I'm Melina Baker, candidate for US House of Representatives for District 32 in Texas!
I have lived in Texas most of my life, but I consider my hometown to be Jacksonville, Texas. I married my high school sweetheart 34 years ago and we immediately moved to San Diego, California, while he proudly served our country in the US Navy. After his discharge, we returned to Texas so I could finish my studies at Stephen F Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, where I earned my BBA in Accounting. We then returned to California until our daughter became old enough to go to school and we decided it was time to return to the slower pace of rural Texas.
I've been interested in politics for as long as I can remember - I remember following Watergate and Nixon's resignation. I helped campaign for a family friend in his state rep race in high school, and phone banked for campaigns again once I was old enough to vote myself. In fact, I went to the Democratic State Convention at age 19, in the days when Texas was blue or nothing. On our return to Texas, I phone banked and block walked in local campaigns. Meanwhile, I switched back and forth between parties, unable to find a fit in either of the old parties. IN 2012, I heard Lee Wrights deliver his nomination speech on television, and I realized - the Libertarian Party was my political home.
We settled into life back in Jacksonville, where my husband and I followed our kids in their interests and where we involved ourselves in their schools and in our community. When our daughter took up soccer, we learned everything about soccer and eventually coached and referee soccer and volunteered on the soccer association board as well. After ten years in soccer, we switched gears to follow our son into scouting,where we threw ourselves into that as well, taking on numerous roles in our local BSA council from den leaders and cubmasters for our pack to event organizers for our district, to merit badge counselors for the council. Fifteen years and one Eagle Scout later, we are still active in scouting, and it looks like we will be involved for a few more years as our grandson works his way to Eagle Scout.
I have worked in administrative functions in manufacturing facilities, where I found the process of mass production to be fascinating and invigorating - the sounds and smells and sights of American ingenuity at work. In other jobs, I have worked in non-profit arenas where I have seen the best and the worst of humanity. Always though, I am encouraged that when called upon, the vast majority of Americans step up to the aid of their fellow man.
Volunteerism has been a way of life in our family. Aside from the roles mentioned above, I have also served on the board of the local social service non-profit where my daughter and I co-directed the Coats for Kids program. I've served as a literacy tutor with the Literacy Council and I mentored young women to help them become independent as a part of the AFDC (now TANF) program. Recently I tried my hand as the Assistant to the Director of a theatre production at our county's civic theatre - and that was FUN!
The most important aspect of my life is my faith. It is also extremely important to me, life or death - literally. Although I stand behind the Libertarian Party and support it in many ways, I answer to my Lord and Savior and so seek His guidance in all that I do. At the same time, I try to respect others and their faith, even if it differs than my own.
I hope to bring all of this background as a regular, every day sort of person into public service, where I seek to represent other people just like me, always with character and integrity.