On this Veteran’s Day, it is time to recognize the sacrifice our veterans and their families make to protect our freedom. I think the best way to honor their service is to improve access to the support and services they need to better live the American dream.
As I have been campaigning across the district the last six months, I have had a chance to speak with many veterans to hear their concerns and how our federal government can better serve them. I want to thank the veterans with ATX Dem Vets for inviting me to participate in their discussions and facilitating a chance to speak with homeless vets and support services providers. They are providing an invaluable service to ensure all our candidates are knowledgeable about the issues that are critical to our vets.
Based on this community feedback, I will work to enact the following policy changes as your member of Congress help veterans.
More affordable housing: When I worked on affordable housing at Foundation Communities, I saw how federal housing tax credits built hundreds of affordable homes for working families and individuals transitioning out of homelessness. The program is a huge success, but we are too stingy with the dollars with only a handful of new developments approved in San Antonio and Austin each year. As veterans and their families are finding it harder and harder to afford Central Texas, we need more access to affordable housing. I am calling for a doubling of the awards of federal housing tax credits, with the additional funding made available to affordable housing developments that provide at least 50% of their housing to income qualified veterans and their families.
Medicare for All: Some veterans love getting medical care from the Veterans Administration, and others have had a bad experience. We need to make sure the VA is well run, but we also need to give our vets more options. As part of my core platform, I will work to expand of Medicare to all Americans as the path to universal guaranteed access to healthcare, including mental health services. By allowing access to Medicare for All, veterans will have local options when wait times to access VA facilities are too long. Access to medical services also means ensuring veterans can get to their appointments. I am proposing new funding vouchers for taxi, rideshare, and micro-transit services so vets with disabilities or without transportation options may still have reliable, convenient access to healthcare services.
Recognizing military training in the civilian jobs: I will work to expand recognition in civilian certifications and educational credits of the training and certifications that military personnel receive while serving. Doing so will avoid timely and costly re-training of skills our vets already know once they are out of the service.
Saying thank you for serving is not just about words. It is about the actions we take to honor the duty and sacrifice serving entails. It is time we did what is right by our veterans.