Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez took to social media last week to announce that she’s reached significant milestones having hosted 100 town halls, handwritten almost 5,000 letters to constituents and distributed nearly 100,000 certificates since being elected to the State Assembly in 2012.
Melendez held two town halls in Canyon Lake this month. The first town hall was held on the morning of May 10 at the country club. The second town hall was held in the evening at Canyon Lake City Hall.
“I came into office knowing I’m answerable to my constituents and the only way they can hold me accountable is to have access to me,” said Melendez. “I wish more legislators would talk with those they represent and hear what they have to say on the issues important to them. It’s impossible to be an effective representative if we are not listening to the perspectives of those we represent.”
Melendez began holding town halls when she was first elected to the Lake Elsinore City Council in 2008 and has continued her efforts to meet with constituents as a member of the California State Assembly. She moves her town halls from city to city throughout her district in order to give equal access to everyone she represents. In the last few years, Melendez expanded the frequency of her town halls to at least two per month, one in the evening and one in the morning.
Melendez is also known by her constituents for her handwritten letters. Every week she personally responds to every letter she receives.
“The best way to know what they’re thinking is to ask them,” she said about her constituents. “If someone is going to take the time to reach out to me, the least I can do is write them back. I wish that more legislators would take the effort to communicate with those they represent.”
Melendez represents the 67th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar and a portion of Hemet. It also includes the Riverside County unincorporated areas of Lake Mathews, Good Hope Nuevo and Winchester.