit when they begin to draft the next state budget. I am seriously concerned that Republicans in Austin are already having conversations on how to gut the state’s social safety net, starting with women’s health services and programs that support parents of disabled children. This is unacceptable. I plan to protect and expand investments in our social safety net by identifying additional sources of revenue (drawing down more federal money, closing tax loopholes for the rich and corporations that don’t pay their fair share of taxes, decriminalizing and taxing marijuana, tapping the state’s rainy day fund, etc.).
For incumbents: What do you consider your most significant accomplishments in office? What would you change?
For non-incumbents: What, if anything, would you do differently from the current officeholder?
Constituent services is where I would like to build on the success of our current State Representative Roland Gutierrez, who is running for State Senate. Helping people is my passion. During this pandemic, I have distributed 3,500 masks and delivered over 7,000 boxes of food in my community. I have also helped countless friends and neighbors apply for housing assistance, unemployment insurance, and small business loans. There are so many issues that our community has faced historically that have led to social and economic inequities. Therefore, if permitted the opportunity to serve as our next state representative, I plan to make the most of it by helping the most people that I can.