Congressmen to speak at open forum

Congressman Jim Turner (D), who represents the Huntsville and East Texas area in Washington, D.C., and Congressman Kevin Brady (R), whose district includes Montgomery County and The Woodlands, will be together in the Criminal Justice Center Auditorium tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to answer questions from members of the SHSU, Huntsville and surrounding communities. The event is sponsored by the SHSU political science department and the Institute for Civility in Government.Dr. John Holcombe, professor at Sam, said the open forum was organized to give the public a chance to talk about their concerns and to show that political leaders from opposing parties can deal with important issues in a civil manner.”This forum gives the community a chance to see both parties in person and in action,” Holcombe said. “It’s a chance for people to realize that their perceptions of a specific political party may be incorrect and to see that both parties can be extremely civil when discussing different issues.”Brady is serving his third term in Congress, representing the 8th District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives.According to Brady’s Web site, Brady has focused on international trade, technology, tax reform, and closing safe havens around the globe for criminals who flee American justice. He is best known as author of the Federal Sunset Act, which would abolish obsolete agencies and eliminate duplication by placing an expiration date on every federal program where they must justify their existence to taxpayers or face elimination.Turner was elected in 1996 to represent the 2nd Congressional District of Texas. Turner’s Web site states that he is policy chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative members whose leadership helped to enact the first balanced federal budget in 29 years. Turner is also a member of the New Democrat Coalition, a group of moderates, which focuses on trade, technology and fiscal responsibility.SHSU President James Gaertner will give the opening welcome at the forum and according to Holcombe, 15 area high schools, including Crockett and Navasota, and community members have been invited to attend.”We hope to have a very good crowd,” Holcombe said.Nacole Predom, senior political science major, believes the forum is a great idea.”I hope this forum opens a lot of people’s eyes about the opposing political parties,” Predom said. “A lot of people have negative perceptions about one or both of the political parties and this is an opportunity for the community to get a live observation of both parties.”Holcombe said the forum would also give the congressmen a chance to answer questions on issues, discuss the nature of their work and other concerns the audience may have.Holcombe also said this is the first time such an event has been held on this campus and everyone should attempt to attend.”It is great to have speakers of their status come to Sam,” he said. “We have never had two congressmen come to speak and we are very excited.”Junior political science major, Charvett Brooks, said she is glad to have the opportunity to discuss the issues involving the community.”I enjoy interacting with political leaders,” Brooks said. “I can’t wait to talk about my concerns on various topics with the congressmen. I like to make sure the people who I voted for are doing their jobs.”

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