'Lobby Your Legislators' this Saturday

EACH YEAR, on the second Monday of January, the Georgia Legislature gavels in for a 40 day session.

Hundreds of paid lobbyists flock to the Capitol to “work the velvet ropes”, but it is always difficult for your average Chatham County constituent to get to Atlanta to talk with their elected officials. Many bills are discussed and voted on during the first few months each year, but with all votes occurring on weekdays, your average citizen might feel unheard.

Now is your opportunity to have your voice heard!

On Saturday, September 7, Representative Ron Stephens is hosting a “Lobby Your Legislators” day at the Southwest Library, located next to Savannah Mall. The day will start at 10:30 a.m. with brief introductions of each elected official, and then constituents can have one-on-one time with the people who represent them.

Representative Ron Stephens says, “I don’t know that we have ever had anything like this before - basically an open house for the general public.”

Invited elected officials include Congressman Buddy Carter, both the Republican and Democrat members of the Georgia House and Senate, Chatham County Commissioners, City of Savannah Mayor and Aldermen, and elected officials from various Chatham County municipalities.

Chatham Emergency Management staff will be available with hurricane information, and the Elections Board will have a sample of the new voting machines for people to look at.

Senator Ben Watson says that he is, “looking forward to working with any constituent that many need help.”

Representative Craig Gordon says, “I think elected officials from the White House to local government should always listen to the concerns of its constituents, because that’s who put them in office. The event this year at the public library serves as an additional platform for constituents to voice concerns and ideas. Which in turn empowers me as we go into the 2020 legislative session in Atlanta.”

“I haven’t found an elected official yet who doesn’t listen to their constituents, but there might be a difference of opinions,” says Stephens. “Generally if someone doesn’t listen to their constituents, they aren’t there very long.”

Since some issues require cooperation from different levels of government, it will be easier to facilitate collaboration with everyone in the same room on Saturday.

It is always a good idea to have your concerns listed on a piece of paper with your contact information, that way your elected officials can follow up with you.

So whether you have a question, problem that needs to be fixed, a great idea for legislation, an opinion to share about a bill or an issue, or you just want to convey some good news about things going on in our community, your elected officials will be ready to greet you and listen this Saturday from 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Southwest Library, 14097 Abercorn.

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