Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Rep. Bruce Chandler and I co-hosted our first tele-forum Feb. 25, and we were very pleased with the response from 15th District constituents, several of whom commented on the convenience and ease of participating in the virtual town meeting.
The format of the hour-long program was similar to that of a radio talk show, and allowed us to have one-on-one conversations with callers. Using an automated dialing system, we were able to connect with thousands of people in the district. Participants had the option of asking questions and taking part in an opinion poll, or just listening in.
While the tele-forum technology provides an additional communication tool to keep in touch with constituents, I also plan to host traditional in-district town hall meetings after the session concludes.
Here are a few quick details about the tele-forum event:
* Total Attendees = 2,247
* Peak Attendees (most on at any one time) = 452
* Calls Screened = 57
* Live Questions (those that we went on the air with) = 17
* Sixty-two callers left voice-mail messages for Rep. Chandler and me after the tele-forum concluded.
There were two poll questions:
Question #1: What should be protected in the state budget as the Legislature balances a $2.7 billion shortfall?
1. Education= 38%
2. Global warming = 3%
3. Public safety = 23%
4. Social services = 16%
5. Nothing = 19%
Question #2: There are several proposals from the governor and majority Democrats to increase taxes. Which one of the following do you support?
1. Bottled water = 7%
2. Candy and pop = 12%
3. Gas and household cleaners = 2%
4. General sales tax increase = 10%
5. Other = 4%
6. No taxes should be increased = 66%
On behalf of Rep. Chandler, our sincere thanks to everyone who participated. We have very difficult issues facing us in the closing days of the session, which is scheduled to conclude March 11. The opinions, thoughts and comments you shared with us will help guide our decisions in the session's closing days.
As always, if you have questions, concerns or ideas to share, please contact my office in Olympia at (360)786-7874.
It's an honor to serve you!