Below is a shortlist of issues that Chase West believes to be of immediate importance to positively impact our community and state.
I believe in the basic human right to affordable healthcare regardless of age, race, sex, religion, or socioeconomic status. Through equitable and efficient legislation, we can provide this basic need to all Texans. Furthermore, I would like to expand Autism and Special Needs Resources for parents of affected children. There are not near enough programs or resources available to ASD parents to provide treatment and therapy for their children with special needs. 1 in 68 Children are on the spectrum and we need to do everything in our power to support them and their families. Expanding Medicaid and these resources will help these children learn proper coping mechanisms, practices, and learn new skills as they continue to grow and actually have a chance to succeed as adults.(Read More)
As a father, education is a particularly important issue to me. With the implementation of certain measures including Cannabis legalization, we can continue to provide and expand upon our high standard of education while striving to lower taxes for homeowners and businesses.
I fully support the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. While gun violence is a major concern, I realize that people are the ones pulling the trigger and responsible gun owners should not have to pay the price for the actions of criminals and murderers. While policies that enforce restrictions on gun purchases help, I understand that criminals will get guns regardless of safeguards that may be put in place by governments. It is my belief that harsher penalties for gun violence will do more to limit gun violence in our state and will work to pursue such legislation while protecting our right to bear arms. Permitless Open-Carry laws however, are a recipe for disaster.
I am not a fan of Marijuana personally. However, I realize that the medical benefits of Cannabis far outweigh the dangers. I believe that Cannabis should be legalized for all Texans and be removed as a Schedule 1 drug. Cannabis use and possession should be governed in a similar fashion to alcohol and non-violent offenders for possession should be released from custody. As we've seen with Colorado and other states who have overturned Cannabis prohibition, we have a unique opportunity to fund healthcare, education, and social initiatives with the licensing and taxation of Cannabis products without any detrimental effect on our society.
Texas Justice System
As a strong supporter of police, I see issues in the justice system that need to be addressed. We need to enact fair and equitable measures to ensure that all people are given a fair trial, equal rights, and fair treatment within the judicial process. We should abolish the unfair practice of cash bonding and reassess the arrest and detainment of citizens for certain crimes. I believe that minorities and lower income individuals are disproportionately arrested and convicted without proper cause and/or competent representation. I think it is important that we also take a look at for profit prisons and work towards putting them under the jurisdiction of the state rather than corporations who are profiting off of longer sentences with taxpayer money. While many fellow Democrats are ready to strike police budgets, I propose a new tactic: RE-fund the police and hold them accountable. There are several police officers who perform their duties with honor and integrity. They should not be punished for performing life saving services for our communities. With “Re-Fund the Police” more funding would go into racial sensitivity training, bodycams, and new training focused on identifying the possibility and threat that comes with encounters involving citizens with mental illnesses. I would like to see a non-partisan council created to help analyze and determine possible consequences for officers who accidentally or intentionally harm citizens not in accordance with the program. Police are heroes and I respect the work they do, but too many mistakes are made due to a lack of proper training and resources.
I fully support term limits for state and federal elected positions. Career politicians hinder our ability for progress and become increasingly vulnerable to corruption, fraud, and corporate sponsorship. I support a 12 year term limit per elected position for all elected officials in Texas.
I am a strong ALLY. Humans are humans, regardless of gender, race, sexual preference, or socio-economic status. I think it is demeaning and dangerous to begin legislating to the state what they can or cannot do with their bodies. We must stop punishing Texans who may not live the same lifestyles as the average citizen. It is not OUR right and should be discussed and handled within the family unit. For our LGTBQIA constituents who do not have the support of their families, we should be offering medical and mental health support to assist them in tough times and through tough choices.
I've had the opportunity to speak with and get to know many homeless Texans. There are many different levels of homelessness, but one of the main causes that I hear when speaking with them is lack of access to mental healthcare which leads to substance abuse and eventually homelessness. Many of these individuals support building small communities with studio style housing and strict no drug/crime policies as a step towards finding employment and eventually their own home. One thing that we cannot do is keep putting up spikes and fences, making it nearly impossible to live as a homeless Texan. There are many organizations working hard to keep them fed and clean, but we've got to do more.
While I believe it is important for Texas to be self-reliant with our energy, I also believe that we have to have a reliable grid in order to achieve that. The first thing that we have to do is weatherize our energy grid to sustain extreme high and low temps. Climate Change is real and it will continue to affect us in extreme ways. Secondly, we have connections to three other National grids that can be switched on or off to share electricity with neighboring grids in case of emergency. This has only been done once during Hurricane Harvey. We cannot utilize this option until our grid is stable and reliable, though or else we run the risk of damaging neighboring electrical grids. (Read More)