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Monday Night Politics: Meet the Candidates features U.S. Congressional candidates

DENISHA McKNIGHT | 1/19/2018, 4:50 a.m.
Monday Night Politics: Meet the Candidates, presented by The Dallas Examiner, featured several candidates running in the March 6 Democratic ...
U.S. Representative congressional candidates for District 32, former NFL player Colin Allred (standing) and George Rodriguez kick off the first Monday Night Politis - Meet the Candidates forum for the March 6 Democratic primary election, Jan. 8. Denisha McKnight

The Dallas Examiner

Monday Night Politics: Meet the Candidates, presented by The Dallas Examiner, featured several candidates running in the March 6 Democratic primary election, Jan. 8. The forum was the first of several to be held every Monday through March 5.

Held at the African American Museum in Fair Park, it began with candidates contending for the U.S. Representative congressional position in District 32: former WFAA-TV reporter Brett Shipp, former NFL player Colin Allred, former Hillary Clinton adviser Ed Meier, George Rodriguez, Ron Marshall and former Obama appointee Lillian Salerno. Shipp, Meier and Marshall were not present.

Allred kicked off the forum introducing himself and his campaign dedicated to pushing for more economic opportunities, affordable healthcare, and protecting the civil rights and liberties of others.

Rodriguez followed by discussing his goals centered on educational excellence, quality healthcare, and immigration rights to help all Texas citizens achieve the American dream.

Salerno has an extensive background working around prominent government officials and hopes to translate her experience to her potential congressional position.

“I worked for the Obama administration for the last 5 years creating economic opportunities for those 50 million people who live in small town America,” she said. “What I know for sure is that families in North Texas have no representation with Pete Sessions. We need someone on day one who will start fighting for you, and I’ve been doing that all my life.”

During the forum, members of the audience took advantage of the opportunity to ask each candidate about their intentions and how they will address the needs of the district.

Question: What do you plan to do your first 100 days in office?

Allred: Infrastructure is a huge need for the 100,000 people who move to North Texas, if every minute that we spend in traffic on U.S. Highway 75 or on our tollways is money taken down the drain. We need to invest in our public transportation system, so people can get to work. It will help our businesses. We might not get the Amazon 2nd headquarters because of our lack of public transportation. So, I want to invest in our infrastructure in my first 100 days. Possibly we need to fill our skill/labor gap. We need to go back to having vocational training in our high schools and invest in apprenticeship programs and technical schools. Give our kids the training they need to get good jobs that are available right now and give them a livable wage.

Rodriguez: In my first 100 days, I would attack infrastructure because I think it is something we can accomplish. I think there’s common ground there. But, the other thing I strongly believe is education. Education made a difference in my life, and that’s how I figured out you can create a leveled playing field. So, I would invest more in public education, better resources and STEAM education. I would also provide college students with a cap on student loans at 3 percent. I would give corporations a tax-free opportunity to pay those student loans to the employees. I would make sure we have the Pell grants because I am a beneficiary of the Pell grant.