Native Texans aren’t the only ones proclaiming, “Don’t California My Texas!”

Lydia Ortega—a professor of economics and “California refugee” who moved to Plano three months ago—has already begun talking with her new neighbors about the importance of maintaining free markets and individual liberty to avoid the harmful consequences of California’s big-government policies.

“This is my home now,” Ortega told members of the Hispanic Republican Club of North Texas Monday night. “I don’t want to make the same mistakes.”

Ortega said what sets Texans apart are three attributes Californians have lost:

  • Texans are ready at all times to offer a helping hand. “If you’re a community that has an attribute of helping each other that is this ingrained, how much do you need government to help you?” she asked.
  • Texans practice self-reliance. “In California, we’re doing it all wrong,” Ortega said. “We’re raising enfeebled adults.”
  • Texans are willing to listen intently, then confidently share their opinions. “The ability to speak is gold,” she said, but Californians “can’t even bear to hear the sound of a different opinion.”

These attributes define what it means to be a sovereign individual, Ortega said, warning they are under attack. “If you agree these are key attributes, you have to keep them going.”

Ortega earned her doctorate in economics from George Mason University, studying with famed economist Walter E. Williams. She chaired the Department of Economics at San Jose State University for 15 years, creating the only free-market economics department on the West Coast.

She succeeded on her own merits, but said it upset her to know she was hired in part based on her gender and ethnicity. “I did nothing to be born female and Hispanic,” she said, adding it is as individuals, not members of an identity group, that we can work hard to make dreams come true.

“You are so powerful,” Ortega concluded. “Your actions matter in this battle.”

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.

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