To the Editor:
I attended state Rep. Jack Franks’ listening tour stop in Marengo on March 9.
I learned a lot and encourage others to attend these future meetings. The representative sincerely wanted to listen to his constituents and learn what matters are most important to us.
I discovered that the Legislature is in session four days a week, but, according to the representative, not accomplishing as much as it should because it is not focused on the pension and budget crisis in Illinois.
I observed that the vast majority who showed up at the meeting were also primarily concerned with the fiscal issues of the state, but there was an organized group, most of whom were not from the district, who were there to lobby against same-sex marriage.
Rep. Franks explained that while social issues are always important, he remains focused on the most pressing issue facing all Illinoisans, the pension fund fix.
He said he met with folks in Hebron the previous week and will hold similar events in all towns throughout the district over the next few months to continue to listen to his constituents.
I found his approach old-fashioned and comforting. It is not often that a public official puts himself out to be readily accessible and engages citizen input. The dialogue was respectful and enlightening. I hope that our other elected officials follow Rep. Franks’ example and really listen to their constituents.