US Representative District 18 candidates Q&A Lori A. Bartley[/caption]

Lori A. Bartley

Occupation: Candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives
[email protected]
Top priorities: Jobs and the economy, healthcare and national and local security

Why are you the best candidate to represent this congressional district?

I am representative of everyone in congressional District 18 from the poorest to the wealthiest. I am not beholden to anyone, except my God. I was born in the shadows of this great city and watched as it has grown to be the fourth largest in the country; however, I have seen District 18 decline just as quickly. Representation cannot be self-serving or selectively serving, doing just enough for the people to keep from starving but not enough to satisfy their hunger. I have been hungry and homeless, abused and betrayed, told I was nothing and would never be nothing. I pulled myself up and began to use my voice and mind to educate myself, advocate for myself and my family, and then I began advocating for others and their families so they could rise and achieve. I have experienced the devastation of mental illness, addiction, murder of loved ones, loss of a child and disappointment in both political parties.

If elected, how will you remain accountable to the district’s residents?

I will be having twice-monthly town hall meetings to inform constituents of what is occurring legislatively as well as hear from them as to how they would like to see certain legislation written or voted on. I will be working closely with state, local and municipal governmental agencies to cut red tape to public services and information, so that the community has access to all resources and not just those in the know. I will always be accessible; all offices in the district will be revamped or relocated centrally for easy access for constituent needs and fully staffed.

US Representative District 18 candidates Q&A Sheila Jackson Lee[/caption]

Sheila Jackson Lee (incumbent)

Occupation: Congresswoman
[email protected]
Top priorities: Criminal justice reform, comprehensive immigration reform and affordable, debt free college education

Why are you the best candidate to represent this congressional district?

As a legislator I have played a significant role in crafting some of the most important laws enacted by the Congress in the past several years, including the renewal and reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, the Affordable Care Act, the Recovery Act, the Homeland Security Act, and the reauthorization of NASA and the space program. As a member of the body charged by the Constitution to be the overseer of the federal government, I have been a careful steward of the taxpayers’ dollars by identifying wasteful spending, fraudulent practices or abusive conduct. But as important as legislating national public policy and performing oversight of federal agencies are, what I find most satisfying is my role as the advocate of my constituents because it is in this capacity that I am most helpful in finding real solutions to real problems of real people.

If elected, how will you remain accountable to the district’s residents?

The same way I have done over the last 20 years and that is by making myself accessible to the people, coming home every weekend to hear from and visit constituents, and continue to be a voice for the people.

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Candidates’ responses were edited for space.