Gwinnett commissioners will begin a spring town hall series this week.
In the next several weeks, commissioners will travel throughout the county, hosting question- and-answer sessions in each of the four commission districts. The first of the sessions is planned for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse in Lawrenceville, with a preceeding 6:15 p.m. open house where staff will be available to help constituents.
"I made a commitment we were going to do this," Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said, talking about her pledge during her State of the County speech earlier this year. "This is one of the avenues we are using (to increase government trust)."
Meetings are scheduled for April 30 at George Pierce Park Community Center and May 1 at Grayson High School. A May 9 session is expected to be held in the Norcross/Lilburn area, although a location has not yet been set.
Another protest last week
Protesters were out again this week at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, taking umbrage with U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall's recent budget vote.
Members of Georgia Fair Share had problems with the Ryan budget, saying it should have balanced spending cuts with revenues instead of corporate tax breaks.
"Corporations like Wells Fargo and GE earn billions of dollars in profits annually, but Rep. Woodall refuses to ask them to pay one penny in taxes. Instead, he voted to give corporations another tax break and asks Georgians to foot the bill," organizer Jason Pfeifle said. "Sequestration and further budget cuts -- like the ones proposed in the Ryan Republican budget -- come with dire consequences for our economy here in Georgia. We are backtracking on critical investments in the very programs and services that are responsible for our economic recovery, and we're doing it at the expense of working and middle class Georgians."
To illustrate their point, Thursday's protest had the protesters delivering remarks in front of a large invoice detailing the cost of corporate tax loopholes to Georgians. They delivered the bill to the congressman, saying his support for sequestration would cut jobs and hurt people and the economy.
"The Ryan budget not only guts funding for Head Start, Pell grants, and Medicaid, but it also changes Medicare into a voucher program. If we take this one-sided approach to deficit reduction, then our children will have even less access to education and healthcare than we have had," said Hope Adams, a concerned mother.
"We certainly have a very large problem regarding the cost of health care in our country," local retiree Billy Pond added. "But the Republican plan for dealing with Medicare just shifts all of those costs onto middle class Americans rather than dealing with the underlying cause of the problem."
The protesters said the current GOP proposals are not the solution.
"We're outraged that Representative Woodall voted for a budget that puts corporate profits ahead of the middle class," Pfeifle said.
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at email@example.com.
For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.