Titus Benton has been in public service his entire life. So when it comes to so-called “issues,” there is no such thing. There are only people, and a need to craft policies that enhance the lives of individuals and their communities.
The Big Four
Economic justice means a minimum wage that is a living wage. Throughout District 17, that living wage needs to increased to $15/hour. Economic justice also means corporations and the super wealthy paying more taxes, relieving the burden of the working class. Lastly, all people should receive the same pay for doing the same work, regardless of their racial or gender identity.
I believe everyone deserves access to affordable, quality healthcare. It’s time for Texas to expand Medicaid, providing benefits to over a million of our neighbors without raising taxes. We can legalize marijuana and use the tax revenue to help pave the way to universal health care in Texas. A refusal to do so endangers rural healthcare in particular.
Texas prides itself on being first. But in education we’re anything but. We rank 31st in overall quality, 13th in safety, and 43rd in spending per pupil. We must invest in public education by revolutionizing how we prepare students, ridding ourselves of outdated and ineffective standardized testing, and paying teachers competitive wages so they don’t have to hold down a second job to make ends meet.
We must forbid the politicization of historically non-partisan school boards, trust teachers when it comes to curriculum, and create equitable spaces in the classroom so that all students can thrive.
We need to repair and expand the grid. The status quo at the state level has been to ignore our structural problems from the electrical grid to flood prevention, leaving us reacting to emergencies instead prioritizing future-oriented planning. We need leaders with the vision to think ahead.
Ensuring the right to vote and the full strength of each ballot cast is integral to our democracy. Voting rights should be expanded, not rolled back, and the force of an individual’s vote must not be diluted by race-based gerrymandering.
Our redistricting process puts political considerations ahead of community interests. People should choose their politicians, not the other way around. From rhetoric to policy, we deserve unifying and compassionate leaders in Texas.
In Texas, the LGBTQ+ community has had their civil rights targeted again and again by our elected officials and it has to stop. I remain an ally because everyone deserves equal rights under the law — to marry, adopt children, and care for loved ones. It’s the 21st century. Let’s all get on the same page and love one another.
Climate change is an existential threat to our communities. Due to the tireless work of advocates and climate experts, we have been given a road map to transition into a renewable future with the help of industry leaders in the business community. Texas is a global leader of energy, and must lead in diversification of the sector moving forward. It’s not only good for the climate, it’s good for business.
Criminal Justice Reform
Even though the U.S. is home to only 5% of the global population, we are home to nearly 25% of the world’s prison population. Mass incarceration has been a public policy failure spanning multiple decades and has disproportionately impacted black and brown communities. We have bipartisan support to make a difference on the issue, we just need to elect folks who will put in the work to make it happen.