Democratic Congressional Candidate Derrick Crowe met residents at Zelicks in San Marcos Aug. 24. Crowe hosted a meet and greet to discuss policy and answer questions from voters.
Crowe will be running against Republican incumbent, Lamar Smith, for Texas’ 21st Congressional District, a seat that has been held by Smith for the past 31 years.
Crowe, a 36-year-old Texas Tech graduate and self-proclaimed progressive democrat, is a staunch advocate for the environment and educating audiences about climate change.
“My three-year-old son has never lived a full year on this planet that hasn’t been the hottest year on record,” Crowe said. “That is explicitly due to the activity that humans have undertaken to put carbon into the air, and that has caused a warming trend that means my son will never live through a colder than average year. If you extrapolate that to 2080 when he’s supposed to retire, you’re looking at possibly a four to six degree temperature increase, Celsius.”
Smith, a vocal denier of climate change, has received over $700,000 from oil and gas corporations over the course of his political career. Crowe pledged not to take any financial contributions from corporate PACs.
San Marcos resident Zach Padilla said citizens need to distance themselves from “anti-intellectualism” that appears to be taking place in American politics.
“Here in San Marcos people care about each other,” Padilla said. “And with someone like Derrick looking out for their interests, these people who are young and finding their way in the world, they’re not going to be taken advantage of.”
Karen Muñoz, activist and co-founder of Mano Amiga, said she admires Crowe’s activism for protesting President Donald Trump’s health care repeal, an act that got him arrested in July.
“I just think Lamar Smith is so extreme in his views, he’s not even a traditional republican anymore, he’s so far to the right,” Muñoz said. “I think Derrick is a really dynamic speaker and he seems to really care about people.”
Debt-free college is another ambition of Crowe’s, a hot topic that many Texas State students campaigned for during the 2016 elections.
“This area specifically needs someone who is a strong supporter of public education and debt free college,” Crowe said. “That is essential when we have an education-based community like San Marcos. The second thing, we need someone who will do the job of mitigating the effects of climate change so we don’t have repeats of the 2015 flood, and I think that’s very relevant to this area.”