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:
Doctorate in materials science and engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, bachelor’s in materials science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Current occupation, employer, or job title:
Previous elected offices held and/or sought:
Why do you feel you are the best candidate for the office you are seeking?
I am the best candidate for this office because I am not a career politician. I am just an ordinary citizen born and raised in the district who is in touch with the needs of my fellow constituents of Senate District 26. I will bring my experience as a scientist and educator to the Texas Senate. I will bring new ideas and new energy. I have served my community as an election judge, volunteer deputy registrar, and as a local advocate for climate action and environmental justice. I do not have any ties to corporate lobbyists, like my opponent. I am the best candidate to serve my community.
What three issues do you feel are most important to voters in your district?
Education, health care, and the environment. We need to fully fund public education from pre-K through college. We must expand Medicaid and advocate for universal single-payer healthcare at the federal level. We must protect our aquifer and our rivers. We must ensure that everyone can breath clean air, and we must protect our climate for future generations by making a just transition to clean renewable energy within the next 10 years.
If elected, what would be your top priorities after taking office?
I pledge to introduce legislation that will ensure we protect our aquifer for future generations and begin a just transition to 100% clean renewable energy. I will oppose any cuts to public education and will advocate for tuition-free public education from pre-K through college. I will make sure that we finally expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and lay the foundation for universal single-payer healthcare. I will also introduce legislation that will abolish qualified immunity and ensure that bad cops are held accountable for misconduct.
How has the coronavirus pandemic shaped your priorities?
Climate change poses an increased risk for new emergent pathogens, and the catastrophic effects that await us if we do not act will hit vulnerable communities the hardest. The pandemic has reinforced my commitment to work for just climate action as well as universal single-payer health care.
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?
I will never accept any campaign contributions from corporate PACs and lobbyists. I will never place the wants of corporations and industry lobbyists over the needs of the People and the Planet. I will fight for environmental protection and just climate action, workers’ rights, an end to police brutality, affordable housing, legalization of marijuana, and many other progressive issues that have been neglected. I will engage the community during the legislative session and in the interim so that constituents are informed about the issues and can voice their concerns. I will ensure that everyone’s voice is heard, especially those who have been most excluded from the political process. We need to use technology and social media to open up government to the people, and I pledge to innovate new modes for the public to interact with their representatives.