WHAT DOES A BETTER TEXAS LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
"I'd love to be in our own home with a backyard for the kids and cars that function properly and have air conditioning and not have to worry about daily finances, and just be able to relax a little bit and breathe - take a deep breath. Hopefully, eventually I'd like to be able to go back to school and get my R.N., and have that increase in income. And just have space."
— SARAH CAMPSEY OF AUSTIN, a mother of three whose family is living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to make ends meet
"I want all Texas children to experience the same level of
supports that I received while growing up very poor in San Antonio. Today, my
family enjoys the American dream because a strong safety net of government
programs aided us. My grandmother supported us on her social security. Monthly commodities tided us over each
month. The CETA program assisted me
through high school. The GI bill
financed my undergraduate and graduate work.
VA loans have financed my homes. My younger son with Asperger attends
college through assistance from his social security disability insurance."
— DENNIS CAMPA OF SAN ANTONIO, now the Associate Director of Policy Reform and
Advocacy at The Annie E. Casey Foundation, which fosters public policies,
human-service reforms, and community supports that more effectively meet the
needs of today’s vulnerable children and families.
HOW DO YOU WORK FOR A BETTER TEXAS?
"Every day I pass by men and women holding cardboard signs at busy intersections. They huddle beneath blankets and underpasses to survive cold nights and unfriendly gusts of wind that I so easily shut out with a window or a door. Working for a better Texas means unrolling my window to shake their hand and ask their name; or waking up a little bit earlier on Thursday morning to volunteer at my church so that someone can receive a smile with their breakfast or a pair of workboots for their new job. Because I know I could just as easily wake up on the street tomorrow."
— GINA CHAVEZ OF AUSTIN, Center for Public Policy Priorities communications associate and singer/songwriter
"I fight for social justice and equality in my
professional, academic, and personal life. At my internship, I help families
meet their basic needs by helping them fill out state benefits applications
(Medicaid, SNAP, TANF), locate resources for food and clothing, and make
appointments for MAP and WIC. In my academic career, I have taken extra steps
to learn about policies that perpetuate poverty and structural racism so that I
can work towards changing them. In my personal life, I volunteer my spare time
to agencies in Texas who work to make a difference for hardworking immigrants
and refugees living among us. Everyone deserves to live a happy and healthy life
and my goal is to make Texas a state where that can happen.
— LAUREN IVY OF AUSTIN, MSSW at the University of Texas at Austin
WHAT'S MADE TEXAS BETTER FOR YOU?
"Without Medicaid, I don't know what we would've done. I don't know how his care would've been covered. When you look at your little baby, your four-month-old boy, you don't think 'This is costing $1.6 million,' you think, 'I just want my son to be okay.' I want him to have a happy life."
— RICHARD JAMES OF SAN ANTONIO, whose son Ian was born with a severe kidney disease