May 28, 2009

Fort Collins, speak your mind

Filed under: Politics,Publications — grahamophone @ 5:50 pm

Politically active Fort Collins residents, you have a chance to speak your mind twice this week. Unfortunately, you’ll mostly be talking to state legislators, who are not in session until January. Still, it is a chance for the airing of grievances outside of Festivus season.

• Democratic state Reps. John Kefalas and Randy Fischer and Democratic state Sen. Bob Bacon host a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, June 1. Gov. Bill Ritter will also be on hand to sign legislation sponsored by northern Colorado legislator. Here is more information about the event.

To be sure, not everyone agrees with Fischer and Kefalas, but they are to be commended for their accessibility. They host regular town hall meetings and other opportunities to meet with constituents. I have personally always received prompt personal responses from both representatives (as a resident, not a citizen journalist).

Likewise, Bacon is diligent about responding to e-mails. He is also an effective legislator who sponsors long lists of bills in each session. Here is a partial list of his successful bills.

Ritter, on the other hand, is sometimes criticized for running a constant campaign, having already widely distributed  fundraising letters for this 2010 re-election campaign. Some will see his Fort Collins bill-signing event as another campaign event. However, he is hopefully sticking around for the town hall meeting to hear from Fort Collins residents.

• The same representatives, minus the governor, will attend a forum on health care reform on Saturday, May 30. The event is part of the National Day of Action on health care reform. Here is more information about the event. It is one of hundreds of events around the country hosted by Health Care Now. The group advocates national single-payer health care to replace the private insurance system. The plan is a greater departure from current policy than President Obama’s proposal.

Obama’s plan, which is currently making its way through Congress, would guarantee coverage for the 47 million uninsured U.S. citizens. It would also create a federal government alternative to the private health care system. Obama is ramping up Organizing for America to push for his proposal. Conservative critics are also increasing their media campaign on health care reform and the dangers of Obama’s “socialist” nationalized health care system.

Though there are widely divergent opinions on the proper solution, there is little debate the U.S. health-care system could stand some reform.


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