Cassandra Garcia Hernandez – Texas House District 70
Tell us a little bit about your yourself and your background.
My story is rooted right here in Texas and fueled by the belief that we must demand the best for our families. As a trial and immigration attorney, I’ve helped families fulfill their American Dream and become first-time voters. As an advocate, I’ve spent years volunteering for domestic violence shelters and transitional programs for homeless veterans. As an Ethics Commissioner for the City of Dallas, I fought to hold elected officials accountable for making responsible decisions on behalf of voters. And as a concerned citizen, I provided pro-bono legal work to prevent families from being evicted from their homes during the pandemic.
Why are you running for Office?
After a lifetime of seeking to learn more and advocating for others, I’m ready to step up and have my voice, along with the diverse voices of Collin County, be heard in the people’s Capitol. Electing good people who remember our Texas promise and potential is the only way to get Austin back to serving us first again.
What are the 3 biggest issues facing your community?
Texans deserve to see a doctor without breaking the bank. Texas women shouldn’t be deciding between jail or death because our government has criminalized pregnancy and the state’s latest abortion ban and bounty law are about hunting women for political gain. Teachers and superintendents are quitting at historical rates.
How do you propose to solve those problems?
1. I am the candidate who campaigns for the only bipartisan bill to expand Medicaid in the history of our state. That’s why I am endorsed by Live Well’s author, Democratic State Rep. Julie Johnson. I’ll champion this bill to voters through November so it can be signed into law.
2. I won’t yield on women’s constitutional right to choose – or the right to cast a ballot. Period.
3. I want to make Texas the #1 place to teach. Workers in HD70 deserve a shot at the best-paying jobs. I’ll demand investment in trade programs, upskilling, and vote for an education budget that makes companies consider our workers instead of relocating them from other states.
What is your stance on environmental and climate concerns that are facing your community?
As a volunteer with organizations like Stew Pot, Attitudes & Attire or in casual conversation with unhoused people, I can tell you that many are pulled into a vicious cycle due to their criminal history for petty, non-violent offenses. These records and time spent in custody impact the ability to be employed and escape homelessness. We need more rehabilitation programs and expungement programs to help people who are often suffering from mental illness and substance abuse issues. Even Governor Abbott himself recently acknowledged that small drug possession charges for marijuana should not be a priority for Texas law enforcement and prisons. In the legislature, I will remind our governor how low-level cannabis arrests are still Class B misdemeanors that hurt families and burden our local authorities. A Democratic voice in House District 70 will be one more point of pressure against the staunch minority that keep leadership out of touch with Texans today.
What common sense gun safety measures would have the most impact on your community?
When you think about the number of people in your life affected by gun violence, firearm accidents, or gun death it can be overwhelming. There is no corner of our state that remains untouched. I would champion policies that demand safe gun storage, suicide prevention, permits for loaded handguns, and a statewide database of domestic violence and stalking offenders. Public safety is a substantial portion of our state and local budget. We should recruit the best, brightest and most ethical to serve in Texas with livable wages and strong benefits. As the representative for HD 70, I would propose budgets for programs that provide trauma-informed policing and social work intervention for officers and communities. I would also support our state’s police in advocating against permitless carry and campus open carry laws.
How would criminal justice reforms impact your community?
Over the last decade renewable energy has become the state’s second-leading source of electrical power, after natural gas, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Rural Republicans know what these sources of energy have done for their regions and we can’t continue to scare away capital investments. Other countries sometimes choose natural gas suppliers besides Texas because our infrastructure is considered sloppy compared to pipelines in Russia and other countries. Flaring and venting on site, which causes dangerous methane leaks, is an indicator that we aren’t attentive to supply or cleanliness by potential customers. We need to clean up our act to compete for business and to keep air and water cleaner for our communities and those around the globe.
How would you work to protect a woman’s reproductive health?
Texas women shouldn’t be deciding between jail or death. Our government has criminalized pregnancy and the state’s latest abortion ban and bounty law are about hunting women for political gain. I won’t yield on women’s constitutional right to choose. I am rated 100% by Planned Parenthood and have a longstanding relationship with the organization. My mother and I are generational users of Planned Parenthood services. I will be a vocal champion for women.
What measures would you advocate for to ensure that your constituents have the right to vote?
I have long-standing relationships with groups like March to the Polls that work hard to make sure we hold onto the right to register to vote and vote by mail. As an Ethics Commissioner for the City of Dallas, it was my job to hold elected officials accountable for making responsible decisions on behalf of voters. I won’t yield on the right to cast a ballot and I will demand integrity from my colleagues. The mail ballot debacle must be resolved immediately. This intentional voter confusion is akin to our state’s past disenfranchisement of women for not changing their driver’s license to reflect their husband’s names. It’s nonsensical and discriminatory. Furthermore, rules to prevent voter intimidation need to be put in place limiting what poll watchers are allowed to do at poll locations.
“Posts by or about political candidates do not imply endorsement. All posts are created by answers from our Meet the Candidates survey.”
DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.