WHERE I STAND
Over the coming months, our campaign will release detailed policy proposals on criminal justice reform, housing and affordability, combating climate change, reducing inequality, and building a 21st century transportation system in Travis County. Please check back regularly for updates!
Justice, Not New Jails
Ending mass incarceration is one of the defining civil rights issues of our time. For far too long, we have relied on locking people up to deal with social issues from mental health and substance use disorders, to homelessness and immigration.
Travis County needs a plan to end mass incarceration and racial disparities in our criminal justice system, not a “master plan” to spend $600 million on more jails.
As a Travis County Commissioner, Bob will push for investments that strengthen our community, make us all more safe, and reduce incarceration rates. These include deep investments in the communities most impacted by crime and imprisonment. We don’t need a “master plan” for new jails, we need a community plan for substance use and mental health services, violence prevention and trauma recovery services, and for housing the unhoused. As we continue to reduce our jail population, we should be reinvesting funds in proven community based providers that keep people out of jail in the first place.
Affordability is a crisis in Travis County and getting worse every day. Travis County should be a national leader in supporting affordable housing solutions, ending homelessness, and ensuring that the next generation of Austin’s middle and working class residents can afford to live in our community.
As Travis County Commissioner, Bob will make affordability a top priority and fight for Austinites to be able to stay in their homes. He will make sure rental assistance is delivered in a timely manner, will work to strengthen Travis County’s housing program with a tenant bill of rights, and will ensure Travis County’s commitment to support for the unhoused is not limited to a one-time investment.
A Travis County for All
Travis County residents should know about and have meaningful opportunities to provide input on the decisions that impact their lives. As such, major decisions the Commissioners Court makes should be well publicized, accessible, and transparent. Unfortunately, that’s too often not the case with many Travis County residents unaware of or excluded from major policy votes.
More than 30% of Travis County residents speak a language other than English at home. Yet, Travis County documents are rarely translated into Spanish, let alone any of the various other languages spoken in our community, and interpretation at Commissioners Court meetings is inadequate at best, and exclusive at worst.
Bob is committed to changing that. Through more active community engagement, regular communication and ensuring language accessibility, we can create a Travis County where everyone’s voice is heard.
Environmental Justice and a Travis County Green New Deal
Climate disaster is an existential threat to our community and communities around the world. Bob will work to strengthen initiatives that reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, build a county-wide plan to reduce the heat island effect, and deepen investment in the county’s environmental resilience.
He will vigorously oppose any lane expansion to I35 that further divides our community, perpetuates inequality, and contributes to global heating. Bob will work with labor leaders, community organizations, and other stakeholders to build a Travis County Green New Deal program to increase investment in green jobs.
Healthcare for All
Bob believes health care is a human right. In a society with as many resources as ours, no one should go without medical care. As a County Commissioner, he will push to expand medical access in our community.
Reproductive health care, including access to contraception and abortion care, is essential and time-sensitive. Every level of government has a responsibility to ensure its communities have access to the care they need and the freedom to determine if, when, and how to become a parent. All pregnant people, including those who are incarcerated or detained, deserve dignity, safety, and respect.
Bob also understands that drug use is a public health issue. He would work to implement proven public health strategies that prevent overdose and connect people to support in the community including robust harm reduction programs.
A Welcoming Travis County
Immigrant communities are a vital and growing part of Travis County. Travis County should be a place where immigrants feel welcome — not live in fear of deportation.
Bob has worked through his career to stop ICE’s deportation machine, and will bring that expertise to Travis County. He will work alongside community organizations to strengthen services to immigrant communities and fully fund immigrant legal services.
Good Jobs for Travis County
Travis County is increasingly becoming unaffordable for far too many who work in our community. We must both tackle affordability and build a Travis County with just, good-paying jobs for every member of our community. As a life-long labor advocate, Bob has worked alongside farmworkers in fields of Florida, construction workers across Texas, and alongside labor movement for his entire career.
As Travis County Commissioners, Bob will fight to increase union density and raise the floor for all jobs in our community. He will also work to ensure that Travis County workers have wages and benefits — including paid parental leave — that allow them to live in the communities they serve.