Todd's Issues &
TODD ON THE ISSUES
Our Rights are Under Attack.
Abortion Access and Reproductive CareAn individual’s liberty and right to make medical decisions about their body and their medical care is fundamental in a free and just society. Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s desire to pass SB 8 and end abortions in Texas, including for women who are raped or have severe medical complications, has had disastrous effects for women and families in Texas. It is estimated that 26,000 pregnancies in Texas have occurred as a result of rape since this law passed! Women have been chased out of the state to receive the medical care that their doctors recommend because their doctors are forbidden by Texas law to provide it here in Texas. Texas counties are enacting laws to restrict women’s right to travel through their counties to access abortion care! How will they know if a pregnant woman is traveling simply for work or to visit family or friends versus seeking desired medical care? What kind of remedy will they pursue—jailing her to restrict her from traveling if she doesn’t have a “hall pass” from the Governor? Women in Texas are not even 2 nd class citizens, they are prisoners of the state and this Governor. Furthermore, doctors in Texas risk losing their medical license and being jailed and fined for providing medical services and procedures that are the known medical standard of care across the world. Doctors in these fields are leaving Texas, and the best young doctors who wish to train in these fields are no longer coming to Texas—we will have fewer and less competent OB-GYNs in Texas which will affect the medical care that all women in Texas receive, whether they ever need or want an abortion. This exodus of healthcare talent will likely result in an increase in maternal mortality rates which are already high in Texas, particularly for women of color. Todd Litton is firmly pro-choice, advocating for a woman's right to make medical decisions about their body without interference from the government. He supports a woman's right to consult with her faith, family, and medical professionals regarding her decision about her pregnancy—including whether she should choose to raise a child, choose adoption, or choose to end a pregnancy by a medical or procedural abortion. Todd also believes that women should have access to critical health services, like those provided by Planned Parenthood, and will work to restore funding for such services and oppose any further efforts to reduce funding for these programs. As State Senator, Todd will fight to restore women’s rights to make their own healthcare decisions and to improve their healthcare options across Texas including: The right to access abortion care and reproductive care, including birth control in SD 15 and across Texas should be restored to pre-Dobbs standards. Significantly improve maternal mortality rates for Texas women with widely available and accessible prenatal care, abortion care, and postpartum care. Ensure these services are available and accessible across Texas, particularly in communities of color and communities with accessibility challenges due to a lack of providers. Ensure these rights and services are available to all non-binary and transgender Texans, too.
HealthcareIn Texas, Todd believes we need healthcare reform to expand Medicaid, expand access to abortion care, and make healthcare more affordable for all Texans. Todd believes that access to healthcare is a fundamental human right. Ensuring our people have access to healthcare provides them the opportunity to lead healthier lives which then enables them to be more present and constructive in their homes and families, and also allows them to be more productive and innovative in their jobs and communities. Todd’s wife, Jennifer, is a doctor who treated patients at Ben Taub’s Emergency Room early in her career. She saw too many people delaying healthcare because they didn’t have access to doctors and coming to the ER with diseases in advanced stages and injuries in need of critical care. When health care is delivered through our ER’s, it is typically provided after a health condition has become severe. Consequently, the individuals’ and their families’ quality of life have suffered. Additionally, the cost of the care provided through the ER and after a condition has worsened is typically much more expensive than it would be if treated earlier in a preventive way. And if the person has no insurance, then that higher cost of care is paid for by local taxpayers. As State Senator, Todd will fight to: Hold Republicans'; feet to the fire on healthcare affordability, starting with Medicaid expansion. Greg Abbott has sent over $36 billion dollars of Texans’ tax dollars to other states for them to expand Medicaid. Abbott has brought back $0 to expand Medicaid to the 1.7 million Texans who would qualify for it. Greg Abbott is cutting off our nose to spite our face. That’s 1.7 million Texans who would be able to lead healthier lives for themselves, their families, their employers, and their communities if we expanded Medicaid like 40 other states, including “Red” states like Arkansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Montana, and North and South Dakota. The cost of not expanding Medicaid is too high. It is not simply the billions of Texas taxpayer dollars Abbott exports to 40 other states, it is also the millions of lives affected by 1.7 million Texans not having healthcare who could have healthcare by expanding Medicaid. The cost also includes billions of dollars of local tax expenditures by Texans to cover uninsured healthcare. In urban areas with large tax bases, that cost is paid for by local taxpayers paying taxes to local public hospital providers and districts (Harris Health and the Harris County Hospital District in Houston). In rural areas without a significant tax base, that means local public hospitals and health systems are closing and folks in many Texas communities now must travel significant miles each way for basic care such as a chest X-ray or a well-woman exam. Build coalitions of rural Republicans and urban Democrats, similar to the coalition of rural Republicans and urban Democrats who stopped vouchers, to expand Medicaid in Texas. Rural Republicans and urban Democrats have a common interest in expanding Medicaid in Texas, and our people, our communities, and our public hospital and healthcare providers will be significantly healthier if take this basic step like 40 other states in America. Ensure mental health parity for health insurance in Texas and work to increase the number of mental health and recovery care providers across Texas to provide better mental healthcare for Texans. Advocate for a shift towards preventative healthcare, highlighting the importance of early intervention to improve individuals'; quality of life and reduce overall healthcare costs. As a founder of the state’s leading pro-vaccine advocacy organization, The Immunization Partnership, Todd understands and supports the significant benefit to individuals and communities by treating diseases and injuries before they become critical in nature and costly to cure.
EducationAccess to a quality education is the greatest equalizer we have as a society. A great education doesn’t just mean your classroom has all the books it needs nor is a great education limited to the K-12 system of public education. A great education starts with excellent teachers and engaged and supportive parents. The foundation for higher test scores, lower dropout rates, and college graduation begins with strong early childhood and Pre-K programs and includes high quality afterschool care programs and programs that support student growth and development in the summer, too. Todd has worked and led extensively in this “out-of-school time” (early childhood, afterschool, and summer learning) area that is a critical lever for student success, particularly in underserved communities, and for supporting parents and families who work. Todd was part of the leadership for the passage of a critical piece of legislation—SB 76 (78th Regular Session)—to expand access to high quality early childhood education programs across Texas. Todd worked with legislators and staff in the House and Senate from both parties, and helped build a coalition of private child care providers, public Pre-K’s, and federal Head Start programs and the business community to make both the business/economic development case for increasing access to high quality early childhood education and the human development case (for both our young children and their families). Todd testified before the State Senate and the State House (the day Democrats came back from Ardmore, OK) and the bill was passed and signed into law and it still has significant impact in our state. Todd believes in order for Texas to thrive, our public schools must come first. As State Senator, Todd will fight to: Keep public dollars in public schools and stop vouchers. Todd will build a coalition in the Senate that includes Senators who represent a large number of the House Districts that have stood up to vouchers and engage and embolden them to stand up for their school districts, administrators, teachers, students, and families, too. Get the TEA out of whole district takeovers and Houston ISD. Todd will work to repeal the law that led to the takeover of Houston ISD. We can’t afford for our students to be stuck in struggling schools, but we should develop and implement a school-specific turnaround model that doesn’t create disruptive and counterproductive uncertainty and stress throughout entire districts like the whole district takeover model has in HISD. Todd believes a community schools model and funding stream (like 21st Century Community Learning Centers) can serve as a turnaround model for struggling and/or underserved communities to make schools a pipeline for lifelong learning and engagement in communities. Increase current teacher pay and protect teacher training and certifications, keep the TRS as a defined benefit plan, and implement an annual COLA for retired teachers to cover rising inflation (including healthcare-related inflation). Highlight, track, and dismantle the school to prison pipeline and over disciplining of young students of color in our public schools, from Pre-K-12. Revamp the state accountability rating system to stop making the test the sole measure of performance and create a whole-child focused accountability system. Increase funding and create and enact a plan to move Texas from the Bottom 10 in per student allocation to the top half and then ideally the top 10. Increase funding streams to increase high quality early childhood education across Texas in addition to SB 76 from the 78th Regular Session which Todd helped pass. Create a funding stream dedicated to the out-of-school time space for students in the PK-12 system to support children and working families in afterschool and summer learning and engagement opportunities. Eliminate waivers for schools to exceed the 22 student per class limit in grades PK-4, and set a limit of 25 students per class in grades 5-12 with waiver requests allowed in first three years to determine how we might best achieve this goal. Repeal the limitation on discussion of diversity and race in classrooms in Texas. In higher ed, increase the state funding percentage for our public universities to make college more affordable for in-state students and families across Texas. Provide PUF [check source[ Funding for our HBCUs similar to what University of Houston and Texas Tech received in this last legislative session.
LGBTQIA+ RightsTodd is running to stand up to Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick, and Ken Paxton and their politics of fear and hate that is hurting Texans and harming our state’s competitiveness with other states. He believes in Texas, and in America, it is our people that make our communities exceptional, and it is all of our people, no exceptions—no matter how any of us look, love, identify, pray, or even vote. Todd believes our government should stay the hell out of people’s bedrooms and bathrooms, and that the unconstitutional assault on the LGBTQIA+ community by Texas has brought shame to our state and threatens the lives of many Texans. Todd believes that attacks against the LGBTQIA+ community are an assault against everyone, and all communities must unite and fight back against efforts to discriminate against the LGBTQIA+ community in marriage equality, healthcare equality, employment equality, housing equality, public accommodations access, gender identity and by prohibiting parents from seeking medical care for their transgender children that is the universal standard of care across America and the world. Todd will fight for a more inclusive Texas that values everyone by: Standing up and calling out the continuing demonization and “othering” of the LGBTQIA+ community (particularly the transgender, non-binary, and intersex communities) by leaders in our state who spread fear and stoke hate to energize their base despite the loss of both life and liberty of the communities they demonize. Fighting discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community and for marriage equality, healthcare equality, employment equality, housing equality, public accommodations access, gender identity equality, and from prohibiting parents from seeking medical care for their transgender children. Fighting for the liberty and freedom of all people to make fundamental, personal healthcare decisions, in particular, for transgender children and families and gaining access to gender-affirming care, and for pregnant persons and gaining access to abortions. Fighting for equality for LGBTQIA+ students in Texas, particularly for access to healthcare, including gender-affirming care and puberty blockers, against government restrictions in UIL sports and collegiate sports, and against book bans and censorship.
Gun SafetyTodd believes mass shootings in our state must end. No Texan, not even our law enforcement officers as painfully evidenced in Uvalde, is equipped to fight a person armed with a weapon of war. Texans should not have to live their lives in fear of a mass shooter entering a school, a house of worship, a workplace, a store, or a community gathering where they or a loved one is. Todd believes military-style weapons have no place in our society because they are made solely to murder and injure people as quickly as possible. Todd doesn’t believe the 2nd amendment protections were ever meant to protect the right of private citizens to own weapons that would kill in this way. For example, it is illegal to own automatic weapons, hand grenades, rocket launchers, and armor piercing ammo in Texas for this very reason. In rural Texas as a teenager, Todd used a .243 rifle to hold someone at gunpoint who threatened his family. He understands some Texans may need to own firearms to protect their home and their family, and he understands that need is more acute in areas that don’t have police protection and law enforcement so readily available. But he also believes you don’t need a semi-automatic weapon to do that, and he believes we should allow counties to locally permit or exclude the right to own semi-automatic weapons such as AR-15s. As State Senator, Todd would fight to prioritize and pursue several common sense gun safety measures that would limit deaths caused by suicide or mass shootings in our state, in particular, and also limit the use of guns in violent crimes: A universal background check for all gun purchases, including from unlicensed dealers, and the implementation of safe storage and locking laws to keep Texans’ guns secure. Red flag laws so people who are an extreme risk of harm to themselves or others can have their guns properly secured. Raise the age to purchase an AR-15 or similar assault rifle to 21 and allow counties to regulate the use or possession of assault rifles in their county. Revocation of permitless (open or concealed) carry.
Flood ControlFlooding is still, and will be for the foreseeable future, a significant challenge and threat to our community in SD 15 and across our region. And flooding affects our community, and region, as a whole—it doesn’t care what Senate District you are in, how long you have lived here, what kind of house you live in, or how you look, love, pray, or vote. Todd believes we need to build a coalition of local, state, and federal partners and constituents to analyze and invest in a suite of significant projects to mitigate the threats of increased flooding in our region and in SD 15 including: Bayou and channel improvements, increased detention, refortifying and expanding natural habitats and prairies, stopping development in flood zones, and much more. Todd believes that the bipartisan partnership between local, state, and federal officials to tackle the Poor Farm Ditch infrastructure project in the southern part of our district was a great model for how we can bring multiple funding streams and jurisdictions together to tackle an infrastructure investment that affects a region of the district, and he will work to model that partnership in many of the other regions of SD 15 where flooding is still a significant issue, including the nearby Cypress Ditch.
Energy and the EnvironmentHouston and Texas have been the world’s Energy Capital for a century, but that’s not written in stone (see Detroit). The failures and strains on our state’s isolated electric grid—where Texas industrial, commercial, and residential customers are left to wonder if the lights will come on when they flip the switch—make Texas look more like a Podunk town rather than the world’s 8th largest economy. Texas has also led on climate denial and fighting the “energy transition”—despite our state suffering severe consequences of climate change in floods, freezes, storms, and strains to our grid—and on not enforcing environmental laws or regulations in our communities or our state, particularly in communities of color and poverty. Once again, Greg Abbott seems more than happy to cut off our nose to spite our face. These self-inflicted challenges result in significant harm and costs to Texans though: From the hundreds of lives lost in winter storm Uri, to the chronic illnesses and diseases caused by excessive pollution, to the rising costs of home and business insurance (particularly for flood, wind, and hail), the costs of buying a home generator (if you can afford it) or repairing burst pipes and associated damage, to simply worrying about any or all of the above. Todd’s recent work with SWAN Impact has revealed that Texas has a unique opportunity to become the epicenter of the energy transition and continue to lead in energy. If, however, Texas continues to stick its head in the ground and focus only on supporting hydrocarbons and the oil and gas industry he believes we will get left behind and lose. Todd will hold Republicans' feet to the fire by making an economic argument about this energy transition. He believes if we can demonstrate the economic positives and improvement to lives across Texas by leading the charge on the energy transition, then we can tackle the climate crisis AND build economic prosperity for our workers, our companies, our communities, and our state. And, Texas can lead a prosperous and cleaner way forward for energy production, storage, and usage in the world. Todd believes we need to take constructive steps forward in several areas that, if done well, can also lead to more jobs AND a cleaner future: Make significant infrastructure investments to make our communities more resilient and flexible for the formerly extreme climate events that are now more the norm (see “Ike Dike” from 2008). This includes hardening our grid and either linking to the grid in other regions or building or acquiring more power generating and storage assets in Texas. Texans should not have to consider buying their own personal home generators to ensure the lights come on when they flip the switch—that’s not befitting of the 8th largest economy in the world. Invest heavily in securing and protecting water resources for communities (for living, farming, industry, etc.). Invest in capping orphan wells and leveraging federally available dollars to do so. Continue to diversify and expand our energy generation portfolio (with increased sustainable energy, including solar, wind, geothermal, and green hydrogen) and more efficient and larger energy storage capacity to smooth out the times when renewable energy might not generate as much power as needed. Create a fund similar to CPRIT, the state fund that supports cancer research, for climatetech and economic development in Texas. Similar to CPRIT, the state could issue bonds to raise funds and invest them in efforts and companies that combat climate change and create jobs in Texas. These efforts would likely have global impact in combating climate change. I would push us to continue to diversify our energy generation portfolio (with increased sustainable energy–wind, solar, geothermal, and green hydrogen) and more efficient and larger energy storage capacity to smooth out the times when renewable energy might not generate as much power as needed. I believe this is the most effective way for us to move forward currently as the minority party in Austin.
I’m running for Texas Senate District 15 to stand up to Greg Abbott and tell him to GET OUT!
Get out of our doctor's offices and let Texas women make their OWN healthcare decisions. Get out of our schools and quit attacking our students and teachers. Get out of our voting booths and stop infringing on our democracy.
I’ve spent two decades standing up for Houston families as a nonprofit leader — working to improve our neighborhood schools and healthcare access.
As your State Senator, I will stand up to Greg Abbott and fight to represent our values at the Capitol.
As your State Senator, I will stand up to Greg Abbott and fight for you.