Kendall’s Blog

Featured

Back To School They Go

 

Back to School Kendall Baker

Children in our community started back to school this week. The older kids also started back to school, some in college or university programs of higher learning.

During this election season there is a lot of talk about a lot of issues. Education, both K-12 and higher ed, need greater coverage and interest, from all of us. Statistics verify that children born into poverty or other undesirable circumstances, have little chance over climbing to the next rung of the ladder. Education can be the great equalizer, but we must do more, and be smarter about what we do.

Too many politicians are out here telling us what they want to do, some some brag about what they may or may not have done. This is not a game, the stakes for failing are too high. I want to know what YOU want to do. I want to hear from you. What have you seen work? What have you seen fail? What have you seen that might be better with a little tweaking?

I’m asking you to discuss education with me, and there are many ways to that. You can comment here on this blog post and I will respond. You can email me at Kendall@BakerForTexas.com. You can ask me on social media, such as via my Twitter account @KendallBaker1.

I want to hear from you, and I look forward to hearing your comments and ideas.

Advertisements

Labor Day Feedback From Our Community

This week we celebrated Labor Day. A day which acknowledges and offers respect to America’s workers that help us to be prosperous and free.

I did not take the day off. Many people had to work on labor Day, so I spent some time in various parts of our community talking to workers when and where I could. I was seeking feedback on what they liked about their jobs and what kinds of things we can do in state government to make their lives easier, simpler and more free. Many people would also tell me about about their spouse or maybe their working age children. It is probably not a stretch to say that our community has perhaps the widest array of workers in various industries of any district in the county and perhaps even the state. From construction workers to short order cooks, from plumbers to cab drivers, from teachers to county and city workers. We have it all right here in our community.

The listening sessions also made something else clearer for me. As a fiscal conservative, it occurred to me again that the state spends more money than it needs to, and it could do with less. Yes, there are people we can assist when times are hard, in our prosperous and giving nation, that only makes sense. But, there are times when our assistance and our good intentions go to far, and hinder people more than we help them. This needs to be addressed.

One example: The person who wants to start his or her own small business, a small enterprise to us, but a huge endeavor to them, has to jump through many hurdles to get from idea to enterprise. There has to be a better way. There is, and I am happy to talk with you about that here on my website or on your front door step, if I have not met you already.

I am interested in hearing your ideas. That is how state government works best; when it listens to the people and seeks to make people more free to pursue dreams and enjoy life. Please email me with any questions or ideas at Kendall@BakerForTexas.com, or leave a comment here on the blog.

I am enjoying my opportunities to connect with our community, whether retired seniors, young parents or business owners. Our next State Representative should be someone willing to work hard on behalf of our entire community.

Criminal Justice Reform is Smart and Right

Kendall Baker Criminal Justice Reform

As I go door-to-door each day to discuss with voters who I am and why I want to represent them, I always ask them what issues concern them, what they want to see changed and how their next representative might be able to help empower them to revitalize their community and by extension, our district.

One issue that seems the most consistent is crime. Often, right there at the door step, I find myself getting into discussions with people who do not just want to lock people up and throw away the key. Many of our residents have lived in our community for anywhere from twenty to fifty years. These residents have seen that people get locked up, people go away, and yet crime never seems to decrease. It is still all around them; it is around us all. It is well known that when the breadwinner goes to jail or prison, the next in line will attempt to provide for the family. So in that sense, the cycle never breaks.

I talk about my experience as a pastor, as a community healer. I have suggested that jails and prisons are not rehabilitation centers, despite the best attempts or intentions. Do some people deserve to lose their freedom? Yes, of course, for the violent among us that refuse to adhere to the laws that exist, they should pay the penalty.

There are programs now that have proven to be great ways to keep repeat offenses down and get able-bodied people back to work. Often these are faith-based, and some will argue government should not be involved in funding such endeavors. I would argue that what works, deserves to be tried as much as possible. If the problem solver that gets us greater efficiency and greater accountability at a lower taxpayer cost, let’s find a way to make the solution bigger.

The voters I have spoken with overwhelmingly agree, and if they don’t fully agree with my thoughts, they know that a middle ground in this direction is preferable to the status quo. The tide is turning in the debate on criminal justice reform. As a Republican, I am glad that it is my side of the aisle that is offering the more humane solutions, looking for the best way to defeat the cause, not just defeat and distort the system with loopholes or favorable statistics.

We Republicans are looking at the whole person, and trying to make sure there is something to look forward to once freedom is regained, whether it is educational opportunity or a job. The other side of the aisle wants to distort the facts and then move along. When poverty or homelessness ensue, well, they have the “perfect” government programs for those things. These people may find themselves free from a cell, but they are never free from government, free from despair or free from the stigma of repeated rejection.

There is a better way, and we are leading it.

Every time I talk about crime and justice matters with a voter, I am reminded of this verse:

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
– Micah 6:8 (KJV)

Tax Free Weekend Starts Tomorrow!

Friday is the beginning of the Sales Tax Holiday across Texas. I want to encourage our community to get out and support local retailers this weekend, and save a little extra while you’re at it. All tax free items this weekend can be found at TexasTaxHoliday.org, the list includes various apparel, school supplies and other items.

I would also like to urge you, especially if you visit independent stores or shops, to visit with the owners and thank them for the value they provide to our community. Running a business is not easy, especially in an over-regulated business environment. These business leaders provide employment to our friends and neighbors, and they set a good example for many others to follow.

district-137-tax-free-weekend.jpg
Trend Mall, a retail outlet in our district.