Your concerns are my concerns

Published 12:51 am Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Last Wednesday, my office hosted our sixth telephone town hall. I talked to and fielded calls from people around the 2nd District from my congressional office in Montgomery. More than 4,400 stayed on the line for any part of the town hall. Many of the questions focused on health care, but participants were given the chance to ask about any issue they chose. If listeners’ questions were not answered, they could leave a message for me or my staff.

As you know, I place a very high priority on listening to and communicating with my constituents. I have heard overwhelmingly positive feedback from our previous telephone town halls because they are an effective way for me to talk to so many folks in my district and to better understand their concerns and views.

In addition to health care concerns, questions included the “cap and trade” energy bill, veterans’ issues, the national debt and deficit, Social Security and Medicare, the Second Amendment, poverty, and immigration. Twenty-three people were able to ask questions during the call, and 103 people left voicemails.

From the beginning, I have been opposed to the current health care legislation in Congress. It is clear from this call — where a poll we conducted showed that 77 percent of listeners were opposed to the bill — and from my many conversations with citizens across the 2nd District, that they are also opposed to the health care proposal.

Telephone town halls are not the only way I’ve kept in touch with you, however. On Monday, I concluded a tour of all 93 cities in the district, making a stop in Cowarts, which is just outside of Dothan. From the time I was sworn into office on Jan. 6, I have made it a priority to visit every city and town in the 2nd District by the end of August. These visits have included Congress on Your Corners, meet and greets, meetings with mayors and officials, citizen roundtables, seminars, and speeches to organizations such as Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.

To serve my constituents to the best of my ability, I need to know and understand your concerns. These visits to towns from Billingsley to Cottonwood, from Repton to Union Springs, have been extremely valuable. In fact in August alone, I have made well over 100 appearances across the district. The input I have received from thousands of constituents will help me represent your views and beliefs when Congress returns next week.

But just because I have visited every city doesn’t mean my work is finished. I will continue to keep a busy schedule and remain an independent voice that puts your interests ahead of any party’s or special interest’s agenda.

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call our offices in Montgomery at (334) 277-9113, Dothan at (334) 794-9680, Opp at (334) 493-9253, or Ozark at (334) 445-4600. You can also visit the website at to sign up for the e-newsletter. It is my great pleasure to serve you and the entire 2nd District of Alabama.