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2017-07-06

Melton speaks at Democratic Club meeting, Saturday

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Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress, District 21

Bandera Democrats welcome Rixi Melton, candidate for United States Congress, to their next meeting on Saturday, July 8.  Melton is the fourth opponent to 30-year Republican incumbent Lamar Smith to visit Bandera in anticipation of the 2018 mid-term elections. Melton is endorsed by “Bernicrat” Tom Wakely.
The doors open at 11 am for a covered dish luncheon and the candidate will be introduced at noon. The business meeting follows and interested citizens are always welcome.
The Bandera County Democratic Club meets monthly in the Community Room of the Bandera Electric Co-op, 3172 Hwy 16, Bandera.  Visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BanderaDems.

I am a working mom who knows what it's like to try and earn a living while raising children. I worked at a guitar store making $15 an hour. The store didn't open until 11 and I had to pick up my kids from school at 3. So, I teach guitar in the evenings, which also requires a lot of planning and coordinating childcare. I know what it's like to have to work two jobs and still have to pay for all of my healthcare coverage.
I remember when my first child was born you couldn't get maternity coverage under individual health insurance plans in Texas. My second child was born after the ACA provision required maternity coverage. It made a huge difference in dealing with the financial stress of prenatal care and childbirth.
My first child was born three weeks after hurricane Katrina, the same weekend as hurricane Rita. The hospital staff was so overwhelmed with evacuees from the Houston area, who had been transferred to Austin, that when I was very sick nobody noticed. Even though I was hundreds of miles away, I felt the consequences of how ill-prepared we were as a state and a country for extreme weather events.
When my house flooded, I was pregnant at home alone. I've never heard it rain that hard. I'm not sure where I would be today if we hadn't been able to move in with relatives while we repaired our home.
Helping people up after a fall shouldn't be dependent on luck. It takes a lot of resilience to come out of hard times but it helps to be prepared and to be honest about what we can do to prevent devastating situations.  We need to send people to Congress who truly understand how different policies affect real people and their real lives.
It matters if people can get the care they need — preventative care, mental healthcare, treatment when they become sick, and end of life care. It matters that we have well funded, high quality public schools.
I have benefited from the public school education I received and I believe that every child deserves a school as good as mine was, if not better, in their own communities and neighborhoods.
When I graduated from UT Austin, my tuition was under $2,000 per semester, which seemed like a lot at the time, but now it's over two-times that amount, yet funding for public universities and schools continues to be cut.
I know from experience that it's more expensive to live when you struggle financially — it's harder to get a credit card, the interests rates are higher for loans or mortgages, if you can't pay your bills right away you get hit with fees.
People want to work. Moms want to work and contribute to their communities. People want to start their own businesses and see their ideas take off. Universal healthcare and tax deductions for childcare would go a long way to helping a lot of people pull themselves out of economic hardship.
I also believe that we have a responsibility to the men and women who serve our country. I'm the granddaughter and daughter of combat veterans and I know that the effects of war reverberate for generations to come. Every veteran should be given the dignity of whatever healthcare they need and help getting back on their feet. No veteran should face homelessness, feel they have nowhere to turn, or experience poverty after serving our country.
I've spent almost my entire life in central Texas. I am a native Texan and I deeply care about the well being of the Texas Hill Country and the people who live here.