Shows offers hope to district woes

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 11, 2001

Ronnie Shows did not offer answers to all the problems facing Mississippi’s 4th District, but he did offer hope.

&uot;I hope we’ve helped some people,&uot; said Shows, the Democratic representative in his first term in the House of Representatives. &uot;That’s what we’re trying to do.&uot;

Shows spoke for about 20 minutes on Friday to the small crowd gathered in the council chamber on South Pearl Street.

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He covered a wide range of subjects, from education to health care.

Mississippi is at a disadvantage in Congress because of its rural status, Shows said.

&uot;We are the fifth most rural state. Seventy-five percent of the people in this country live in metropolitan areas; so 75 percent of the representatives in Congress are from metropolitan areas,&uot; he said.

&uot;That makes a big difference in the mindset of Congress when we’re dealing with issues such as agriculture.&uot;

Shows emphasized a need to help children in Mississippi get the best possible education.

&uot;We need to have smaller classes. We need to be sure we’re recruiting the best teachers.&uot;

And to help children outside the classroom, he suggested a bill he has supported. &uot;It’s called the Safe Harbor Act, and it would provide two hours every evening of programs with absolutely no violence. We have to do something about the violence and vulgarity children are exposed to.&uot;

The global marketplace has its good and negative sides for small, rural states such as Mississippi, Shows said. He is not an advocate of the North American Free Trade Agreement. &uot;I don’t know how it’s helped my district. It has almost ruined rural America,&uot; he said.

&uot;We’re losing dairy farmers every day. The timber industry is devastated right now,&uot; he said.

Shows has been a military veterans advocate for many years. His emphasis now is on finding ways to ensure their health care is adequate.

&uot;I don’t know why military retirees can’t have the same health insurance that all other government employees get after 20 years,&uot; he said. &uot;Why not provide them with the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan.&uot;