Issues

Learn more from Jessica about where she stands on some of the most important issues for our community.


Getting big money out of politics
Our campaign is about restoring dignity to the hardworking people of the 28th district. That’s why I'm committed to running a grassroots, people-powered campaign. Unlike Congressman Cuellar, I'm not accepting any corporate PAC money or contributions from lobbyists, and I will only answer to the people of our district. While less than 1% of Congressman Cuellar's contributions come from small dollar donations, our campaign is proud to be powered by over 40,000 grassroots donations with an average contribution of $32.

I support getting big money out of politics and overturning Citizens United, which allows corporations and other special interest groups to spend unlimited amounts of money in our elections. But it’s not enough that I take that pledge –– we need to end the influence of corporate money in our elections and bring trust back to our government. I’m ready to take that fight to Washington.
 Being a champion for working Texans
My parents came to this country before I was born and started off as farmworkers. My father transitioned into the trucking industry 30 years ago and has been a truck driver ever since. As a child, I watched as my parents, neighbors, and too many members of my community worked long hours and still struggled to get by. I remember the stress of living paycheck to paycheck, a struggle so many families in our district continue to face today. I look forward to being a true champion for the working people of our district in Washington, which is why since day one I've advocated for a federal $15/hour minimum wage indexed to inflation.

I know that our country is strongest when we have a vibrant middle class and where everyone has an equal opportunity to live a meaningful life. This can’t be done without strong labor laws that allow workers to negotiate for proper pay, good working conditions, and benefits they deserve. I will proudly advocate for the power of workers to organize and bargain collectively; unlike Congressman Cuellar, I would support the PRO Act, which takes critical steps toward ensuring workplace fairness. I also support using the joint-employer standard outlined by the NLRB in 2015 and oppose so-called “right to work” laws that weaken unions. I also support closing tax loopholes that encourage jobs and investments to be outsourced.

Finally, I will fight for increased federal investment in public services across the board; from public transportation, to education, public health, and environmental protection. Many areas of TX-28 lack basic infrastructure, and I will wholeheartedly support federal legislation that directs additional resources to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and creates good-paying jobs for our district. I also will oppose privatization schemes that reduce the quality of services and eliminate middle-class jobs here in Texas.

Advocating for our families

In Congress, I'll fight to make sure our families and our seniors are taken care of. I know the lack of a federal paid leave program disadvantages marginalized groups, leads to lower worker incomes, and often prevents caregivers from remaining in the workforce. According to the OECD, the United States is the only member country that still fails to require employers to provide any paid parental leave, which puts new parents -- particularly new mothers -- at a disadvantage. This is especially damaging for families of color who tend to have less existing resources and assets to draw on when forced to take unpaid leave. According to BLS, only 38 percent of Latino workers have paid sick time, compared with 60 percent of white workers. I support at least 12 weeks of paid universal family and medical leave and at least 7 days of paid sick leave.

In Congress, I will also support efforts to expand social security benefits and make the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes to help secure social security far into the future by eliminating the Social Security "tax cap." I will always protect Social Security and Medicare, and I'll stand up to efforts to privatize Social Security and cut Medicare benefits because I know seniors have paid into Social Security and Medicare all their lives, and they've earned it.
Fixing our broken immigration system
I’m an immigration and human rights attorney who grew up on the border, the daughter of Mexican immigrants. During my career, I specialized in representing people in immigration court as they faced deportation proceedings while detained. I also participated in a groundbreaking program that became the first in the nation public defender model to provide the right to counsel for people facing detained immigration proceedings. While in law school, I served as a Pro Bono Scholar and worked with the faculty to create the Women in Immigration Detention Assistance Project, which assisted asylum seekers at the Hutto Detention Center in Taylor, Texas.

Congressman Cuellar voted to fund Donald Trump's wall twice, and was the only Democrat to support extending the amount of time immigrant children could be detained. I support a pathway to citizenship for our undocumented brothers and sisters, revamping the visa system, strengthening family reunification, and creating a humane border and immigration policy by scrapping disastrous laws like the 1996 IIRIRA bill. As a removal defense attorney, I’ve seen the consequences of this administration's cruelty in the courtroom firsthand -- which is why I’m an advocate for an independent immigration court system that would not be subject to the whim of any administration.

Making health care a right, not a privilege
No family should have to go into Mexico to receive safe and affordable medical treatment, and no one should die from not being able to afford care. In South Texas, when faced with high medical costs, we support each other by doing plate sales and selling raffle tickets. In our district, 24% of us don't have health insurance. The average family who does have coverage is spending $12,000 out of pocket on health care premiums. This is unacceptable.

Congressman Cuellar voted to weaken the Affordable Care Act, reducing the number of workers eligible for coverage and making long-term and comprehensive care more expensive. In Congress, I will fight to ensure that health care is a right, not a privilege. That’s why I support Medicare For All, which would insure every American with comprehensive health care while lowering overall costs to families, small businesses, and government.

I also believe women and families deserve access to comprehensive family planning resources and contraception. Women on the border shouldn’t be forced to go into Mexico to receive health care services like mammograms and pap smears. I firmly believe in every person’s right to choose and make decisions about their own lives and their own bodies, not our government or men like Henry Cuellar.

Taking care of our veterans

We have a moral obligation to ensure our veterans have the resources they need as they transition back into civilian life. That means guaranteeing every veteran high-quality, timely health care, housing assistance, and access to higher education or vocational training. I believe in fully funding the VA to ensure the VHA is the primary source of care for our nation's veterans, and I oppose efforts to privatize the VA. It is critical that we fight to bring better and more timely health care to our veterans here in Texas' 28th district and provide access to mental health resources. With the nearest full-service 24/7 hospital in San Antonio hundreds of miles away from Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley, we've lost too many aging veterans who simply couldn't make it in time to receive treatment. Our communities deserve access to a full-service VA hospital.

Ensuring equal access to opportunity for our children

Like so many other families in South Texas, my parents worked hard to make sure my sister and I had the opportunity to focus on school and succeed -- and through hard work, I became a lawyer and my sister is became a doctor. But I know my family’s American Dream is the exception, not the rule. I’m proud to receive the support of our local teachers’ unions.

In Congress, I will fight for universal pre-K, tuition-free public college and trade school, and eliminating student debt, so every South Texan has a fair shot at their own dreams. Our teachers are our heroes, but so often their salaries and their livelihoods are the first cuts that Washington makes when they look at a budget. Our classrooms are understocked, our educators are underpaid, and our students are undervalued. That must change.

Caring for our planet and combating climate change

Climate change is a local, national, and global issue that cannot be overstated. I know that my future and the next generation’s future is dependent on bold leaders who will step up to defend our planet. As climate change continues to worsen and threaten our health, safety, and prosperity, we see the global effects from our community right here in South Texas.  Unfortunately, Congressman Cuellar has accepted over $852,000 from the fossil fuel industry during his career and has consistently supported policies that roll back protections that keep our water drinkable, ourair breathable, and our communities safe from environmental threats.

I support a Green New Deal because I believe the way we address climate change needs to be as aggressive as the threat it poses -- and I support a just transition that empowers and guarantees opportunities for workers in the renewable energy industry. With renewable energy set to surpass coal in the US by 2021, Texas is uniquely equipped with enough sunlight and wind to compliment each other and make a 100% renewable power grid cheaper and more reliable. Through a Green New Deal, we will be able to create countless new jobs in our community that we desperately need and we will protect our planet and the future of South Texas.

Fighting for the safety of our communities

The level of gun violence in our country is not normal. I will fight back against the normalization of tragic deaths caused by guns by changing laws and supporting all research related to this issue. Gun violence has touched our district, and polling shows that more and more Latinx Texans support strong gun safety legislation. Our community experienced heartbreak when we lost 26 of our own in the senseless Sutherland Spring tragedy. Although not in our district, the El Paso mass shooting that took the lives of 22 people shocked our community and all Latinx people living along the border.

South Texans know that believing in the second amendment and supporting common sense gun legislation are not mutually exclusive. We need to make our communities and our schools safer by instituting violent history checks and a ban on bump stocks, high capacity magazines, assault weapons, and weapons of war. I’ll always put the safety of our community first, and unlike my opponent, I pledge not to take a dime from the NRA or the gun lobby.

Guaranteeing equality for all

As an immigration and human rights attorney, I’ve seen how our immigration system fails to support the LGBTQ+ community, and I will use my position in Congress to advocate for more LGBTQ-informed medical treatment at the border. I also fully believe that gender-affirming procedures and treatments should be covered for any transgender individual who chooses them through Medicare for All.

As a woman of faith, not only would I oppose efforts that allow individuals to use religious beliefs as a justification for discrimination, but I am looking forward to being a leading voice on this issue to show that prejudice has no place in our policies or our faith. I know every American deserves federally-protected equality when it comes to housing, education, public spaces, and employment and I am prepared to fight for this legislation at every level.

Texas' 28th Congressional District is a deeply blue seat that went to Hillary Clinton by 20 points in 2016, yet our current Congressman voted with Donald Trump 70% of the time last Congress. We need to elect a representative who is accountable to us — not big corporate donors, lobbyists, and Republican special interests.

Jessica is running for Congress because the hardworking people of South Texas deserve true representation — someone who they know has lived their struggles and will be their voice in Washington.
Our Campaign is Powered by Volunteers Like You
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.