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Communities of color would finally be represented in the U.S. Senate

MARC VEASEY | 11/5/2018, 4:50 a.m. | Updated on 11/5/2018, 9:19 a.m.
Texas has the highest African American population in the country, but I’m one of only four Congressional Black Caucus members ...
Congressman Marc Veasey

U.S. House of Representatives

Texas has the highest African American population in the country, but I’m one of only four Congressional Black Caucus members who represent the Lone Star State. While Ted Cruz knows nothing about supporting the diverse district I represent, Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke has shown up in all 254 counties.

Beto shares our values on criminal justice reform, health care, protecting Texas’ Dreamers, supporting our teachers, and helping students attain affordable higher education opportunities.

He’s sought out marginalized communities and given a megaphone to diverse voices across Texas – from big cities to rural communities.

He’s spoken about law enforcement’s lack of transparency addressing Botham Jean’s death and shown how Trump’s wall would only hurt border towns, like his own district of El Paso, which runs along the Rio Grande.

As a representative of a diverse district in Texas, I know we must continue to do more to lift up our communities of color.

Beto shares our vision for a more inclusive Texas.

He has met with Hispanic communities in Fort Worth and reached out to Black community leaders like Texas’ NAACP President Gary Bledsoe to hear the issues that are affecting African Americans statewide.

Police misconduct is one issue that has come up throughout the campaign, and it disproportionately affects Black men. I believe Texas has an opportunity to be a leader on the issue.

Our criminal justice system is rooted in a systemic failure to prosecute the unjustified shootings of Black men and boys. Our children, especially in the recent case of Botham Jean, are suffering from these racially charged divisions.

I don’t want my 12-year-old son to grow up feeling like it’s not safe to be a Black man in America.

As a nation, and as elected officials, we need to work together to build trust and respect between communities of color and law enforcement. This is an issue I believe Beto and I could highlight together in Congress.

Another issue we need to address is providing affordable health care to Texans. While I have worked diligently to improve access to health centers in the Metroplex, families still face too many barriers to affordable coverage.

I agree with Beto – expanding Medicaid, and ultimately offering universal, high-quality health care is what we should strive to achieve for Texas. I’m eager to work together on these efforts.

We also share the urgent goal of passing bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform, which would provide 200,000 Texas Dreamers a chance at the American dream. We need an immigration system that works to strengthen Texas’ economy, defends our borders and keeps families together.

Immigrants are the bedrock of our country. Beto and I know the ties that bind Americans together are stronger than any border wall. But this Administration is attempting to dampen their patriotism and demoralize their spirit by disenfranchising their ability to vote. We need to work together in Congress to create real lasting solutions.

In short, Beto is the Texan I want representing these issues in the U.S. Senate. His character and charisma, and his deep belief in the power of Americans to lift each other up is the kind of politics we need to champion.

We need more voices in the U.S. Senate who will fight to restore the ideals of bipartisanship and put aside partisan blinders. We need more politicians who will fight for our democracy. But, moreover, we need our elected officials to restore our country’s civility.

Just like many Americans, Beto is a husband and parent first. That’s why he will continue to fight for the next generation of Texans in the U.S. Senate.

Beto and I know that our youth will judge us on what we do to stand up against what threatens Texas’ values.

I urge you to vote for Beto so we can start building on the truths that bind us together – whether it’s protecting Dreamers, guarding the Affordable Care Act, or fighting for a more just criminal justice system.

Let’s elect someone who celebrates diversity and represents us all.

Marc Veasey represents Texas’ 33rd Congressional District and is running for re-election.