Thursday, April 3, 2008

Interview with Jorge

Dear Neighbors,

Last week, I was interviewed by a young man, Jorge Olguin who is a student at San Jacinto Community College. He had contacted me because he was attempting to complete a special project for his Government professor and asked if I would willing to answer questions on issues involving House District 127.

I sensed that both Jorge and his professor had another motives regarding this request but nonetheless the next day over coffee I attempted to answer Jorge questions.

Jorge asked, “Mr. Montemayor, I am thankful that you agreed to answer my questions and I only wish that your opponent would do the same. I have tried to contact Mr. Crabb but he has failed to return my call and I can only get an answering machine. I understand that he has a history of not responding to residents in House District 127. Are you aware of this practice and do you intend following his practice if elected?”

I answered, “Jorge, I can understand your frustration and you are not the first person to have difficulty in reaching Mr. Crabb. In fact Mr. Crabb’s failure to return calls and refusals to meet with individuals in the district has been noted in the media. I do not know the actual circumstances regarding these incidents and it would be unfair of me to speculate what Mr. Crabb’s motives were at the time.

I can only state that when elected I would make every effort to receive all residents of House District 127. With such a large district, I anticipate that some adjustments may be necessary to schedule time and to seek the assistance from staff members to accommodate all residents of the district.”

Jorge then asked, “Sir, I graduated from Channelview High school; and have lived in the district for the past six years and I have never met Mr. Crabb, also I have asked friends of mine who have lived in Baytown, Highlands and Crosby and no one can recall Mr. Crabb attending any school function or any other community functions. I did find during the course of my research that he is very active in the Kingwood area. It appears that he is focused solely on the Kingwood area, don’t you agree?”

I replied, “Jorge, I can only refer you to Mr. Crabb for your answer.

As for myself I can only say that both my sons graduated from Channelview High School, went on to San Jacinto Community College and later to Sam Houston State where my son Joe received two degrees and my son James is still attending. My daughter and son in law live in Baytown where my three grandchildren attend Goose Creek Schools. My wife and I live in Crosby where we are active in our church, LULAC Council 4706, Knights of Columbus, Harris County Democratic Party, the Kingwood Area Democrats and the Hispanic Executive Society of Kingwood.

I realize that House District 127 is a large district that includes ten school districts with over 138,000 students and three community colleges but my hope is that as a State Representative I would serve as a role model for all students. Not only by attending school functions but also by working with parents and staff of these districts to provide a better understanding regarding the needs of all our residents and obtaining resources vital to serving the children of our districts.”

Jorge then asked, “Speaking of the children in the district, Mr. Crabb voted against the Texas Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP program) during the last legislative section but he never explained what his reasons were for voting against the program. I would like to know what your position is on this issue.”

I replied, “Jorge, I believe that in life each person must account for their actions to the people that these actions affect.

Again, I cannot speak for Mr. Crabb but it is common knowledge that the Republican leadership stated that if approved, the CHIP program would provide benefits to children of illegal aliens residing in the Texas.

Do I agree with this reason? To be truthful, no, I do not.

As I understand the program:

  • The CHIP program is not a free benefit given to anyone.
  • In order to qualify for the CHIP program, the parents must have assistance and incomes below established levels. (A family of three would be required to have an annual income of less that $20,000.00 per year.)
  • The program allows families (parents, step-parents, grandparents, other relatives, legal guardians or adult brother or sisters) without health insurance to obtain low cost health insurance for any child (under 19 years of age) that is a United States Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States.
  • No adult regardless of their nationality or legal status can obtain coverage under the program.
  • The funds that are spent by the state regarding this program are match dollar for dollar by the federal government which allows the state to cover more uninsured children.
In my opinion Jorge, the Republican leadership was playing politics with the children of Texas. They knew that in taking this position they were punishing low income U.S. citizen children.”

As the interview continued, it was obvious that Jorge was voicing the same frustration that other residents have experienced with the lack of representation for our district with respect to accessibility to our elected official, education and health care.

I can only remind everyone within the district that we have the opportunity to correct this situation in November. Please visit my website at

Your Democratic Candidate for Texas House Dist. 127,

Joe A. Montemayor

No comments: