Murrieta's Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) welcomed about 50 constituents at her first community coffee of the year at Flour Fusion Bakery in Lake Elsinore.
Melendez, who was elected to office in November, began the monthly coffee meetings while on the Lake Elsinore city council and intends to keep up the monthly tradition as a representative of the 67th Assembly District.
“The best way to know what is on the minds of our residents, is to ask them,” said Melendez. “These informal meetings are a great way to meet the people I represent and listen tot heir concerns.”
The overwhelming topic of discussion at the Feb. 22 meeting was gun control.
“The steps our State Legislature and the Federal Government are intending to take on gun control has a lot of people concerned,” said Melendez, who serves as Vice Chair of the Public Safety Committee. “California has the strictest gun control measures in the country and as a gun owner myself, I understand their frustration.”
Melendez also briefed the assembled crowd on her proposed legislation. Last week, she put forward her first bill, the California Military Families Financial Act of 2013, to alleviate financial burdens for military personnel serving overseas. The bill intends to expand upon the original California Military Families Act.
“The California Military Families Financial Act is very important to me something,” she explained. “When my husband deployed to Afghanistan a few years ago, the protections in the original bill helped us and by expanding on the original intent of the bill, we’ll be able to help more military men and women.”
Melendez plans on hosting a community coffee each month, and rotate locations throughout all the communities in the 67th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, Menifee, Wildomar and a portion of Hemet.
Lake Elsinore City Councilman Steve Manos attended the meeting at Flour Fusion last week and said he was impressed at how Melendez drew a standing-room only crowd.
"Not only did she take time to present a detailed update of the current matters of the State, she also demonstrated a considerable depth of knowledge and candor while responding to questions and comments from constituents for well over an hour. She clearly places a priority on being accessible to the public and listening to the needs of the people she represents," Manos said. --Contributed content