Sunday, September 9, 2007

Rural Voters

The Sunday, September 9, Denver Post had a lead feature arguing that "there is a sense in many rural communities across the country, that they are invisible - at least politically." The headline said, "Rural America: Invisible Voters."
Clayton got considerable play in the story. Here are a couple of excerpts.
"Many rural residents resent interference by the federal government, but their towns' existence often depends on grants and funding for infrastructure.
"It's our lifeblood," said Garth Boyce, mayor of Clayton, N.M......
"Boyce counts his town of Clayton, tucked into the northeastern corner of New Mexico, lucky in getting a prison. At one point, it looked as if it might get a meatpacking plant.
""Those are dirty, dangerous jobs. We were willing to take it, but thank God we didn't get it," he said.
"The prison, which the smiling, gray-mustachioed Boyce prefers to call a "detention center," will bring 200 jobs and pay $12.50 an hour - more than twice the minimum wage.
"Not only could that make a difference in a cattle-ranching community where most of the 2,500 people hold low-paying jobs on the land or in service industries, but Boyce hopes it will fill some empty shops on Main Street.
"Government jobs also mean medical insurance, a luxury in this area. Chrystal Jonas, 23, is a home health care worker - but isn't covered herself.
""My kids get Medicaid, but there's no cheap insurance I can afford," said Jonas, dressed in multicolored medical scrubs and flanked by her 6-year-old son and her daughter, 5."
For the entire story see:

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