Editor’s be aware: This column was submitted to the Texan by a member of the UT neighborhood.
“What begins right here modifications the world.” It’s a phrase heard usually and one that can information your success as a Longhorn. Whether or not that is your first or ultimate yr, you might be endlessly part of UT’s historical past.
As a scholar at considered one of our nation’s prime public universities, I hope you employ this chance to develop your ability units and change into a extra actively engaged citizen.
As a lifelong Longhorn and Austinite, the professors and classmates I met on campus—together with my spouse, Libby—helped form my view of the world. Whereas serving as UT scholar president and advocating for extra scholar participation within the choices that impression our lives, I first developed a love of public service.
In Congress, I attempt to assist Texans afford larger training and overcome the load of crushing scholar debt. The Supreme Court docket’s wrongful determination to overturn as much as $20,000 in scholar debt reduction was a blow to hundreds of thousands of hardworking Individuals. However even when this one-time reduction had been enacted, long-term reform to our training system would nonetheless be needed.
For years, I’ve labored to simplify the FAFSA course of and just lately authored laws to develop Pell Grants on a tax-free foundation and enhance coordination with the American Alternative Tax Credit score to make sure college students don’t lose any of their advantages. Unlocking monetary help for college kids of all backgrounds is essential to relieving the stress of rising prices for tuition, know-how, housing and, for some, little one and elder care.
Nonetheless, Republican obstruction is making our work much more pressing.
On the state stage, Gov. Abbott and Texas Republicans frequently search to undermine our public training system. As a substitute of accelerating trainer pay and making faculty extra accessible, they’re banning books and prohibiting faculty range, fairness and inclusion. After a number of conferences with scholar leaders involved with interference at UT, I joined their opposition to anti-DEI payments degrading Texas schools and universities. This misguided laws additionally jeopardizes UT’s standing as a top-tier analysis establishment.
At each the state and federal ranges, this previous yr Republicans blocked any response to gun violence, interfered with ladies’s well being care and reproductive freedom, ignored the local weather disaster and tried to show again the clock on LGBTQ+ rights.
Like many Individuals after Roe v. Wade fell, I’m appalled by abortion bans in Texas and elsewhere in addition to the try and impose a nationwide abortion ban. I’m an unique cosponsor of the Girls’s Well being Safety Act, which might safeguard the federal proper to an abortion.
I consider in accountability for elected officers at each stage of presidency. Those that refuse to satisfy pressing wants ought to be changed. Make your voice heard by registering to vote in Austin via a number of scholar teams on campus or at votetexas.gov.
Democracy is fragile; our dedication to guard and improve it have to be robust and enduring.
Every semester, Longhorns intern in my Austin and Washington workplaces. Be taught extra on-line and assist me perceive your federal priorities at https://doggett.home.gov/survey. Comply with me @RepLloydDoggett on Twitter, Threads, Fb and Instagram.
U.S. Rep. Doggett serves within the Home of Representatives for a district that features UT and most of Austin. He graduated from the College of Texas at Austin McCombs College of Enterprise and the College of Legislation.