State Democratic leaders hold town hall meeting in Columbus


COLUMBUS, Ga. — A large crowd showed up to have their voices heard at a town hall meeting Monday night led by state Democratic leaders.  Columbus area Democratic State Representatives Calvin Smyre, Debbie Buckner, Carolyn Hugley, and Senator Ed Harbison addressed highlights on the House Democratic Legislative agenda.

Columbus resident Elizabeth Romey was one of about 100 who attended the town hall meeting.

“I got motivated during the election and after the election wanting become more involved,” she said.

Representative Smyre says the turnout at Monday night’s town hall is encouraging.

“I think people are paying more attention to the government, yes I think.  And of course nationally, it always trickles down to the local areas,” he said.

State Democratic leaders introduced their new online initiative, Georgia Resists, in response to President Trump’s Administration.

“Is a part of the House Democratic Caucus and it’s a website to help keep people plugged in to what’s going in on the state and in the nation,” Rep. Smyre said.

News 3 caught up with Muscogee County Republican Party Chairman Rick Allen earlier Monday in response to the meeting.

“We have a chance to move forward and I think if they give the new president a chance there might be some policies and some things set in place might make everybody happier.  We’re looking for more prosperity for everybody.  More freedom for everybody,” Allen said.

Rep. Smyre says education was a popular topic at the meeting.

“It’s the key to having a more productive society so, with that in mind, I think people are always interested in education and how it supplied the state.  Of course the state had to be addressed to our local school boards and school system,” he said.

Romey says the economy, making sure the education system supports student achievement, and voter turnout are important issues.

“Making sure that everybody knows where they can vote, if they’re registered to vote, making it easier for all of us to use our votes and our voices.  That’s the most important thing in a democracy,” she said.

Rep. Hugley responded to a question regarding what the state is doing to help refugees and immigrants.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure we don’t get a Sanctuary Cities Bill, Sanctuary Campuses Bill that legislature has introduced wanting to take away funds from colleges that offer assistance to immigrants,” she said.

Other topics discussed include medical marijuana,  whether to allow guns on college campuses, and casinos in Georgia.

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