Thursday, February 12, 2009
The Legislature is conducting a series of town hall meetings across the state to hear directly from constituents about the budget deficit. This is certainly more convenient for constituents than taking a half-day off work to drive to Saint Paul to elbow past the teachers' union lobbyists to meet with one's legislators (especially since even most metro area residents haven't even been to the Capitol since their fifth grade field trip, much less know their way around the Capitol and the State Office Building). It is less convenient, however, than picking up the telephone or sending an e-mail to one or multiple state Senators or Representatives (which most of us also have not done since fifth grade).
At their best, these town hall meetings can provide a Norman Rockwell-esque image of representative government: from the people's lips to their legislators' ears. At their worst, these meetings can degenerate into a political theater of literal shouting matches between competing special interests and ideologies. Such is government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And yet, the world belongs to those who show up to the meetings.
Speak now (or call, write, or e-mail) or forever hold your peace. Now is the time to tell the Legislature and Governor Pawlenty how you would balance the budget: before they tell you how they're going to do it.
Budget Solutions Town Hall Meeting
Thursday, February 26th, 7:00 p.m.
Plymouth City Hall
3400 Plymouth Blvd
Pre-register if you wish to testify.