Congressional District 28 is ready for a change, and we believe Tannya Benavides is the best choice to bring about that change.
Last October, I interviewed Tannya Benavides for my Meet the Candidate series. I always go into these interviews with an open mind, looking forward to hearing what the candidates stand for and their platform. But, most importantly, I want to understand why or how they are different than their opponents. Tannya is a breath of fresh air.
Congressional District 28 is currently held by Congressman Henry Cuellar, who has been in office with a (D) next to his name. Still, his voting record indicates he’s more Republican than a Democrat. Cuellar, staying true to his Conservative roots, is now under FBI investigation. Cuellar frequently votes with big business and corporate interests over the people of his district and Texans, which is why we feel like it’s his time to go.
Living Blue in Texas’ soft spot for community activists and organizers.
Long-time readers and followers of Living Blue in Texas know that we have followed, written about, and helped promote grassroots movements and organizations around the state. We believe that the people willing to get out on the front lines when direct action is needed to hold a rare passion for the issues and will often fight harder than their counterparts on the things that matter.
We believe that Tannya is that person. During the pandemic, she has spent the last few years organizing and working against Trump’s border wall (now Abbott’s border wall).
The so-called border wall, at this point, is nothing but a massive waste of taxpayer dollars and is being used as a dog whistle to the far right. Education, healthcare, and social safety networks in Texas are severely underfunded, yet, Abbott’s border wall will cost Texas taxpayers billions of dollars. Furthermore, there is no logical reason to believe that a border wall will stop undocumented immigration, especially considering the large storm gates on the wall that have to remain open months at a time. On top of that, the so-called border wall is an ecological disaster, cutting through wildlife refuges, Native American grave sites, and butterfly habitats.
Tannya Benavides is the only candidate running for TX28 talking about climate justice.
Climate justice goes beyond the transition to clean energy and acknowledges climate change can have differing social, economic, public health, and other adverse impacts on underprivileged populations. There is no doubt that to save our planet, we have to transition to green energy, but we cannot ignore the thousands of people who environmental pollutants have harmed.
Pro-Publica found over 1,000 toxic hot spots in Bexar County with cancer-causing air. Ten of Laredo’s schools rank in the country’s top 1 percent of schools where students’ health is most at risk from toxic air pollution, in large part due to emissions from one medical equipment sterilization plant. The Rio Grande Valley is one of the hardest areas in Texas hit by climate change.
Tannya understands how the Rio Grande Valley is reliant on oil field jobs and, when elected, wants to prioritize the oil field workers when transitioning to clean energy.
This is important because eventually, whether it’s 2-years from now or 15-years from now, humanity’s dependence on fossil fuels will end. It’s not an “if it will happen” situation, it’s a “when it will happen” situation.
Tannya wants to make sure that South Texas oil field workers have access to good-paying union jobs when it happens, so as our dependence on fossil fuel diminishes, employment doesn’t diminish with it.
Tannya Benavides is also the only candidate running in TX28 who champions the PRO Act.
The PRO Act, which passed through the House last year and was stalled in the Senate, also known as The Protecting the Right to Organize Act, would amend previous labor laws such as the National Labor Relations Act, to expand “various labor protections related to employees’ rights to organize and collectively bargain in the workplace.”
Labor unions in America used to be essential to good-paying jobs that didn’t exploit their workers. But, for decades, the government passed laws and rules which prevented labor unions from forming, organizing, and making worker’s lives better.
In turn, we have seen in America over the last 40 to 50 years that CEOs’ incomes skyrocket while worker wages have remained relatively stagnant since the 1970s. For fairness in the workplace and better-paying jobs, America needs stronger unions.
When the PRO Act was introduced in Congress, Henry Cuellar was the only Democrat that voted against it.
Tannya is advocating for Housing Justice.
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, 38% of households in Texas are renters.
While many communities across the state have witnessed a sharp increase in fair market rent prices, wages have remained stagnant. For example, in the Laredo area, affording a one-bedroom apartment requires an individual to earn twice the federal minimum wage, with larger family units requiring hourly wages upwards of three to four times the minimum wage.
Tannya is advocating to increase the federal minimum wage to $15. She also wants to fight for Universal Rent Control legislation that caps the percentage of annual rent increases and a National Tenant Bill of Rights to reduce the threat of displacement or abrupt evictions.
Check out Tannya Benavides full platform.
You can learn about Tannya’s entire platform here. When it comes to the rights and justice for all Texans, Living Blue in Texas believes that Tannya is the best candidate for TX28, which is why we are endorsing her for Congress.
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