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I’m working on a writing report and need a sample draft to help me learn.

1. Write a letter to your state legislator on a pertinent political issue (please use a professional letter format). The letter should indicate a desired outcome, and ought to be persuasive on what the state legislator needs to address and how. Provide some reason for the desired outcome.


2. Choose an on line petition that addresses a pertinent, current, political issue pertaining to Texas. Explain why signing this petition is important and discuss what the benefits would be if the goals of the petition are met or what the consequences would be if the petition’s goals are not met.

(Is the gun lobby too strong in Texas?)

Poverty in Texas
Border cities
among poorest
in Texas
along the
Poverty in Texas (2016)
Poorest Areas
Willacy County: Population: 22,056, has the highest poverty rate in the state
with 38.8 percent of residents living in poverty. It has the second-highest child
poverty rate with 45.9 percent.
Starr County: Population: 62,040 Starr County ranked as the second poorest
county in the state with 35.4 percent of its population living in poverty. Part of
the Rio Grande Valley, the county is mostly made up of several small towns,
including Rio Grande City.
Cameron County: Population: 415,10. 34.5 percent of Cameron County’s
residents are poor. Home to Brownsville and Harlingen, the county also has the
highest child poverty rate in the state with 47 percent of children living in
Hidalgo County: Population: 806,447. 33.5 percent of Hidalgo County’s
population lives in poverty. Home to McAllen and Edinburg, the county also
has a high share of poor children with 45.5 percent of children living in poverty.
Inequality: Poverty Rate Highest at Border, Lowest in Suburbs
Estimates from the last U.S. Census Bureau, show
that poverty is disproportionately distributed across
the state. Among counties with at least 10,000
residents, border counties face the highest rates of
residents living in poverty — nearly one in three
people in South Texas. Meanwhile,
suburban counties near the state’s largest cities
contain the smallest shares of poor people, with less
than 10 percent of residents living in poverty in
many suburbs.
Colonias in Texas date back to the 1950s, Many colonias started as migrant farmworker settlements in
response to the lack of affordable housing.
Colonias are found with 50 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border and are in California, Arizona, New Mexico and
The greatest concentration of colonias is in Texas, with approximately 2,294 colonias with a population of
more than 500,0
Colonias lack some of the most basic living necessities, such as potable water and sewer systems, electricity,
paved roads, safe housing, no trash pick ups, inadequate or no streetlights or policing.
Houses in colonias are often non-compliant with proper building inspections.
Colonias are often located on reclaimed agricultural land, rendering them effective flood zones that leave
homes more vulnerable to water damage during heavy rains.
The median household income in Texas colonias was $28,928 in 2015 (compared to $56,156 nationally)
Colonia outside Mission

La Paloma, San Benito
Contracts for Deed
• With a median house price at $40,730, down payment is usually
of $2,830 with monthly payment of $448.
• In colonias, homeownership begins with the land purchase, and
the home construction follows in bits and pieces as the family
can afford it. Land purchases are typically seller-financed
through contracts for deed (CFDs)
• The Texas Attorney General describes CFDs as “rent-to-own”
financing arrangements [that] are legal in Texas. The important
difference between a CFD and a conventional purchase contract
is that under the CFD, the buyer does not gain immediate equity
in the property as he or she makes payments
No Equity, No
Payment, No home
• With contract for deed the buyer
does not receive the deed until
all payments are met with an
interest rate similar to credit
cards 15-20 percent
• Purchasers accrue no equity
while making payments; if any
are missed, the seller often will
reclaim the property. The seller
usually is not obligated to return
any of the buyer’s payments,
even if the buyer made property
Why Choose a Contract for Deed?
Buyers may not meet the requirements for a mortgage, financial resources
for a down payment, closing costs; a dependable source of income, sufficient
income to pay for the mortgage, taxes and insurance; adequate
documentation of income and employment. Poor credit scores, failure to
meet building codes.
Many low-income families are hesitant to use the formal banking system, or
distrust banks. If household members are undocumented immigrants, they
stay away from formal institutions to avoid unwanted attention.
Third, many landowners and colonia developers prefer to finance the sale of
properties using CFDs as they do not have to transfer the title, or guarantee
that existing structures on the land meet county building codes.
Ineffective Legislation
In 1995, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 336, making CFDs
more difficult to use. The Colonia Fair Land Sales Act stipulated that
the deeds be recorded in the county clerk’s office—in effect, making
CFDs illegal. Despite these changes, the market for CFDs persists.
Landowners can sell property without a clean title, randomly increase
interest rates and undertake repossession at will. Buyers have legal
recourse but require a lawyer, whose services may be unavailable or
In Maverick County’s colonias, for example, an estimated 45 percent of
buyers lost their property through repossession from 1989 to 2010.
South Texas: Colonias
• https://www.youtube.c
• https://www.youtube.c
Texas and Health Care
• The 2019 edition of a report on health care by The Commonwealth Fund ranks
Texas last in access and affordability.
• Besides Texas, the states of Arkansas, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Mississippi are
ranked at the bottom of the report. In contrast, Connecticut, Hawaii,
Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont, and Washington are ranked as the states
with the best performance.
• The major driver of the uninsured rate in Texas is the state’s decision not to
expand eligibility for Medicaid, so that’s leaving many, many people without
insurance coverage.
• Texas ranks last in uninsured adults
• Texas’ rank in child health care: overall rank was 49 out of 50, and ranked 50 in
access, 38 in nutrition, and 31 in oral health

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