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Congressman Greg Casar represents Texas’s 35th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, which runs down I-35 from East Austin to Hays County to the West Side of San Antonio.
A labor organizer and son of Mexican immigrants, Congressman Casar to be sworn into office in January 2023 and serves as the Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He will fight to raise wages for millions of American workers, expand immigrant rights, restore abortion rights and voting rights, protect veterans and seniors, and tackle the climate crisis.
Prior to being elected to Congress, he served on the Austin City Council for seven years. There, he championed and passed progressive policies including protections for renters from corporate abuse, ensuring folks with a criminal background have a fair chance at employment, and bold affordable housing programs.
Congressman Casar was also the lead author of progressive labor policies in a so-called “right-to-work” state, helping pass paid sick leave ordinances in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio. In the U.S. House, Congressman Casar has pledged to ensure our government agencies work for working people.
Protect Our Democracy
Our democracy is under attack, especially here in Texas. Whether those in power are rigging the game through gerrymandering, suppressing our voting rights, falsely claiming voter fraud, or allowing corporate money to overpower candidates, we must pass federal legislation to build a truly inclusive and fair democracy in Texas.
Greg has worked to successfully double the number of voters in his district from 2014 to 2020. He pushed for more voting locations in underserved areas and successfully worked to change the law to allow more voters to participate in local elections, like the race for Mayor. He supported changes in the city charter to create independent citizen redistricting commissions that successfully keep politicians away from drawing their own districts.
In Congress, Greg will ensure our democracy is protected at every level of government. He supports federal legislation like the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act, along with automatic voter registration. Greg does not accept any donations from corporate PACs and will work to overturn Citizens United through federal action.
Texas is ground zero for the Republican attack on reproductive rights. When the State Legislature tried to close Planned Parenthood in East Austin, Greg led the effort that successfully kept it open.
Greg also passed budget amendments to help Texans access abortion care with funding for travel, childcare, and more, delivering support to hundreds of people targeted by state officials.
Greg is dedicated to increasing access to reproductive health care, repealing the Hyde Amendment, and codifying Roe v. Wade through the Women’s Health Act.
Criminal Justice Reform
Greg has led Texas in criminal justice reform. He ended all arrests and citations for personal marijuana use in Austin and helped support policies that reduced these arrests in San Antonio and San Marcos. He will fight to pass the MORE Act that will legalize marijuana, expunge past records, and ensure that new funds go to mental health and substance use services.
Greg successfully pushed the Austin Police Department to clear their decades-long rape kit backlog, so that survivors could seek justice and offenders could be held accountable. He successfully established the nation’s first mental health services available directly at 911, established an Office of Police Oversight and reformed use-of-force policies, and greatly expanded family violence shelters and gun violence reduction programs to protect public safety.
In Congress, Greg will work to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the BREATHE Act, and more to reduce our prison population and invest federal resources in our neighborhoods instead of locking people up.
Casar also passed Texas’ first Fair Chance Hiring policy, which is an anti-discrimination policy that requires big employers to give people who have been previously incarcerated a fair chance at a job interview rather than continuing to leave people who have served their time unemployed. Casar hopes to make this federal law under the Workforce Justice Act.
Greg comes from an immigrant family and began his career as a labor and immigrants’ rights organizer. When Trump initiated family separation raids in Texas, Greg established an immigrant legal defense fund, setting a model that was followed by San Antonio and Houston. Greg went on to coordinate the statewide lawsuit against SB4—Gov. Abbott’s discriminatory “Show Me Your Papers” law.
We must reverse all of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and create a path to citizenship for immigrant families. Greg will fight to pass bills like the American Dream and Promise Act, the American Families United Act, and the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act. All working people deserve to live dignified lives free from fear of being separated from their families. Thousands of families in Texas’s 35th district, and millions of people in Texas, would benefit from having their rights fully recognized and protected by the federal government.
Preventing Gun Violence
Greg is committed to ending the epidemic of gun violence in our country.
As a Council Member, Greg supported the creation of the Gun Violence Task Force, successfully expanded and funded gun violence reduction programs, and created a new Office of Violence Prevention.
To prevent future gun violence, Greg supports funding common sense gun violence intervention programs, passing universal background checks, ending permitless carry, creating safe storage rules, and banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines. He also supports Ethan’s Law, reinstating the Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act, and repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).
Greg is dedicated to equal rights for all. He led the winning effort to establish a Civil Rights Office in Austin to ensure protections for women, LGBTQIA+ Texans, and all people regardless of race, religion, or disability. Greg supports the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to stop gender discrimination and the Equality Act to codify LGBTQ rights. These essential protections should not be left up to the courts.
Greg supports passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, the End Racial Profiling Act, the PrEP Access Act, and the Resolution Urging the Establishment of a United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation, establishing a Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans.
Good Paying Union Jobs
Working Texans deserve a champion in Congress who will fight for a $15 minimum wage with benefits, a strong labor movement, and a jobs guarantee.
Greg has successfully fought for workers as an organizer and Council Member by raising the minimum wage for City employees and contracts to $15 an hour, stood alongside unions in their fights inside and outside City Hall, and authored the paid sick leave ordinances that passed in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio.
In Congress, Greg will fight for legislation like the PRO Act, a national paid sick days law, a universal paid family and parental leave policy, the Raise the Wage Act, Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, and other bills that support union power.
Medicare for All and Ending the COVID-19 Pandemic
Health care is a human right and we must ensure every working family has access to the doctors and prescriptions they need to stay healthy—and there is no better solution than passing Medicare For All. TX-35 is a working-class district that struggles with housing costs and the rising cost of living. Greg has worked with health providers, the City, and advocates to increase funding and resources for public health services.
Greg has worked with community organizations and leaders to serve the communities most difficult to reach in the COVID pandemic to save lives. He authored the homeowner and renter protections that kept thousands of people from losing their homes during the pandemic. Greg ensured that public COVID testing and vaccine sites were located in communities of color where the pandemic hit the hardest.
We need federal action to ensure our working families, schools, and communities can protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19.
Investing in working-class people and communities of color
Texans work hard every day to provide for their families. But in some of our wealthiest cities, many families continue to struggle to pay for child care, food, and rent while corporations and the ultra wealthy continue to pay too little in taxes. Our working families deserve better.
Greg successfully closed tax loopholes for the ultra wealthy to reduce the tax rate for everyday families and invest in publicly funded child care. He blocked foreclosures and evictions and provided millions in rent and mortgage relief. This aid primarily served Latino and Black families, especially single moms and their children. Greg worked with community members to ensure City property in a historically Black neighborhood would become parks, businesses, and affordable housing so that people being pushed out can stay or return.
We must fairly tax top earners and ensure corporations pay their fair share so that we can create more affordable housing and economic opportunity for working families.
Education for our Communities and our Future
Every Texas family deserves high-quality education and schools to ensure our children are prepared for the future. We must protect and invest in our public schools, support teachers with the resources they need, and ensure that every single student is able to learn in a safe environment.
When cuts to state budgets almost caused the closure of afterschool programs in East Austin, Greg championed successful legislation to keep those afterschool programs open. When school administrators considered closing a middle school serving mostly working-class families in order to move funding toward more affluent areas, Greg stood with parents to block the closure and successfully keep the school open.
In Congress, Greg will support canceling student debt, free community college and public universities, universal pre-k and universal childcare, good pay for our teachers, and investing in our schools to guarantee an excellent education for all our children.
Supporting our Veterans and Seniors
Veterans have served our nation and deserve our full dedication and support in return. Greg will support increases in VA services and support for veteran-owned businesses. As a Council Member, Greg was one of the sponsors of legislation to create a new City veterans’ affairs office, and he will make sure our veterans get the physical health care, mental health care, and financial support they need.
Millions of seniors rely on Social Security and Medicare after they retire from the workforce. We must protect Social Security and increase Social Security benefits, ensure that our seniors can retire no later than age 65, and provide for folks to stay in their homes and put food on the table. Greg believes in protecting pensions, supporting those with disabilities at every stage of life, and guaranteeing a dignified retirement for seniors.
Affordable Housing is a Human Right
Everyone deserves a safe, affordable, sustainable home. As housing costs skyrocket and wages fail to keep up, working families struggle to pay the rent or the mortgage. Greg Casar has led Texas in bold, innovative, and compassionate solutions to address our housing crisis.
Greg led and passed the largest affordable housing election in the South. He has passed innovative rules to create homes for thousands of working class Austin families and has opposed exclusionary zoning. He led Texas on establishing housing protections for homeowners and renters during the COVID pandemic and ensured families could have much more affordable electric and water service.
Greg closed inexcusable tax loopholes for the wealthiest to reduce the tax rate paid by everyday families. He has always fought alongside renters against abusive corporate landlords. He has opposed bad developments that would displace hundreds of people in black and brown neighborhoods, and he has implemented programs that provide families a right to stay in their homes and in their community.
In Congress, Greg will fight to expand funding for the creation and preservation of affordable and sustainable housing, end the Faircloth Limit and expand public housing, expand renters rights and stop predatory mortgage lending, end discriminatory housing practices, and fight gentrification and displacement.
Corporations should pay their fair share
Greg Casar has fought against tax breaks for Amazon, big pharmaceutical companies, and other major corporations.
Greg has made sure some of the largest companies in Texas have to pay their fair share in electric rates, in order to lower bills for working class families.
In Congress, Greg Casar will keep delivering for us. He’ll make sure corporations pay their fair share so that we can fund health care, child care, schools, and good jobs for Texans.
Fix the Texas Electric Grid
We must fix the Texas electric grid to ensure Texans aren’t left in the cold without power or water ever again. During the Texas Winter Storm, we saw firsthand how working-class neighborhoods were left to fend for themselves for days or weeks. Some of our neighbors even died from the cold, or from carbon monoxide poisoning as they tried to stay warm because of our state’s neglect.
While Gov. Abbott was blaming wind turbines and Sen. Ted Cruz fled to Cancun, Greg was out delivering blankets and water in the freezing cold. In Austin, we weatherized our plants so that they were running in the Texas Winter Storm and helped keep the state’s power grid from total collapse. Greg helped lead the purchase of some of the largest solar installations in the entire state and moved our electric utility away from fossil fuel and toward renewable energy.
Greg will lead on policies to strengthen federal oversight over our power grid and natural gas reliability. He will fight to expand transmission access into and out of ERCOT, so that we are not isolated without power in a future storm. He will push for permanent incentives for the quickest growing resources in Texas (solar, storage, wind), so that we can expand clean, reliable, green energy for when we need it most. Greg will fight against price gouging during energy crises, so that working families are not left footing unreasonable bills. We can win all of this, and hold corporations profiting off of the outages accountable.
Green New Deal
Our planet is burning, flooding, and freezing all at the same time. Fighting the climate crisis must be a top priority for every country in the world. We can create good paying-union jobs while we become the global leader in renewable energy.
Greg helped pass workers’ rights protections and anti-displacement funds as part of Austin’s historic transit election in 2020, so that while we electrify our transportation, we also create thousands of good jobs and affordable housing. Greg successfully led the passage of the largest affordable housing investment in the South—we need much more funding to build sustainable, affordable homes to address our housing crisis.
The federal government is best positioned to make the kinds of large investments we need. A Green New Deal is our path to addressing the climate crisis, affordable housing, public transit, and good-paying jobs.