Samantha Fields for Texas House 84My decision to run for Texas House District 84 for the Democratic Party was not made based on my resume, and it was not made because I have always wanted to be a legislator. This decision was made because the priorities of lawmakers in Austin do not match those of the people of Lubbock in District 84.

What the people of District 84 got out of the recent Legislative and Special Sessions were some bills about cutting down trees and one’s ability to open carry swords.

We narrowly escaped state-mandated racial profiling and transphobic ideologues telling people where they should go to the restroom. Nothing that regular Texans would have benefited from was addressed and a lot of valuable time was wasted.

I am angry. I am angry that in a city where nearly a quarter of its citizens live in poverty, we have no one who is willing to fight for us. Many people work two or three jobs just to get by. This situation is not unusual for people in District 84, even for people like me with a college education.

We need someone who will dare to represent people who cannot get out of the vicious cycle of poverty. Poverty touches a lot more parts of society than people like to think, and as someone who has been there, we need a representative now to start addressing this issue. This fight is too personal and our legislatures are doing nothing to stop it.

So I’m running for office.

I’m entering into this fight: not between Republicans and Democrats, or even a fight between the rich and the poor, but the fight between living and dying.

While representatives could have taken steps to lower our tax burden, help us go to the doctor, and empower Texans, they chose to fight for hate. They chose to fight for the power of no. They chose to fail us. We have been silent long enough: the young, the students, the elderly, the parents, the middle class, the poor. However you label yourself, we are all Texans and we are not to be ignored.

Here’s what I propose:

End the War on Education

PTAs can only do so many fundraisers a year to support their teachers. Property taxes can only go up so high. And while Texas is sitting on $10 billion in the Rainy Day Fund, schools in Lubbock were closed and “consolidated” in 2011 to make up for the state’s shortfall. If we must live in a world where “corporations are people”, then they should pay their fair share. Stop punishing counties with corporate tax loopholes, and let’s start building a better future for all of us by funding education and equipping our students with the tools they need to succeed.

End Legislation that Divides People

The Sanctuary Cities Bill and the Bathroom Bill were created with the claim that they would provide safety to the state of Texas when we had nothing to fear to begin with.

Now we have American citizens who are afraid to approach law enforcement because they might be questioned for their citizenship. We have people who feel like their vote doesn’t matter because legislation made sure their voice was drowned out with voter suppression and redistricting. We have parents who do not seek the help they need because they think they don’t qualify. We need to stop making enemies of our neighbors.

End the Cycle of Poverty

While Texans are trying to make sure the electric bill gets paid, they are ignoring their own health and that needs to stop. So let’s take a chance. Let’s fight for jobs and a living wage. Let’s see what happens when Texans can finally take care of themselves when we expand Medicaid. When we feel better, we do better.

Lubbock is my home, and while I am excited to see so much promise in its growth, I’m saddened by how many people are getting left behind. Texas is better than this. District 84 is better than this.

Together, we can bring equal opportunity back to District 84. We can all have a job that pays a livable wage. We can all send our kids to good schools. We can all go see a doctor when we need one. We can all treat others as we would want ourselves to be treated. Empathy exists in the world so let’s take some of that empathy back to the capital and fight for each other.