Last night, I welcomed Latina/o leaders from across the nation to Austin on behalf of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, of which I am vice chair, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. I discussed the importance of our participation in all levels of government. I also talked about how we cannot let the politics of exclusion and division break apart who we are. It is our responsibility to make sure that the Texas DREAM Act is preserved and that vile and heartless pieces of legislation like House Bill 1403 never become the law of the land.
As a community, Latinas and Latinos need to be diligent in addressing the needs of our ever-changing population. We need to stand up and fight for the next generation. Don’t count on the Latina/o legislators to do it alone. We are going to need your voices and your strength at the Capitol every day this session to make sure that we are prioritizing strong and sound policies over malicious and misguided politics. Our families are counting on us.
Easing Traffic Congestion Near Our Airport
On Tuesday, I attended a groundbreaking on the SH 71 Express Project in the heart of my district. This project will include two new toll lanes that will better serve the area near and around our airport, which has seen a 7 percent increase in traffic in the past year alone.
An estimated 110 people a day are moving to Central Texas. While the growth in Austin and surrounding areas is great, the traffic that comes with it causes us to spend more time in our cars and less time at work and with our families. That is why I’m committed to working on legislation that will expand upon and improve our current transportation infrastructure.
Homestead Preservation Districts
As the Statesman reported last weekend, the city of Austin is considering various ways to implement the homestead preservation bill I passed in 2005. Over the past decade, we have seen more families being priced out of their own homes due to rising property taxes. I am hopeful our new mayor and city council will find ways to use tax revenues for affordable housing projects, and I’m committed to working with them to protect our low-income homeowners and renters.