I'm Danielle Pellett, born and raised right here in Texas; born in Brownsville to David and Maria del Rosario, graduated from UNT with degrees in Sociology and Forensic Chemistry, and like many of you, I once scratched my head and thought long and hard about what it meant to be Republican. That’s right, I was a Libertarian-leaning Republican back in 2000.
That all changed in 2002 when I thought about my values, challenged what I believed in, and had to consider what the future of our country would look like if my party kept going the way it did.
The tragedy of Matthew Shepard made me parrot the live-and-let-live sentiment that many people had in the wake of that horrific murder.
Common Sense fiscal conservatism told me not to spend more than I took in.
My small government beliefs told me that maybe government regulation wasn't always the right answer.
When the tragedy of 9-11 happened, I was swept up in the hyper patriotism of the moment. I had always wanted to serve in the military, and knew that going to war was a tough decision that needed to be fully thought out. Hearing the dispute over the WMD intel, I needed to gather all the facts so as to make an informed decision.
I challenged myself to not stay glued onto the news source that stated that they were the only truth out there and everything else was a ‘massive liberal conspiracy’.
In doing that, I found a voice that wasn’t ‘politically correct’. Who wasn’t a sellout. He sounded a little crazy, but less crazy than what was happening in America.
We were firing Arabic translators as we were invading Afghanistan and Iraq because they were gay.
We passed the Bush Tax Cuts while starting two wars that weren’t on the budget, and just kept asking for ‘emergency war funding’, like we didn’t know it would keep costing us money.
Then the Enron scandal begin to unravel, and I realized that maybe we needed a check and balance system against businesses and banking institutions to protect we the people.
That crazy man I heard was Bernie Sanders on Air America Radio. I studied the history of the Great Depression and understood how Glass-Steagall worked as a firewall between the different types of banking institutions until it was repealed under Bill Clinton.
Even now, we have Sam Brownback attempting similar extreme tax cuts in Kansas and hoping it will fix their economy. But tax cuts don't fill potholes.
We are spending money on drug tests for welfare. The results have shown that poor people can't afford drugs and that drug testing itself is more expensive than the welfare check is. It’s fiscally irresponsible.
So I ask you to please question everything that you have been taught, and to not fall victim to fear-mongering once again. Question if President Obama was a constitution shredding tyrant, or completely lazy and ineffective at grabbing all your guns and putting you in a FEMA camp. (Because, he actually did expand gun rights into National Parks, and Congress failed to remove the loopholes on background checks, something 92% of America supports.)
So maybe we do need to enforce existing regulations so there isn’t another deadly explosion like in West, Texas. And in Texas City. And the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig. Instead, our Governor said you can just drive around and ask companies what chemicals they have there.
Maybe we need to live by the idea of Live and Let Live rather than scapegoating someone who does not look like a stereotypical girl to present her papers to some sort of potty police.
We need to bring Common sense back to government. We need people in Congress who reflect the voters, like teachers and grocery store cashiers. People who actually have to work for a living.
I have massive amounts of student debt because interest rates jumped from 1.9% to 6.8% on me, and I couldn't just work two jobs and get my degree in Forensic Chemistry.
Unlike our members of Congress, I'm not a millionaire; I'm just like you.
I'm also not a quitter.
Donald Trump is now our 45th President, and he promised that he'll bring jobs back to America. The problem is this: he didn’t even make his 'Make America Great Again' hats in the USA. Do you know where he had them made? China.
I won't be a hypocrite like that. I'll give the honest truth, even if you don't like it.
I support raising the minimum wage so that the Middle and Working Class can work hard to make ends meet without a second job or having to depend on food stamps. Pete Sessions, however, doesn't care; he voted against raising the minimum wage, against unions, against getting clean water to Flynt, and willing to shut down the government time and time again.
This isn't how government is supposed to work; this is why I'm running against him in 2018.
I am running to support we the people. I am running as a former libertarian-leaning Republican. I am running as a freedom Democrat.
Midterms are Coming.