Community Impact Newspaper sent Birkenstock a list of questions about her candidacy. Below are her answers edited for style.
Why did you decide to run for this office?
I have not held or intended to run for office before I announced my candidacy to represent you in Congressional District 26. I have focused on my family, my faith, my business here in Frisco and advocating for others. However, I have had enough of those who continually promise things to the voters and fail to get it done. Eighteen years in office is far too long for our current representative to stay in Congress for what is supposed to be the representation closest to the people. Do you think that any of us would be able to keep our job for that long if we weren’t upholding our commitments to our boss, the people? I have built my business and my reputation on getting results, and I will do that for you, and all of Texas.
What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
I started my business here a little over 20 years ago. I know what it takes to be successful, make those difficult decisions that are right for the business, create and live by a budget and lead our team. As part of our business, I continually work with federal agencies, such as the Department of Labor, Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation. This knowledge of how big government works and how to get things done is a key asset to understand the impact of legislation, where it is appropriate and how to help support and serve our constituents and cities with various federal agencies.
From a personal side, for years I have advocated on The Hill, alongside Susan B. Anthony List, to work with the legislators and their staffs to get language in bills to protect the unborn. Just a couple of weeks ago, we were successful in helping to get the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (House Resolution 4712) passed in the House of Representatives. I have a strong understanding of the process and have the existing relationships to step right in and get things done for our district.
If elected, what would be your top priorities?
Immigration reform: America owes a great deal of its success to all those who came here looking for freedom, embrace our Constitution, worked hard to build their dreams and to raise a family. Illegal immigration negatively impacts us as Americans through the diversion our tax dollars, resources and political divisiveness. I cannot believe we are in this position, however; we need to address it. People are welcome to come here legally. If they don’t, it is illegal. It’s not mean. It’s the law and an insult to those who do it the right way. As part of this, we need to address the ease and enticements that drive illegal immigration by supporting E-Verify for a legal workforce, ending lottery chain migration and consider merit-based immigration—like many of our allies in Europe and Australia do—and secure our borders.
Infrastructure: America’s infrastructure and innovative advancements have played a key role to our growth and success. As important as our infrastructure is to us as a nation, it can at times get put aside, when we should continue to maintain what we have to function safely and seek innovative ways to improve efficiency. These projects may include roadway and bridges, interconnectivity with vehicles and rail automation and safety. What tends to get the focus are those cities which are older. However, what can be missed is support for emerging cities like Frisco. At the first of the year, I was on Fox News discussing priorities and referenced Frisco as one those cities which need to be supported with project dollars and new technologies. These projects can help with traffic and support our economy and continue to make our hometown a wonderful place to live and work.
Reduce federal government involvement in our lives: As Ronald Reagan said in 1981, “… government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” We need to reign in the involvement of the federal government in our personal lives and in businesses. As a local business owner for the past 20 years, I understand the impacts legislation and regulations can have on stunting growth. I will remove restrictions that impede innovation and entrepreneurship in the marketplace. The federal government does not belong in our education or the healthcare business. It is one thing to support it and another to drive and control it. These areas are best left to the states and the people to decide what is best for them in their lives and communities.
What else do you want constituents to know about you and your background?
These are important questions to ask anyone seeking to represent you in any office. You have to know someone and their character to know that they will act and make decisions. I grew up on the family farm. I am the daughter of a caring mother and army veteran. They instilled within me the character of hard work, principles, appreciation of all those who serve and faith in our Lord. I, unfortunately, lost both of my parents in my early 20s. Yet, because of their upbringing, I finished both high school and college early and have been blessed with my family and my life. While I miss them daily, they and their lessons are with me every step of the way. I am strong, determined, fair, and I do not waver from my convictions for what is right.
Everyone knows me as "V." Our family attends and is active at Elevate Life Church here in Frisco. I have served on our homeowners association and on the city of Frisco Convention & Visitors Bureau board. As many of you know, I am active and an advocate for those in need, such as arranging for semi-trailers of supplies for victims of Hurricane Harvey, hosting fundraisers for Kids Shouldn’t Have Cancer, and supporting those who serve with job fairs for veterans, Team Rubicon, Wreaths Across America and our first responders with Feed a Hero.
I invite you to learn more about me and my campaign at www.v4congress.com.