The University Star: Raising Your Voice: Civic Engagement More Important Than Ever
Welcome to campus, Bobcats, both 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 representing much of San Marcos, I am working to serve you and enjoy welcoming new Bobcats at convocation. From federal issues like healthcare and net neutrality to the urgent need to act on climate change, I welcome your advice and advocacy.
If there were ever a time for civic participation, it is now. Nothing less than our democracy is at stake. Visit https://www.votetexas.gov/ to register to vote.
Call or email your U.S. Representatives and Senators. You can reach my Austin office at 512-916-5921 or send me an email at Lloyd.Doggett@mail.house.gov. If you are interested in an internship in my Austin or Washington office, please email your cover letter, three professional references and resume to my District Director Erin Gurak at Erin.Gurak@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 a hefty 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, which stands in the way of the American Dream.
The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act Congress presents is an exciting opportunity to make college more affordable and the process of applying for financial aid less complicated. I am leading two efforts to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, and help students apply for the aid they need. I 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.
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—that would provide a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and TPS recipients. It is long past time to recognize Dreamers as the full-fledged Americans they certainly are.
PRESERVING OUR SECURITY AND OUR DEMOCRACY
Texas State is a campus that trains students well to question 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.”
We need service-minded leadership now more than ever. After the horrifying recent attack in El Paso, we mourn those so cruelly lost. But it cannot stop there. Each of us must continue to speak out against domestic terrorism, violence and acts of hate, as well as the corrosive and un-American rot of white nationalism.
We need weeks and weeks of action for gun safety, not just moments of silence. Mass gun violence is an epidemic, enabled by those steadfastly refusing to approve gun safety measures—including even the modest, House-approved universal background check bill Majority Leader McConnell refuses to take up in the Senate.
Change starts here, with you, by standing up for the safety and equality of all our neighbors. As you take on this school year, I hope you will dedicate time to create change. And I will be hard at work, ensuring your priorities are my priorities. I look forward to hearing from you on issues you care about.
Eat ’em Up, Cats!
-Lloyd Doggett represents Texas’ 35th Congressional District