Our 2016 Texas 101 Day is fast approaching. Over the next few weeks, between now and our September 10th event, I’ll be updating you on the issues we’ll be focusing on.
First up: healthcare, or as we’ll be calling it going forward, healthy communities.
When I wrote you about this issue in 2014, the Health Insurance Marketplace had been up and running for a few months and more than 700,000 Texans had enrolled in coverage plans. Today, that number has soared to 1.2 million.
This is great news, but more must be done.
Texas 101 Day, 2016, Details: Saturday, September 10, 2016, 9:30 am – 2:00 pm, Tarrant County College Southeast Campus — Ballroom, 2100 Southeast Parkway, Arlington.
Two years ago, more than 100 of our neighbors came together for our first Texas 101 Day, a half-day discussion of critical issues affecting the families of Arlington and Grand Prairie. That event was a tremendous success and the discussion and collaboration that began that day helped lay the groundwork for meaningful action on key local issues.
Soon after Texas 101 Day, we formed constituent task force groups focusing on transportation, payday lending, economic opportunity and healthy communities. These groups have played a critical role in advancing the discussion on these and other issues.
Although progress has been made, there’s still much to do. I’m looking forward to taking stock of what’s been done in the last two years and more importantly, chart where we need to go next at our 2016 Texas 101 Day.
I hope you will join us for an interactive and collaborative event to discuss common interests with neighbors, brainstorm possible solutions and find new ways to create change and move our community forward.
It’s been a really tough few weeks. From Orlando to Dallas to Baton Rouge, our nation has seen more tragedy in rapid succession than in any time I can recall. For those of us in North Texas, the loss is especially profound – not since 9/11 have so many American police officers been killed in the line of duty.
As a community, we will continue to grieve for our collective loss. For the families who have lost a husband, son, brother or father, their pain is incomprehensible. For the police officers who lost partners and friends, I have to imagine the pain they feel is only magnified by the continued daily pressures and dangers of the job.
So for the rest of us, after the memorials and vigils have passed, as social media and the 24/7 news cycle inevitably directs our attention elsewhere, how do we hold on to the grief and horror we’ve shared lately and translate it into something tangible that maybe helps avert future tragedies?
What an empty feeling to start a day. What happened in Dallas, the city I grew up in, is still unfathomable to me.
I can’t imagine the grief of the families of the five officers who gave their lives in the line of duty…and the anguish of those families whose loved ones are in the hospital. Let’s all pray that those officers are able to return home to their loved ones. It’s a tragedy of incomprehensible magnitude. Let’s all pray for Dallas.
The Republican Party is out of control. Every day, Donald Trump is on TV spewing hateful insults and demonstrating he has neither the wisdom or the temperament to be President.
Here in Texas, it’s not any better. One statewide Republican official is under indictment and another is under criminal investigation. And several are implicated in a scheme to pay hush money to employees who no longer work for the state.
We can thank the Tea Party for Trump and our government in Texas. Now, a Tea Party Republican is running against me in the November election – I need your help to make sure he does not win.
AUSTIN — In reaction to today’s United States Supreme Court decision overturning Texas’ abortion law (HB2), State Representative Chris Turner (HD101 – Grand Prairie) released the following statement:
“Today marks a landmark victory for Texas women and a strong rebuke of Texas Republican leaders and their misplaced priorities. The United States Supreme Court has sent a powerful message to lawmakers across our nation that they may not pass restrictive, unconstitutional barriers to reproductive healthcare. The rejection of this ill-conceived law will help ensure that Texas women once again have access to safe, legal reproductive health care. Now that this case is decided, the Legislature should stop trying to find new ways to deny health care to Texans and instead start creating pathways to expanded health care access.”
Today we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom and ensure that our nation remains the greatest in the world.
Although we will never be able to repay the tremendous debt our nation owes these heroes, we can honor their sacrifice by serving our communities, making a difference in the lives of others and by shaping the future for our state and our nation.
Take a moment today and every day to remember those who through their selfless acts of courage gave what President Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion.”
A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.
Texas Constitution, Article 7, Sec. 1
In a ruling last Friday, the Texas Supreme Court apparently overlooked that part of our state’s constitution when it declared our broken, underfunded and inequitable school finance system to be…“constitutional.”
Needless to say, this ruling stunned a lot of people, myself included.
I say it often — the most important part of a state representative’s job is being responsive to the needs of constituents.
This can mean helping constituents navigate what can be a complex and confusing system of state services, by answering questions regarding state law, or providing information by hosting events like our Town Hall earlier this month or the utilities forum we’re hosting in May.
I want to take a moment to highlight one example of why these constituent services are so important.
I am sure by now you have heard the name Leiliana Wright. Last month, the Grand Prairie four-year old was tied up, choked and beaten to death. In the months preceding her death, attempts had been made to involve Child Protective Services (CPS) in what had become a very dangerous situation for this young child. Sadly, due in part to inaction by the state agency charged with protecting Texas children from abuse and neglect, her innocent life was cut short.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t an isolated case of a child tragically “falling through the cracks.”
“What weighs on me the most as a pediatrician is that adults with mental illness say their symptoms began in childhood and we missed most of them when they presented in front of us…More children in Texas suffer from mental illness than we would otherwise expect, which really speaks to the unfortunately hidden nature of these conditions.”
Anu Partab, MD, Pediatrician
Testimony, House Select Committee on Mental Health, March 22, 2016
Half of all chronic mental illness begins by age 14 and seventy-five percent by age 24.
Please take a moment and let that sink in. It is a startling statistic and one that should not be ignored.
Last week, I was in Austin for the House Select Committee on Mental Health hearing, where the focus was child and adolescent mental health. We spent several hours hearing from health care providers, educators and others on the frontline of this critical issue. It quickly became clear that while many in our state are doing great work and finding innovative ways to address this issue, there is much more that needs to be done.
I am still processing much of what was said, but my initial takeaway is this: it is critical that we improve access to care, increase early intervention and find innovative ways to address an overwhelming need. Ultimately, the more resources we bring to bear to address children’s mental health care — time, money and people — the more likely we will achieve better educational outcomes, lower rates of incarceration and keep more of our neighbors off the streets.
Please join Representative Chris Turner to share your views and discuss the critical issues impacting Arlington, Grand Prairie and the State of Texas.
If you would like more information, please call 817-459-2800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!
You can download a PDF copy of this invitation here.