This year, we tried something different for WBNA's 4th annual Conversation with our Elected Officials which took place on March 6. We changed the format to a town hall style meeting that was entirely devoted to questions from the audience and from online submissions collected in advance of the event. We also added spanish translation to enable more of our neighbors to participate.
This shift led to a dynamic evening and set a welcome and generous tone of candidness from our honored guests and neighbors. At least 80 neighbors were in attendance to hear directly from their State and City legislators. It was a powerful evening, and we appreciate that nearly all of the invited officials were able to participate in the event.
Question topics were wide ranging and covered both city and state issues including the Community Safety Act, reproductive rights, immigration and current state legislation on immigration issues, divestment from banks extending loans to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline, the reconstruction of Route 6-10, and the current and future state of John Hope Settlement House.
We applaud and thank our neighbors who came out to participate in this conversation and our elected officials who made the time to be with their constituents in this intimate forum. Many legislators stayed long after the program to speak one-on-one with neighbors about issues that mattered to them. We look forward to continuing to work with legislators and neighbors on many of the issues raised at this event.
Senator Paul V. Jabour, District 5
Senator Harold Metts, District 6
Representative John J. Lombardi, District 8
Representative Anastasia Williams, District 9
Councilor Bryan Principe, Ward 13
Thanks also to former WBNA Board Member and excellent neighbor Joe Vang and the Providence Hmong Church for hosting this event, to Dorca Paulino who provided Spanish translation to our guests, and to Katie Lehart for providing childcare.