What is #10Questions

#10Questions is a Twitter interview between one of our candidates and our founder, Holly Figueroa O'Reilly. Follow along with us on our BWCS Twitter.

#10Questions begins 🔥NOW with #BlueWave2018🌊candidate for #TX25, @JulieForTX25.

Welcome, Julie! We’re so happy to have you! How are you this evening? Ready to answer #10Questions?

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"Hey there! Happy to be here - thanks for having me. I'm ready. :)"

😀Great! Let’s begin with the first question we ask everyone: Q1: What inspired you to run for office? #TX25 #BWCS #COTD

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"I took care of my mom, a retired public school teacher, for 15 years as she struggled with a chronic illness that eventually took her life. So when Congress came after healthcare for sick children, the elderly, low-income folks and people with disabilities, that's what did it."

Speaking of healthcare! Q2: You grew up poor and had to rely on Medicaid as a child. You’re now a lawyer and have worked in healthcare finance for 15 years. When you get to Congress, what is the first piece of legislation you’d like to see passed re: healthcare for all? #10Questions

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"Great question! Didn't actually rely on Medicaid growing up – but I did have to rely on it for prenatal care when I found myself pregnant & homeless at 17!

I really believe that Texas can lead the way on healthcare so everyone can see a doctor or afford their medication. Since October I've put 20,000 miles on my car, and I've traveled the length and width and up and down this entire district. And it doesn't matter if I'm in east Austin, or Wimberley, or Cleburne, or Stephenville – I keep hearing the really compelling, moving stories about people not being able to see a doctor, or spending 1000's of dollars a month to get access to healthcare – we have to do so much better, we have to get this right, and we can. And I really believe Texas can lead the way on healthcare.

Short term: reintroduce the individual mandate and stabilize the ACA to lower premiums and prescription costs. I do think a public option is a good idea in the short term. Then: Medicare-for-all or single-payer – there are many 'healthcare for all' systems that will work. And I have to add that disrupting the for-profit insurance lobby and the pharmaceutical industry is critical to the progress we can make. And I know we're up to the challenge."

Q3: Your district is roughly 7% urban, 36%, and 57% rural. Williams won in 2016 with 58% of the vote. What are some of the common ideals that everyone in your district can agree on and how do you plan on bringing Democrats, Republicans, and Independents together? #10Questions

"Such a great question. I think we can start with what we were just discussing: healthcare. Republicans, Democrats, Independents – every person needs to be able to be well enough to work live to their full potential so they can get to work or finish their education. Healthcare is just this basic, fundamental thing that we all need – Roger Williams voted repeatedly to take that fundamental right away from the people who need it most – because that's what his corporate donors told him to do. So – let's get big money out of Congress. There's a reason for the toxicity, and the mistrust, and the dysfunction, and the endless gridlock and partisan rancor. We *all* can agree that, for the most part, Congress works for corporations and special interests and the wealthy – it doesn't work for us. 

The tax cut the Republicans passed could not be a more crystal clear illustration of that – a 1.5 trillion dollar giveaway to corporations and the wealthiest people in the country, paid for with looming cuts to Medicare, social security, and Medicaid. That fundamental idea that *everyone deserves a fair shot at success*, and that government should work for everyone, not just those at the top – Republicans, Democrats, Independents – that's an idea that we can all agree on.

I think we can all agree that everyone should be able to be treated with decency and dignity, and to find meaningful work that pays more than a living wage. There really is so much that we have in common – even if they have tried to gerrymander us into oblivion."

Speaking of your opponent: Q4: The incumbent, Roger Williams, held a “town hall” for pre-screened attendees only. You’ve committed to holding one town hall per month, starting with one on April 7. Why are these town halls important to you? #10Questions

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"That position of public trust should not be about staged photo ops or someone's ego or even, really, a career – this is about *service* – at the absolute minimum a representative should show up and *listen* to the people she wants to serve and represent. So once-a-month, I'm committed to holding a no-holds-barred, eyeball-to-eyeball open town hall meeting in a public space, and everyone should be able to come – no matter what party, no matter if you vote or not.

And yeah, that's kind of scary for me. I'm a numbers-crunching nerd type person, and I prefer to stay out of the spotlight and just do my work. And I know that sometimes, people might be unhappy with the way I vote. This isn't always going to be fun or easy. But you know what? That's what real accountability looks like. As I vote and as I work to serve those constituents, I will always know I’ll have to face them, back home in the district. I'll have to be able to account for what I have done, and for what I have failed to do. The people of this district really are extraordinary, but right now they don't have someone fighting for them in Congress. We can do so much better." 

Q5: Your opponent, Williams, is in favor of Trump’s wall and is a conservative hardliner on immigration. Can you give us an elevator pitch about your stance on immigration? #10Questions

"There are 800,000 Dreamers in Texas contributing to our state in the most meaningful and fundamental ways. We owe them, and their families, a permanent solution. The border is heavily militarized. We don't need a $20-billion poured concrete monument to Donald Trump's stupidity."

🤣Someone meme that, quick!

Q6: Texas didn’t expand Medicaid and defunded Planned Parenthood. A recent study has shown that Texas now has a Third World maternal mortality rate and a higher than national average unintended pregnancy rate. How should this be addressed?

"This is a tragic and alarming problem in Texas – and this affects women of color anywhere from *3 to 12 times higher rates*. It's horrific and there's no excuse. First: ideologically motivated attacks on women's reproductive health has to stop. It may sound facile or self-serving, but electing more women really will help. We pass more laws that specifically benefit women's health. We need this to be a priority at the state level and the federal level.

We're going to defend access to reproductive health care, especially to providers who aid low-income women like Planned Parenthood. All women should have good prenatal care, screening for pre-existing conditions, and care for chronic conditions. So we're back at health care. :)

There are some real hospital-specific things we can do, too, but I'll just say that this is a deep, moral wrong and we have to fix it. There's a state-level response and a federal response – but both have to involve valuing the lives of women – especially women of color."

All roads lead to healthcare!

Q7: The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have brought sexual assault and violence into the mainstream discussion in the past few months. What’s the first thing Congress can do to help combat sexual harassment in the workplace? #10Questions

"Setting aside what the current occupant of the White House has openly admitted to... Congress needs to change the the reporting process for sexual harassment claims. Before it was heavily skewed in favor of the abuser. But at least there appears to be progress being made. The House has actually passed a bill. The Senate now needs to pass it – and the president needs to sign it."

Q8: You’re running a 100% grassroots campaign – no insiders, no consultants, no PACs, no pollsters. You’d like to see campaign finance reform. What would your first action in Congress be to this end?

"We have to get big money out of our elections and out of Congress if we're going to restore our democracy. This is fundamental. Votes should not be bought. A single, anonymous donor gave $28.5 million to lobby for Gorsuch's Supreme Court seat. Totally corrupt. To stop these secretive special interests, we have to get to full disclosure. Any 501c(4) or (6) spending on *any* political activity that mentions a federal candidate or that's intended to influence an election has to be disclosed. 

The Cambridge Analytica revelations really drive home the need for the FCC to demand that outside political money groups disclose the *names of their major donors* funding their ads. That goes for Facebook ads – and Amy Klobuchar has a great bill that does just that. 

That's where I'd start – but I feel so proud of what we've achieved already – just walking the walk, not taking any PAC money, and running this campaign in as honest and transparent and true-hearted a way as we can. If we can keep running this race openly, talking about the things that matter, and doing it without consultants and gimmicks, I feel like we're showing the world that we really can change how we do politics in this country."

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us about your platform and your district! Q's 9 and 10: 

9: What is one issue we haven’t covered today that is an important one affecting your district?

10: Where can people learn more about your campaign and how to support it?

"Common sense gun safety legislation – universal background checks – is something that everyone can agree on. We know that they reduce violence against romantic partners, and against law enforcement. It's a no-brainer. We owe it to the victims of Sandy Hook, and Columbine, and Orlando, and Sutherland Springs, and Parkland – and their families – to enact real gun safety legislation in this country to keep our communities and our families safe.

Thank you so much for taking the time tonight and thanks to everyone for following along at home. There are lots of ways to help and we need as many of y'all as possible to help us get through the May 22 Run-Off election! So head to http://oliver2018.com/volunteer and sign up. 

And lastly I'll just say that because we're running a 100% grassroots, PAC-free campaign, every single dollar counts - it literally keeps this campaign going. So if you're able to contribute, I'd be honored for your support. Thank you! https://secure.actblue.com/donate/jo-mar18 "

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