Lorie Burch has filed to run for U.S. representative, District 3. She is running as a Democrat against Adam P. Bell, Medrick Yhap and Sam Johnson in the March 6 primary election.
Community Impact Newspaper sent Burch a list of questions about her candidacy. Below are her answers, edited for publication style.
Q: Why did you decide to run for this office?
A: We need leaders who represent all of us. Our elected officials must be willing and able to listen to the people, inspire participation, find common ground and work together through differences. In order for our democracy to better serve everyone, we need to prioritize getting big money and special interests out of campaigns, increase voter turnout, fight voter suppression and inspire more everyday people from all walks of life to run for office. We must end the divisive ideological partisanship that permeates our government and our community.
Q: What experience—professionally or politically—do you have that would prepare you for this position?
A: I am a proven leader with a history of community advocacy and building coalitions. I am a former national president of the American Women’s Business Association. During my time as a student at George Washington University Law School, I worked with a civil rights coalition through the Human Rights Campaign and People for the American Way, which included working on an election protection program as well as participating in conversations about judicial nominations with Sen. Patrick Leahy. As an attorney and small business owner, I have been active in local groups such as the Plano Chamber of Commerce, where I helped launch the Young Professionals of Plano. I have served on the board of directors for the Collin County Gay and Lesbian Alliance, and as chair of the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce. These professional and leadership experiences, among others, are what led The Dallas Morning News to endorse my campaign in this election. I am prepared for this position of leadership because I have a history of engaging in conversations with members of our community in order to create positive change.
Q: If elected, what would be your top priorities?
A: If we are going to change how our government works, we have got to get back to basics. We need more representatives that are everyday people. The first step we can take in making sure that people from all walks of life are able to run for office is to get big money out of politics. The dark, untraceable money that fuels our political system has got to go. Campaign finance reform will be one of my top priorities in Washington. Because until our representatives are no longer filling their pockets with money from corporate political action committees and special interests, we cannot truly be sure that they are representing us.
Another of my top priorities in Congress will be strengthening the Voting Rights Act in order to make sure that each eligible American is able to voice their opinion at the polls. This includes eliminating gerrymandering, which further restricts our citizens from having an equal say in who they elect. Many people feel as if their vote doesn’t count and they aren’t being represented. As a result, many individuals in our district who are able to vote do not. It is imperative that our leaders are visible in our community and accountable to the people. If our representatives want to understand the biggest challenges facing our community, they have to meet with the residents of our district and find out what issues matter the most to them. Because of the divisiveness within our current system, we no longer see this kind of leadership.
Q: What else do you want constituents to know about you and your background?
A: Unlike many of our current elected leaders, I do not pretend to have the answers to every issue that plagues our nation. I believe that much of the divisiveness in our current political climate is the refusal by some politicians to admit that someone else may have a better solution to a problem than they do. I am not a career politician—I am a concerned citizen who would like to see our elected leaders working together to create change for the American people, rather than pointing fingers when things don’t go their way. While I have established positions on the issues, which may be explored further on my website, I am not going to Congress to promote my own personal agenda. When elected, I will continue to seek out subject matter experts, study current research and engage with the people in my district in order to determine the best solutions to the problems we face.