Importance of Meeting with Nebraskans
There has been a lot of discussion lately about the rhetoric in our country. National news networks roll footage of contentious meetings between public officials and those they represent. People yelling at one another and calling names has sadly become commonplace.
On the other hand, my experiences in the Third District have made me even more proud to be a Nebraskan.
Over the past couple weeks, I have hosted mobile offices in Chadron and St. Paul to answer questions and hear Nebraskans’ thoughts firsthand. I also spoke at a public meeting in Scottsbluff hosted by the Western Nebraska Cattlemen. In each of these gatherings, we discussed issues from health care to tax reform to trade. Those attending have been engaged citizens wanting to share their concerns and opinions.
You may have heard the expression our country is run by those who show up. I am always open to hearing from those who make the effort to be part of a productive discussion. Though there has certainly been some disagreement in my public meetings, in the end Nebraskans have expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to be heard. I appreciate their willingness to share their thoughts with me as well.
My interest in politics arose from conversations with my grandfather, and I credit him for instilling in me a desire for constructive, respectful debate. We often disagreed on political topics, but we had a tradition of watching the evening news together and talking about it afterward. He taught me how essential it is to hear all sides of an issue and listen to what others have to say.
Public meetings are an important part of my role as a representative – hearing your stories, receiving direct feedback, and sharing what I am working on every day in Congress. I am in the process of planning Farm Bill listening sessions in mid-April, as well as additional mobile offices in the coming months.
With Congress in session in Washington, D.C. more days this year and 65,000 square miles of the Third District to cover, I unfortunately cannot be everywhere I would like to be at once. To serve more Nebraskans, members of my staff also host numerous mobile offices and provide the feedback to me directly.
My congressional caseworkers hit the road often as well to host Caseworker in Your Community events for Nebraskans who need help dealing with a federal agency on issues such as Social Security, immigration, or veterans’ affairs. On March 22, Caseworker in Your Community events will be held in Ainsworth, Brewster, and Ord. Caseworkers can also be reached daily by calling my Grand Island office at 308-384-3900.
In addition to in-person public meetings, I appreciate the opportunity to engage with Nebraskans through telephone town halls when I am in Washington, D.C. These forums allow me to connect with thousands of Nebraskans across the Third District for live question and answer sessions. If you would like to be included on future telephone town halls, please send me a note through my website at AdrianSmith.house.gov or call my Washington, D.C. office at 202-225-6435.
To make sure you receive details about my upcoming public events, as well as events hosted by my staff, I encourage you to sign up for my e-newsletter at AdrianSmith.house.gov/Newsletter. Thank you for engaging with me in the political process.