Dr. Lydia Bean has spent her life teaching and serving in the church and the community. Dr. Bean comes from a family of preachers and teachers. Growing up, her dad was a pastor and her mom was a public school teacher. Her two younger brothers are now public school teachers in Tarrant County. Dr. Bean completed her PhD at Harvard University, and went on to teach sociology at Baylor University. As a State Representative, Dr. Bean will work to fully fund our public schools and provide quality Pre-K for all Texas children.
In 2014, Lydia Bean founded a nonprofit called Faith in Texas that brings faith communities together to work for justice and fairness. Faith in Texas helps people of faith work to change unfair policies that take advantage of our neighbors. For example, Texas has no usury laws that protect consumers from payday and auto title lenders. Payday lenders are trapping poor Texans in wealth-stripping loans with an APR over 400 percent. Payday and auto title lenders should have to play by the same rules as other lenders. While leading Faith in Texas, Dr. Bean organized faith leaders to help pass city ordinances that set limits on predatory lending. As a State Representative, Dr. Bean will work to pass a statewide rate cap on payday and auto title loans to stop predatory lenders from trapping borrowers in a cycle of debt.
Dr. Bean is also running because too many Texans still do not have access to health care. She has seen firsthand in her own family how gaps in medical coverage can lead to life-threatening health problems. Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Legislature have refused to expand Medicaid, which means that over a million Texans are going without health insurance. It is fiscally irresponsible not to expand Medicaid, because the federal government covers 90% of the costs—that means our federal tax dollars are going to other states instead of helping Texans.
Lydia Bean believes that all Texans should be able to earn paid sick time at their job, so that they can stay home to care for themselves or a sick child. Dr. Bean helped found Working Texans for Paid Sick Time, a campaign that won earn paid sick time for all workers in Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin.
Dr. Bean will stand up against state interference with city and county policies that help working Texans. In 2019, interest groups lobbied the Texas Legislature to take away paid sick time from working families by preempting—or striking down—our city ordinances. The incumbent in HD 93, Matt Krause, filed a preemption bill to take away paid sick days from hundreds of thousands of Texas families. As a state representative, Dr. Bean will defend local democracy from special interests who want to silence our voices.
Dr. Bean has experience as both a nonprofit employer and small business owner. She is Business Director and part-owner of RE:site Studio, a fast-growing public art business that she helped build with her husband, Norman Lee. As an advocate for good, safe jobs, Dr. Bean prioritizes smart public policy that helps working families and spurs economic growth and entrepreneurship.
Dr. Lydia Bean is passionate about equipping ordinary people to make their voices heard in state politics. She is a Fellow at New America, where she studies state politics and how states are interfering with local policy using preemption. She has written about faith, values, and politics for the Washington Post, Sojourners, and academic journals. Her first book, The Politics of Evangelical Identity, was published by Princeton University Press in 2014. As a writer, Dr. Bean has sought to create greater mutual understanding between people with different politics and religious beliefs.
Dr. Lydia Bean and her husband, Norman Lee, live in Arlington and belong to Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Harvard University and a bachelors from Austin College in Sherman, Texas.