Meet your candidates!
It’s an election year, and here at Plano Profile we strive to connect our community; part of that is helping educate the community and giving candidates a platform to address the community.
All of the following opinions are that of the candidate, not Plano Profile. Any and all candidates have the opportunity to fill out our questionnaire to be published on our website, contact us at [email protected] for more information.
Meet Sharon Hirsch, who is running for Texas House District 66 as a democrat.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I grew up in the upper midwest, have been married to my husband Jim for 43 years, and we are the proud parents of four amazing children and grandparents to two precious granddaughters. We moved to Plano in 1996 when Jim accepted a job with Plano ISD.
Since then I have been proud to contribute to the community by working with great organizations like Leadership Plano, serving two terms on the Plano Cultural Affairs Commission, and supporting numerous charitable organizations and nonprofits in the area. I have been active in our schools as a parent, volunteer, and former Plano ISD employee. I am a graduate of Collin College and the University of North Texas.
Why are you running for office?
After following the 85th Legislative Session and the expensive special session, it was clear to me that we need to restore balance and integrity in Austin. I believe we can have a government that works when we elect representatives who are willing to work together in good faith on behalf of their constituents.
I am particularly concerned about the erosion of support in Austin for our public schools. We are making a big mistake when we fail to educate all students and prepare them for the future. Education provides benefits not only to our children, but to society as well. For Texas to continue to prosper economically, we must have an educated workforce. Public education will be a priority when I am elected.
What makes you the most qualified person for this position?
I am an engaged and active member of my community who is interested in assuming a leadership role on behalf of all constituents. I care deeply about issues that affect individuals and families; education, great jobs, and access to affordable healthcare. Because of the structure of the legislature, many people are unable to compete in the political realm because of work and family commitments, and I hope to be their voice.
We also put undue value and emphasis on experience in business or law when electing our representatives. This results in a legislature that often lacks perspective on the issues facing many Texans. I believe that developing good policy requires diverse viewpoints and that leadership takes compassion and a willingness to listen and learn. I intend to be that kind of leader.
What issues are your top priorities? Name three.
My focus will be on kitchen table issues that affect all hard working Texans and their families: education, economic opportunity, and access to affordable healthcare.
What changes would you implement and how?
We must update and modernize our public school funding formula to reflect the needs of our current students and to prepare for the future. Increasing the state’s share of funding would provide much needed tax relief to property owners.
North Texas is currently experiencing explosive growth and economic prosperity. I want to ensure that hard working Texans are able to share in this success by earning a living wage in a safe environment.
Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country. We can do better. The state left billions of dollars on the table with their refusal to expand Medicaid. In doing so, not only have we endangered the lives of too many vulnerable people, we have burdened hospitals with billions of dollars in uncompensated care cost. To maintain the status quo in healthcare is simply unsustainable.
What factors in your life have shaped your beliefs?
My parents were members of the Greatest Generation. They taught me the value of hard work, the importance of family, and a love of baseball. Growing up in Catholic schools instilled in me the obligation to care for and serve others. I have faith in people and believe we have the capacity to solve big problems. One of our biggest challenges is mustering up the political will to take on the problems we face.
We are fortunate that our four children decided to stay in the area as adults, and I learn from them constantly. We have two beautiful granddaughters that give me all the motivation I need to make the world a better place.
What do you believe should be the function of government?
The role of government is ultimately to provide a framework for society. The function of our economy, safety of our communities, and general well-being are in many ways reliant upon the basic rules set out by governing bodies. While government is not in a position to create specific outcomes, effective management provides a strong foundation for individual and communal success.
We need to clear the way for innovation and progress while remaining mindful of the need for sensible regulations that keep people safe, prevent abuses in our economy, and help our communities to thrive.