Conversing with citizens

Published 2:26 pm Tuesday, September 4, 2012

By SLADE BLACKWELL / Guest Columnist

Town hall meetings have been a fixture in the American political system since the 1600s, serving as an outlet for concerned citizens to converse with elected officials about issues important to them.

From national, televised meetings to small, local ones, the tradition of the town hall meeting has continued through the years. While the issues and conversations may have changed, the overall goal has remained the same: engage citizens and solve issues together.

I believe the benefits of town hall meetings are numerous and far reaching. Public meetings like this provide a way for constituents to voice opinions and concerns and provide a chance for us to solve problems together.

It also gives me the opportunity to update citizens on state and local issues that are relevant to the area. Over the past two years as your state senator, I have made it a goal to host meetings throughout my district and I will be continuing this effort during the fall and winter.

In the coming weeks and months, I am excited to begin a series of town hall meetings throughout Jefferson and Shelby counties, the first of which will be the evening of Sept. 11 in Wilsonville at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The public is invited and I encourage everyone to bring friends and family.

There is no greater time than now to get involved in state and national issues. In September, there will be a major vote of the people to determine how we will approach the state’s general fund budget. In November, we will elect a president and state and local officials. We will also vote to decide whether to continue Forever Wild.

As you can see, there is a lot to talk about; I hope we can discuss it together.

Slade Blackwell is serving his first term in the Alabama State Senate representing Jefferson and Shelby Counties in District 15.