A Better Politics
How we elect representatives and build policy needs an upgrade
"I guess I'll choose the least worst option."
These days it's a feeling we've all shared. While our phones have gotten smarter and our cars more fuel efficient, the way we choose our elected leaders hasn't changed much. It's beef or chicken. For many of us, that's unacceptable, so we just don't vote or we pick the least worst option.
Is this really what our Founders had in mind when they designed our government?
When we close off our political process to meaningful choice, it hurts everyone. People want to contribute to improving their community but don't want to be penned in by labels. Other are frustrated by the one-size-fits-all notion of the parties. Money has too strong of an influence in our elections, forcing us into fights we were never that committed to in the first place.
Well it doesn't have to be this way. Let's upgrade Texas politics so we can include more voices and provide more meaningful choice.
the people's agenda
It's hard to hold elected officials accountable when you don't know where they stand. Ideas fail in Austin all the time and no one is willing to take the blame for it. Our process encourages grand standing without consequences. Time to call their bluff.
As your representative, I will fight to establish one day, every session, in which all State Representatives and State Senators must vote on and the Governor must sign or veto a set of bills chosen by the people. Click here to learn more about how this would work.
New political parties
One of the simplest ways to improve the number of choices we have in Texas is to make it easier to start up a new political party. Burdensome regulations prevent people who think outside the two party box from offering voters any alternatives
As your representative, I will fight to reduce anti-competitive regulations that discourage third party candidates and independents from running for political office.
ranked choice / Majority voting
Every so often, a third party candidate makes it onto the ballot. Voters are then faced with the question: is the third party candidate a spoiler? With ranked choice voting, voters can express their true opinions without worry that their votes are being wasted. If no one candidate receives a majority of the vote, those voters choosing the least popular candidate can send their support to their second choice, eliminating the need for a costly runoff.
As your representative, I will fight to enact ranked choice voting for statewide executive and legislative offices.
The most important part of the job of a representative is being accessible to the people. Even though the population of Texas grows each year, the number of representatives stays the same, making it harder to hear the people. In 1976, there were about 80,000 people per state representative; by 2020, there will be nearly 200,000 people per state representative. The state senate is just as bad moving from under 400,000 people in 1976 to nearly a million people in 2020.
As your representative, I will fight to make districts smaller so contacting your representative and senator is easier and challenging them is cheaper.
principles on redistricting
We all know how creative map making by elected officials means they choose their voters instead of the other way round. Recently, the blog FiveThirtyEight redrew our US Congressional maps to be more competitive. They increased the number of competitive districts (districts in which both political parties have at least a 1 in 6 chance of winning) from 72 to 242. Faced with serious challengers, elected officials are forced to be more responsive to their constituents. Not to mention that with more competitive districts, more constituents will keep their donations local.
As your representative, I will fight to establish redistricting by jury and to draw districts that maximize competitiveness.