The best way to solve a problem is to prevent it.
Clayton Tucker will be a strong voice for safety in the Texas Senate.
Safety isn't simple.
While it is tempting for many politicians to claim the path to safety is to be "tough on crime," in reality this does more to lead to the creation of future crime than it does to prevent it.
"Tough on crime" legislation and tactics create future instability by disproportionately harming people of color--especially young black men. Once labeled a felon (even if it's just for consuming marijuana at home, which is statistically safer than speeding on a highway), it becomes near impossible for people to find employment, housing, education, and more.
Forced to choose between starvation and working with organized crime, it is only natural for people to choose the option that doesn't lead to starvation. As such, we need to create pathways away from organized crime and towards becoming productive and accepted members of our society.
There is no silver bullet to create safety. There's a lot we must do:
Strengthen Safety Nets
Jobs & Economics
1. Strengthen Safety Nets
Everyone needs healthcare. The lack of adequate healthcare makes families and communities sicker. Clayton Tucker believes healthcare needs to be a human right.
The maternal mortality rate for the USA is 4-6 times higher as compared to other developed nations (26.4 vs 6.3 per 100,000). In Texas, maternal mortality is especially devastating for African American women, whose maternal mortality rate is 3 times the US average (67.3 vs 26.4 per 100,000). Clayton Tucker will fight to end this injustice by boosting pre- and postnatal care, access to quality clinics, and more.
A strong and equitable education is key to our long term success. This includes from Pre-K all the way to universities and technical schools.
School to Prison Pipeline
The school to prison pipeline is a remnant of Jim Crow (i.e. 1 in 4 African American students with disabilities are affected, in comparison to 1 in 11 white students). The pipeline does not stop violence, it creates it.
Clayton Tucker will fight to dismantle the school to prison pipeline by 1) expand Medicaid and other healthcare to all children, 2) boost school funding and work to decouple the quality of schools to their zip codes, 3) increase the recruitment of teachers of color, 4) require restorative justice and peer-to-peer mediation before punishment, and more.
Strong Civil Rights
Strong civil rights are also a part of our communal safety net. We must ensure all have strong civil rights.
2. Jobs & Economics
Everyone deserves a dignified job with a living wage. Good jobs should also not be monopolized in one central location (such as only in urban areas). As such, Clayton Tucker will do the following:
Boost infrastructure spending to create construction jobs. This includes roads, rails, dams, schools, etc.
Create a system of rural broadband to ensure tech jobs can also exist in rural areas.
Heavily invest in wind and solar energy, bringing manufacturing jobs to urban areas and maintenance and installation jobs to rural Texas.
Legalize recreational cannabis for adult use so that farmers can expand their operations, and so new local businesses can open (tax revenue from this would help fund further investments).
Drastically lower healthcare costs so that employers will have more funds to hire more people.
Drastically lower property taxes by closing corporate loopholes so that employers will have more funds to hire more people.
Drastically lower the cost of higher education, especially for Texas residents and those who agree to work in Texas following their graduation.
Clayton Tucker believes the state needs to help communities have affordable public transportation. This will ensure folks are able to reliably be a productive member of our communities.
Clayton Tucker believes the state needs to help communities to ensure neighborhoods street lights. Some communities in SD-24 do not have an adequate system of street lights and this is getting people hurt.
When housing isn't affordable, nothing is. Clayton Tucker will work with local governments to empower our collective efforts to provide affordable housing for all.
Diversity of Professionals
Children need to be able to see themselves in successful people. As such, Clayton Tucker will search for and support ways to increase the diversity of professionals. This will likely include: lowering the cost of education, create more career pathways, create systems of mentorships, etc.
Cost of Higher Education
The economy is changing. Texas children now need to compete with children from all around the world for jobs and opportunities. In many countries, public higher education (i.e. community colleges, technical schools, and universities) is effectively free.
For instance, the average student debt is between $30,000-40,000 for under-graduates. Clayton himself left college with nearly $29,000 in student debt. While living abroad, Clayton learned most other countries charge students an average of $800-$2,000. Clayton himself studied at a top university in Taiwan for a full year completely for free.
If future Texans are going to compete in the new global reality, they need the finest education without the burden of crushing student debt. Texas public higher education needs to compete with global costs while keeping (if not boosting) our standards of quality.
The extreme high cost of our education disproportionately harms children of color and those from poverty.
3. Structural Reform
dismantle Organized Crime, END CANNABIS PROHIBITION
The prohibition of alcohol created the mafia and other organized crime. The prohibition of alcohol didn't prevent crime, rather it created crime. The prohibition of cannabis is no different.
Clayton Tucker promises to support any smart bill that promotes medical marijuana, decriminalization, and/or exonerations for past non-violent marijuana-related convictions.
Texas Fair Justice Act
Clayton Tucker plans to support the Texas Fair Justice Act as proposed by the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats.
The Act includes:
Statewide legalization of cannabis
Set up community re-entry programs
Fair bail reform
Protecting against officer abuses of discretion
Set up and mandate practices for restorative justice
Diversion programs and other prison alternatives
Ban the box
Clayton does not tolerate sex or human trafficking of any sort. Clayton will work to help the victims and go after the perpetrators.
Clayton does not tolerate violent crimes. Clayton will work to help the victims and go after the perpetrators.
Clayton Tucker does not support the death penalty.
Having grown up around guns in the Texas countryside, Clayton Tucker recognizes how culturally important guns are to many Texans. Clayton does not wish, however, to use this cultural importance as a reason not to boost gun safety.
Here is Clayton's convictions:
We need to improve our universal background checks.
We need to close the gun show loophole to prevent criminals from getting guns.
Data shows that the best predictor of future gun violence is past violence. As such, Clayton does not believe domestic abusers should have guns.
Clayton will seek to close the boyfriend loophole.
Clayton will seek a public education campaign (similar to the education campaigns about drunk driving) about gun safes for gun owners.
Clayton does support voluntary buybacks.
Clayton believes weapons of war belong only on the battlefield or at certified gun ranges. Our streets and schools are not battlefields.
Clayton will put the collective desires of his constituents above any lobby or PAC.
Clayton knows that people with chronic pain and/or mental health diagnoses are not statistically more prone to violent behavior, and should not be under greater scrutiny for seeking treatment. In fact, they are more likely to be victims of violence, and access to treatment is essential. As such, Clayton does not want law abiding Texans with Medical Marijuana licenses to be automatically barred from buying firearms.