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Carlos Barrera, Race for Travis County Court #8
1. Why are you running, and what is your vision for your office?
I find myself in personal and professional circumstances that enable me to offer my service as an extremely qualified candidate for a criminal trial bench. I feel called to this work, have such a diverse and balanced personal and professional background, that I believe I have the capacity and will to serve extremely well as a judge. I know I can make a difference because I have worked as a trial lawyer, on both sides, for so long that I will not forget the lessons of the years.
2. Latinos For Texas's vision is to unite communities by bridging networks of Progressive groups and Latino/Hispanic interests so that we can be better united in direct action for the community. How do you see your role in office as helping to advance this vision?
I envision my court as one in which all people feel respected and satisfied that whatever the outcome they will have had a hearing in which their concerns were attended. I will set the example for court staff and attorney’s in my court to maintain respect for all parties and participants. I will offer a balanced perspective and therefore an understanding ear to all parties before me. I will invite interested parties from law enforcement, the defense, victim’s groups, and other interested agencies and disciplines to seek solutions to problems in which we all have an interest to make the administration of justice more efficient and effective. I will put in the time to see these goals through. Before County Court 8 is up (the court will probably come on line in October or November according to the Commissioners Court), a D.W.I. Court will have been established (probably by March or April according to presently sitting judges). I look forward to participating in this program and all others. I am excited to have the opportunity to lend my unique experience to bringing and employing solutions to criminal justice challenges.
My personal and professional backgrounds are diverse. As a military dependant I grew up in Laredo, Texas; Taegu, Korea; near Tokyo, Japan; and Topeka Kansas. The languages and the cultures varied. I speak Spanish, the second most dominant language in Texas and the United States. I was graduated from a private University (Georgetown) and a public Law School (Texas). I am comfortable among virtually all people and have a respectful ear. Having been both a prosecutor and a defense attorney for a good while, these perspectives a well ingrained in me. As a judge I will lend this background to allow all people to know that they have a genuine place at the table at which we all desire to work and serve.
3. How does a vote for you affect or improve my everyday life?
When you come before me in any capacity you will know that there is nothing stacked against you in any way. Most people other than prosecutors and defense attorneys do not come before Criminal County Court at Law Judges in their everyday lives, but many do--as jurors, victims, witnesses, accused people, and interested persons. When one does, however, I will be extremely mindful that people have lives outside my courtroom and I will always seek to work as efficiently as possible to allow people to return to their lives as soon as possible. One who has worked in these courts knows the significant of this.
4. Would you pledge to abide by the Clean Elections guidelines developed by Common Cause?
In judicial decision-making I will be mindful that helping people to get their lives in order serves us all better than simply locking them up in the hope that this get them on track. Once it is clear that a defendant does not want to get his life in order, excluding him from free society for a time may be the alternative left. I will do what’s best by my measuring each case and each defendant. This philosophy will save us all money and grief brought on by crime.
What I know regarding public financing and political campaigns as proposed by Common Cause, absolutely yes. If there are other clean election guidelines they have proposed, I am not familiar with them but given their philosophy of wanting public servants to serve public interests, I would most likely agree.
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