The Paisano: Hitting the Road Running: Starting the School Year Strong
Welcome, Roadrunners new and returning! Whether you are learning your way around campus or embracing your last year, we need thoughtful leaders like you. I implore you to get involved. As a member of Congress that represents San Antonio and the downtown UTSA campus, I want to hear from you. From issues like net neutrality to climate action, I welcome your advice and advocacy.
If there were ever a time for Roadrunners to unite in seeking increased participation, it is now. Our democracy is at stake. We must act together to restore some genuine checks and balances. Make sure you are registered to vote! Visit https://www.bexar.org/elections to get registered.
Call or email your U.S. Representatives or Senators. You can reach my San Antonio office at (210) 704-1080 or send me an email at Lloyd.Doggett@mail.house.gov. If you are interested in an internship in my San Antonio or Washington office, please email your cover letter, three professional references and resume to my San Antonio District Director and UTSA alumna MaryEllen.Veliz@mail.house.gov. For updates on our daily efforts, follow @RepLloydDoggett on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
MAKING EDUCATION AFFORDABLE
Too many students and graduates are burdened with too much debt. We must address the student debt crisis in order to promote a strong economy, open up opportunities and ensure security. Funding gaps in our education system often perpetuate inequality—inequality standing in the way of the American Dream.
Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act this Congress presents an exciting opportunity to make college more affordable and to make the process of applying for financial aid less complicated. I am leading two efforts that simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and help students apply for the aid they need. I also authored provisions in the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC), allowing a tax cut of up to $10,000 on education expenses such as tuition, textbooks and fees.
UTSA has one of the largest populations of DACA students in Texas. Among the strong community of Roadrunner Dreamers is 2018 graduate Andrea Ramos Fernandez, who recently served as an intern in my office and has gone on to begin a strong career in public policy.
There is no excuse for President Trump and Senate Republicans trying to end Dreamers’ protections and stonewalling our attempts to pass a pathway to citizenship. Our Democratic House of Representatives has passed H.R. 6, the Dream and Promise Act, which I sponsored, and which would provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and TPS recipients. It is long past time to recognize Dreamers as the full-fledged Americans that they certainly are.
PRESERVING OUR SECURITY AND OUR DEMOCRACY
UTSA cultivates civil discourse—where we can learn to interrogate our beliefs, better understand our neighbors and cultivate an interest in lifelong public service. As Winston Churchill said, “Public service is the difference between a life and a livelihood.”
This dark period for our nation means we need that service-minded leadership more than ever. After the horrifying recent attack in El Paso, we mourn those so cruelly lost; we also honor and serve them with action. Each of us must continue to speak out against domestic terrorism and violence, as well as the corrosive and un-American rot of white nationalism. Standing up for the safety and equality of all our neighbors begins with our words and actions right here in our community.
As you settle into your classrooms this school year, I too will be at my desk, hard at work, ensuring your priorities are my priorities. Especially in these difficult times, I welcome your good counsel. Go ‘Runners!