Lizzie Fletcher was born and lives in Houston, Texas. An attorney who has not previously sought elected office, Fletcher has worked in international and business law. Fletcher has been recognized by her peers as one of the ‘Best Lawyers in America’ in U.S. News and World Report. She co-founded Planned Parenthood Young Leaders, and currently serves on the boards of directors for Writers in the Schools (WITS) and Open Dance Project.
Fletcher has argued that sitting Rep. John Culberson (R) was not representative of the city of Houston, saying "I have been talking to Houstonians from across the district, and they agree it is time to replace John Culberson in Congress with someone who represents the Houston we all know: a city that welcomes newcomers from around the world, that prides itself on scientific discovery, that serves as a hub for innovation, and that takes care of its neighbors."
Some policy priorities include making Houston's infrastructure more resilient, supporting local economic development and encouraging domestic job growth, addressing the rising costs of healthcare and prescription drugs, and protecting Social Security and Medicare. Fletcher has received endorsements from EMILY's List, former Rep. Chris Bell (D-TX), Roe v. Wade attorney Sarah Weddington (D), and Former Vice President Joe Biden (D).
In 2017, we saw the vision of a minority who want to return America to the Jim Crow era, where mobs and terror reigned, where discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and national origin was both practice and policy, and where the basic humanity of our fellow citizens was denied. We must not let this happen.
We must choose to reject hate, bigotry, and racism. We must work for equality, justice, and freedom for all Americans. We saw that, too, in 2017: clergy, students, and citizens standing up to racist mobs, rejecting their ideas, and denouncing hate. We must continue to do so.
And we must elect leaders who do it with us; who speak out forcefully against the hateful vision of America we have seen on display in Charlottesville and elsewhere.
There is no doubt that our history is complex; we are an imperfect people with an imperfect past. Examining our society, our history, our privileges, and our biases is not always an obvious or easy process. For some, the hate and bigotry on display in Charlottesville was a shock and a wake-up call. For others, it was a demonstration of something they have been saying for some time: racism, bigotry, and hatred remain powerful forces in American life.
We are called now to protect our fundamental American ideals—equality, liberty, justice, freedom, civil rights, and democracy—and to ensure that these ideals define our society. In Congress, I will work to protect the civil rights of every American.
Houston is a city of immigrants. It is at the core of our very identity, and an essential part of what makes it a great place to live.
There is no doubt that we need to fix our immigration system. It will not be easy to do. But instead of meaningfully addressing it, Congress has played politics for decades, using scare tactics to win elections instead of doing what’s best for our country.
We need comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. It should be thoughtful, practical, and fair. It should include strengthening our border security, cracking down on employers who break the law, and ensuring law enforcement, including immigration and customs enforcement, can do its job to keep our communities safe. It should not include building a wall between us and our state’s top trading partner.
In 2013, the Senate passed bipartisan bill to address this pressing issue—by a 2-to-1 margin—after negotiation and compromise. The failure of the House even to debate this bill or propose other meaningful solutions is a stark example of the gridlock and dysfunction that has failed us for years.
Congress must work together to address immigration issues. We must keep the promises we made to Dreamers and pass the DREAM Act. And we must act immediately to stop the devastating separation of families at the border. It is time to send people to Washington who will do so.
NATIONAL SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY
We are facing serious threats both abroad and at home, and nothing is more important than keeping our country safe.
The Trump administration has dismantled the U.S. State Department, alienated our allies, and abandoned the leadership role the United States has historically played. This destructive behavior is about more than how we look to others—it is about the safety of American citizens.
Taunting volatile nations does nothing but place our national security in jeopardy. Targeting people based on race or religious affiliation violates our Constitution and distracts from real threats to our safety.
Congress must act to fill the policy and diplomatic vacuum the administration has created. Qualified individuals, without regard to partisan interest or affiliation, must fill critical roles, and we must restore funding to under-resourced outposts at home and abroad.
We must work to repair our reputation and secure our alliances. And we must maintain our focus on stopping terrorist and other threats around the globe, including providing law enforcement the resources and training needed to prevent terrorism.
We must prioritize support for our men and women who serve us in our military. Our troops put their lives on the line every day, and they deserve a government that honors them and the sacrifices they make for us all. This includes taking all necessary steps to protect them abroad and making sure that they are supported at home. We must ensure their access to quality healthcare, educational opportunities, claim resolution, and housing.
Quality education is essential to our democracy. Good schools are the foundation for an informed community, better jobs, and a strong economy.
All children—no matter where they live—deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential. We must invest in public education and work to ensure its success. Teachers need to be able to teach. We need programs designed to close the achievement gap. We need to end the school-to-prison pipeline.
We need to make sure that all of our schools offer the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum that helps build the skills our students will need for the jobs of the future and also a curriculum that encourages them to think, to create, and to find their own voices.
For the college-bound population, we must address the rising costs of tuition. For those who have graduated, we must find relief from crushing student debt. For-profit colleges must be held accountable for the false promises they made. Community colleges should be expanded, and access to technical and vocational programs should be encouraged.
Failures in our education system will affect every aspect of our community, from the strength of our economy to the strength of our democracy itself. Educating all of our citizens should always be our priority.
Date & time
THE ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF GREATER HOUSTON
River Oaks Islamic Center
3110 Eastside Street, Houston, TX 77098