My Vision of America
More than anywhere else in America, Houston is a very diverse city. No matter where we or our parents or grandparents came from, we are all equal in the sight of God.
I envision an America where life is precious from the moment of conception to natural death. Where people can live without fear of rampant crime, the government or the police.
My parents were both born in Europe and lived under totalitarian dictatorships before and during the Second World War. They dreamed of a freedom that they never attained until they emigrated to North America as refugees. My mother first emigrated from Italy to Canada and lived there until she married my father, who had emigrated directly from Europe to the United States.
My father had fought against the German Army in Europe during World War Two before he emigrated to the United States as a refugee in 1947. I myself never served in the military. When I turned 18, the Vietnam War was over and the military draft had ended.
Although I never served in the military, I greatly admire veterans like US Senator John McCain. He served valiantly during the Vietnam War as a fighter pilot who was shot down over North Vietnam. He became a prisoner of war and was tortured by the enemy for many years.
Most everyone who lives in America either emigrated here themselves or is descended from an immigrant. The only exceptions would be those who are descendants of Native Americans (American Indians) or those who were forced to come to America as slaves.
The slave trade in Africans who were forced to come to America started well over 300 years ago. They were legally bound in slavery for centuries before slavery was abolished in the 19th century. After the US Civil War, all the former slaves were freed and the men were given equal rights under the US Constitution. But another century of segregation, lynchings, poll taxes and other forms of discrimination rendered these descendants of slaves as, at best, second-class citizens.
The legacy of these centuries of oppression have left many African Americans and other minorities believing that they are still being treated as second-class citizens. Sometimes, they choose inappropriate forums to register their protest.
It is extremely important to increase civic engagement in the 29th US Congressional district here in Texas. I believe the only way to do that is by having a competitive congessional election in the district.
Voter turnout has historically been very low in the 29th Congressional district, more so than even most other heavily Hispanic districts in Texas. Ever since the district was created in 1992, it has been won by the same candidate in increasingly uncompetitive elections. Now that that incumbent congressman has decided to retire, he has handpicked a candidate to replace him.
I pledge to work incessently to increase voter registration in the district by giving the citizens in the district a reason to register to vote. I will do that by addressing the issues they are very concerned about, such as health care reform and immigration reform. As long as voter turnout in the district remains extremely low, there is no reason for statewide and federal candidates for office to give much heed to their concerns.