I have lived and worked in Texas House District 123 for nearly 20 years. This community in the heart of our city reflects San Antonio’s diversity and promise. I’m proud and grateful to call this vibrant community my home. When I began having serious conversations with neighbors, friends, voters, and business owners about running for office, I found that we all shared common concerns: providing for our families, finding good paying jobs, having the opportunity to build a better life, and giving women a much-needed voice in the House delegation from San Antonio. These shared concerns have convinced me to focus on improving our schools, creating good jobs, and ensuring equal opportunities for all Texans as your next State Representative.
Our current House delegation is not representative of the community it serves. I will be a fresh voice for all San Antonio, advocating tirelessly on behalf of District 123 and its residents. I intend to find common ground on difficult issues and compromise, without compromising my values and the values of our community.
I believe in public service. Throughout my career, I’ve contributed to our community through service on various boards and civic organizations. My experiences as a mother, small business owner, and community leader have taught me that the key to problem solving is often communicating and listening to find that uncommon, common ground. Because Texas’ legislative body is so diverse, effective communication is critical to progress.
Public Education and Testing
As a mother of two, I am deeply invested in the state of our education system. Preparing Texas students to compete and succeed in a global economy requires a first-rate education. With Texas students ranking nearly last nationwide in attaining their basic high school diplomas, I know that we can and must do better to ensure all children receive a quality education. Restoring previous cuts to educational funding, reducing class sizes and our reliance on standardized testing will help us move closer to meeting these goals.
To meet our educational goals, we must also allow our hard-working teachers to truly educate our children instead of teaching to the test. This means ensuring that our teachers have the adequate tools and resources they need to succeed in the classroom and supporting the Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Program so that we can attract quality educators to meet classroom needs.
The foundation of a quality education requires first-rate teachers, but we must also work to ensure that higher education pathways that are both accessible and affordable to every student. My parents worked very hard but they didn’t have the means to pay for my college education. Like many, I worked my way through community college, as well as undergraduate and master’s degrees at UTSA, and I continue to pay back the student loans that made that education possible.
The deregulation of college tuition in 2003 has allowed tuition rates at Texas universities to skyrocket. More and more, middle-income families must rely on private student loans so that their children can attain a college education, leaving both parents and students saddled with debt for years. All of this calls for change. I will work to make career and college education affordable and attainable, for anyone that wants to pursue it to ensure that future generations have the education they need to be productive members of our community. Ensuring the promotion of valuable skills and trades are also important to ensure that students are college and career ready.
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy making up over 90% of the Texas economy. As a small business owner, I understand the challenges that small business owners face in finding the courage to take that leap, gaining access to capital, and making payroll every month. I started my public relations firm, Aguillon & Associates LLC, at my kitchen table. Five challenging and rewarding years later we have grown to a staff of five with an office on Euclid Street in District 123.
I created the career that allowed me to balance both work and family. I believe that we must offer entrepreneurs the resources they need to thrive. Access to capital is critical in creating and growing businesses, which will in turn, generate good jobs that will allow families to own a home, send their children to college, and retire with security.
Equal opportunities for all Texans are essential to the success of our community. Whether it’s equal pay for women, access to capital for small businesses, access to quality health care and education, or veterans and seniors initiatives, I will work to ensure that the voices of all Texans are heard and that opportunities exist for all.
Leadership begins with commitment. I am committed to winning this race and I’m asking for your vote to elect me to be your voice in the Texas House of Representatives.
*Featured/top image: Texas House District 123 candidate Melissa Aguillon (center) stands with her husband, Thomas (right), and campaign signs. Courtesy photo.