Issues

  The Commissioner’s Court has enormous influence over policies that affect the lives of Tarrant County residents, especially in the areas of criminal justice, elections and public health. Kathy Braatz has a unique perspective and will bring problem-solving experience and a fresh voice to the Court.

 

 

Public Health

 Our county hospital, John Peter Smith, has some of the best doctors in the county, it is the only level 1 trauma center and only psychiatric emergency services site in Tarrant County. 

 

  • Pandemic Planning and Execution - We need to look at the gaps in the pandemic planning and determine what additional actions need to be put in place- how do we ramp up testing and make it available to all who need it, especially healthcare and other essential workers?

  • Improving Accessibility - Our goal should be to make health care accessible to those who need it, when they need it. We need to work on removing the main barriers to accessibility. 

  • Addressing Infant and Maternal Mortality - Tarrant County had a higher IMR than the state average in 2015. Access to health care is key in providing adequate prenatal care, yet Tarrant County has higher proportions of uninsured women of reproductive age and children. 

  • More Targeted Funding - We need to invest in our community’s health by supporting health education for families, offering assistance in navigating the system, implementing programs to  improve collaboration among providers, and supporting strategies to produce better continuity of care and a more holistic focus on health. 

Elections

  Making it easier for eligible voters to participate in elections should be a top priority of the Court.

 

  • Expand Vote by Mail- We need to ensure that we expand the vote by mail program so that voters don't have to choose between their health and their right to vote. Voting should be made easier, not more difficult. Our democracy works best when we all use our voices by voting. The Commissioner's Court needs to invest in machines that will digitally perform VBM signature verification so that we can handle the increased volume.

  • Fair Redistricting - The voting precinct boundaries will be redrawn in 2021 and it is so important to have fair and impartial precincts. As we have seen across Texas, unfairly drawing boundaries to benefit the political party in power is a widespread problem intended to dilute the votes of people of color.

  • Funding Campus Poll Locations - College campuses like TCU and UTA accounted for more than 11,000 votes cast in Tarrant County during the 2018 election. We need to ensure that the elections office has the funding to maintain polling locations where they are needed in the general election.

Criminal Justice

  The Commissioner’s Court plays an active role in directing policies that have a big impact on people who come into contact with the criminal justice system and their families.

 

  • Implement Bail Reform  - Reliance on bail has created a “debtor’s prison,” placing an unfair burden on low-income people and driving up costs for the county. People languish unnecessarily while awaiting hearings. They can lose their jobs and maybe even their children because they don't have the means to post bail. 

  • Reject 287(g) - Immigration falls under the federal umbrella- the Sheriff’s office needs to have the trust of county residents to prevent and solve crimes. This policy discourages people from coming forward to report crimes or share information.

  • Combat Elder Fraud - Elder fraud is vastly underreported and seniors are being scammed out of billions of dollars every year. Tarrant County has an Elder Financial Fraud Unit but more needs to be done to educate seniors about red flags and common schemes. 

 

Sustainability

 

The county should lead the way when it comes to sustainable building and operating practices by focusing on policies that are sustainable and fiscally responsible. 
 

  • Sustainable Construction - All new county buildings should follow Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)- a green building rating system that provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. 

  • Sustainable Operations - Existing county facilities should:​​

    • Use renewable energy

    • Use compostable products in place of Styrofoam and single-use plastic

    • Be water efficient

    • Use LED bulbs

    • Recycle

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