had an exclusive interview with Brandy K. Chambers, a Democratic candidate for
District 112 of the Texas House of Representatives. Candidate Chambers wants to
be the voice of Texas, which has been disregarded by legislatures for too long
and wants to share her positions on various issues including economy,
immigration, and education with the Korean-American community in Texas.
pledged to remove ‘barriers’ affecting lower and middle class to create more
economic opportunities. What are these ‘barriers’ and what are your plans to remove
we need to institute statewide mandatory paid sick leave. An individual
employee who is sick or has a sick child should be able to attend to medical
needs and not worry about making rent simply because they couldn’t take time
off and end up losing their job.
we need to become stricter on background checks where employers can no longer
ask if an applicant has been convicted of a felony or arrested until they provide
qualified offer to that applicant. Once the offer is accepted by an applicant,
employer can run a background check; it can only be reported for past 7 years,
high misdemeanors, felonies, no arrest. An applicant should only be
disqualified from a job if recorded felony or crime directly relates to the job
duties of the inquired position. For example, someone who’s convicted of
embezzlement should not be hired for CFO of the company. However, a person
convicted of marijuana possession 7 years ago should not be disqualified from a
position such as an accountant or a store worker. We want to stop punishing for
decisions and be able to employ them so they don’t have to go back to life of
in Oklahoma are protesting low pay, overcrowded classrooms, and tax cuts that
resulted in lower state-wide education spending. What’s your stance on their
fully stand behind Oklahoma teachers. I was born and raised in Oklahoma and I
was taught by Oklahoma teachers. My number one priority is making sure that the
state of Texas lives up to our constitution and fund the education for Texas.
This portion [education] of state funding continued to decrease while the local
property tax went up to make up the difference, which is shifting the burden to
the local property owners. We need to level this out; take the burden off of
individual and help fund teachers. I’ve met a teacher who has to work as a
waitress on the weekends just to make the ends meet. I have a teacher friend
who spends $2,000-$3,000 of her own money every year on school supplies that
the state fails to provide. This is unacceptable. Our children and teachers
deserve more and should get more. That’s my priority number one in office.”
◎Helping Sexual Assault
Tell us about The Turning Point, a rape crisis agency, of which you served as a
vice president on the board of directors.
I was on the board, I helped oversee the allocation of funds, fundraiser, and
direction of The Turning Point. The Turning Point has specially certified
nurses that are trained to examine sexual assault victims and can be called
into hospitals whenever sexual assault survivors come in. The nurses are able
to give the examination, collect the evidence, and testify in court if
necessary. The Turning Point is also an education program which they go to
schools and teaches correct behavior in what constitutes sexual assault, in bullying,
and in other issues.”
◎Fight Against Human
of your goals is to end this modern-day slavery taking place on our streets.
Tell us your plans.
trafficking takes the form in Texas for minors as a ‘forced prostitution’. For
most minors involved in human trafficking, they run away from home around the
age of 13. These minors, within 48 hours after they leave home, get hit up by
pimps and get forced to go out in the streets or get solicited through social
media for prostitution. There’s a fundamental issue and there is a pinpoint of
time which we can take actions to identify these high risk victims and try to
get them out of the cycle and remove the supply chain for human trafficking.
first indicator for potential high risk victim is truancy and CPS being called
to intervene into home issues. If we can get the truancy department, CPS, and
the law enforcement to communicate with each other, we can efficiently identify
these high risk victims and treat them as victims and not criminals. I want the
state to be able to intervene and prevent human trafficking for minors. If they
do get trafficked, we can identify victims through centralized database and
seek remedial measure for them to escape the situation.”
your stance on gun control?
stance on guns is two different predicates. One, I firmly believe in the Second
Amendment. However, I don’t believe that it’s an amendment without boundaries.
I believe that a person has the right to defend themselves in their home with a
weapon. I don’t believe that a person should have the right to walk down to
Walmart with an assault rifle on their back just because they want to.
believe that there needs to be boundaries; we need deeper and better background
checks that are more universal and close the gun show loophole.
in Texas, it’s legal for a person of the age of 21 to buy a gun, which is fine.
However, it’s also legal for person under 21 to possess a gun; they can’t buy
it, but if your uncle gives you a gun, that’s fine. I would like to tighten
this law to make sure it’s illegal to possess a gun if you’re under the age of
21. Also, we need to implement background checks with centralized database for
every person who buys/owns a gun.
government had banned CDC to be able to research the effect of gun violence
decades ago due to NRA lobbying. We need to be able to lift the ban to make
sure CDC and/or any other agency to truly investigate the ramification of the
gun violence in the society.”
opponent Angie Chen Button voted ‘yes’ for SB4, which prohibits sanctuary
cities. What’s your take on her vote and your position in immigration laws?
vehemently oppose SB4 – it’s unconstitutional. It’s taking discrimination to a
new level by the state. I’m very upset with her about her vote because she’s an
immigrant herself and she voted against immigrants. She even voted against
amendments that would have made places of worship and domestic abuse shelters a
safe haven from those types of questions and investigations.
like to see SB4 repealed and remove its effects. First of all, it’s putting
federal obligation onto state government, which is not a good use of resources
especially when it’s unfunded and untrained. Second, it’s intentionally
vilifying immigrants that look like they’re immigrants and look different regardless
of their true status. SB4 is truly a ‘show me your papers’ law. This is not who
Texas is. This is not who I am. This is not the state that I want to live in.”
people have a restricted right to access their identity, which non-adoptees
take it for granted. Tell us more about this issue.
actually had somebody come to one of my breakfast events, which I host for open
discussions about different issues. There was an adoptee rights advocate and she
educated me about the issue. The state of Texas denies the ability to get an
original birth certificate to an adopted person - that bothered me. In this day
and age, especially with a rising concern about immigration and illegal
immigration, having an original birth certificate is crucial to be able to get
a passport. They [adoptees] can get a copy of birth certificate but not an
original, which means that it doesn’t have a doctor’s signature on it. Then [without
a doctor’s signature], it raises red flags within immigration as potentially
being fabricated – so that causes a lot of problems for adoptees.
if you have an illness, you need access to medical history to determine proper
treatments. However, without your birth certificate, you can’t know your family
medical history, which may lead to medical imparity.
you have to go through court order to obtain your birth certificate and a lot
of judges don’t give the order because they don’t want to deal with that. There
has been a legislation brought forth in the Texas legislature which will allow
the original birth certificate to be released without court order. However, this
one particular senator continues to stall the legislation from getting passed
and crusades against obtaining birth certificate without court order. I’m
hoping to overturn that.”
◎Message to the Korean-American
message to all of the community is that your voice is not being heard in
legislature. Your voice is being disregarded by the people in power in my
district. I want to be your voice and I want your voice to be heard. What each person
says does not matter if they don’t show the actual support; and that’s what’s
happening now in the state. I want to be different than that and I am different
than that. I will represent you as an individual, as a community, and a Texan.”
the end of the interview, Candidate Brandy K. Chambers told NewsKorea that she’s
a self-professed geek who loves Star Wars and Supernatural.
learn more about Brandy K. Chambers’ campaign, visit https://brandykchambers.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
speak to a Korean representative, contact Brandy K. Chambers’ Korean-American
liaison Tina Sohne via email Tina@brandykchambers.com