Justin Calhoun is a bright star with excellent ideas running for the Texas House.
Justin Calhoun is a veteran and social worker whose passion is defending, fighting, and protecting his community, state, and country. Last week, I sat down with Justin to get to know him a little better.
Why is he running?
Justin’s drive to run for the Texas State House started in 2017 when his mother passed away from an opioid addiction supported by her primary care. She used various loopholes in the system to obtain access to opioids. Since then, some of the loopholes have been closed.
Justin obtained a social work degree and has worked with various communities, like veterans, the homeless, and juveniles.
Between what happened with his mom and the things he’s witnessed in social work, he’s realized that the Texas State Legislature doesn’t do enough for the people of Texas.
Justin did an internship at Representative Diego Bernal’s office in constituent and policy services. The issues that Bernal’s constituents would call in with or complain about were being addressed by Democrats, who put bills forward to address them. However, those bills would die in committee or not make it through under Republican leadership.
Many elected Republicans placate a small group of people, leaving the needs of most Texans unattended.
Justin, we all agree with that statement.
That’s why Medicaid hasn’t been expanded, why our minimum wage is one of the lowest in the country, and why we don’t have a working power grid.
If elected, Justin promises to listen to all of his constituents, not just those who voted for him. Unfortunately, many Texans, who have Republican representation will tell you, if you are a Democrat and try to even talk to your elected official, they’ll completely ignore you or brush you off.
Justin believes we should all work together and not against each other.
20% of Texans are currently uninsured. What do we do about that?
“If the pandemic showed us anything, it showed us how important equal access to healthcare is.”Justin Calhoun
Justin also believes what women decide to do with their bodies should be between them and their doctors. The government should have no say or input on what women do with their bodies.
Justin thinks that one commonality between Democrats and Republicans is our concerns for Texas’ public education.
In Texas, we have the highest GDP in the nation, but we’re 42nd on per-student spending.
Texas teachers are some of the lowest paid in the country. Justin brought up Colorado and how they legalized and taxed cannabis and how that revenue has dramatically benefited their education system (among other things). By legalizing and taxing cannabis, Texas could adequately fund education without raising taxes on Texas citizens.
(I think that’s brilliant).
According to one 2020 study, Texas is one of the least educated states in the union. Moreover, 60% of Texas students are economically disadvantaged. One thing that is more clear than anything is under the last 20 years of Republican rule in Texas, education has suffered the most.
Justin has a lot of great ideas. Watch the full interview above to hear them all.
You can now read an ad-free version of Living Blue in Texas and help support our mission to turn Texas blue. Sign up now.
Sign up for our weekly blog roundup: