State representative encourages students to vote

Voting can be intimidating for anyone even if they aren’t first time voters. The situation can be even more nerve-wracking with someone watching over their shoulder.

State Rep. Garnet Coleman urged students in a communications class on Wednesday to vote despite reports of voter intimidation.

Coleman recently sponsored a radio ad to encourage voting.

“You have the power of the vote and the only way you can use it is to take it to the polling place and cash your vote,” Coleman said in the radio ad. “If somebody gets in your way, you tell them politely, ‘I’m here to use my power, would you kindly step aside?’”

He is aware of about 12 reports of voter intimidation. He said individuals at the polls are trying to make sure that people are following the law but they are, in consequence, intimidating the voters.

Coleman grew up in a family that was informed about politics because he said that’s how you make change.

“I was brought up to be a part of the community that is governed by the people and I’m part of that people,” Coleman said. “Democracy is not a spectator sport. If people don’t know you’re upset about something, then nothing is going happen.”

Coleman has been a member of the Texas House of Representatives for District 147 since 1991.

“If you represent a district and live in that district, you know what the problems are,” Coleman said.

He has actively worked during that time to help his community.

“You work on the issues that you think are important and that you tell people you are going to work on and sometimes you are very successful but sometimes you are not,” Coleman said. “Sometimes it takes a long time to do them. I’ve tried very hard and I’ve been more successful than not.”

Coleman has worked to implement health care reform, such as preventing insurance companies from kicking off or denying coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions.

He co-authored the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which makes low-cost health insurance available to more than 400,000 children.

He also endorses Proposition 1, which would alleviate Houston flooding by creating a pay-as-you go fund to rebuild the streets and drainage systems.

“There are a lot of neighborhoods not near bayous that flood,” Coleman said. “It needs to be changed, and that’s why I’m for it.”

For more information about Garnet Coleman and the issues he supports, visit

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