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Posts tagged: town hall meetings

Legislative town halls at the MAC today

The Museum of Arts and Culture will be a busy place this weekend for Spokane residents who want to ask their legislators what’s happening in Olympia.

As the 2014 session nears the two-thirds mark, legislators from the 3rd and 6th Districts have town hall meetings Saturday at the MAC, 2316 W. First Ave.

Democratic Sen. Andy Billig and Rep. Marcus Riccelli will have a meeting there from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Their district includes downtown, Browne’s Addition, the lower South Hill and neighborhoods as far north as Hillyard.

Republican Sen. Mike Baumgartner, Reps. Kevin Parker and Jeff Holy will be in the same location from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Their district includes parts of northwest and south Spokane, the West Plains, Cheney and Airway Heights

Say what? Voice-to-text loses in translation

A colleague got the following voice-to-text message last night. See if you can figure out what it ought to say.

“Good evening spoke an(?) State Representative is Marcus with Shelly and Tim arms be along with Senator Randy Bill legs(?) are currently holding a live telephone town hall meeting but it appears that you're unavailable. If you get this message before seven fifteen pm tonight and you'd like to purchase a paid. Just call toll free 18772298493 and enter the ID code 186461 prompted. For the record the phone number placing this call is 3607867604. Thank you and have a good night.”

 Translation inside the blog.

6th District call-in tonight

Sen. Mike Baumgartner and Rep. Jeff Holy, two Republicans who represent Spokane's 6th Legislative District, are holding a town hall meeting by phone this evening.

The session will feature a live poll of those on the line and a chance to ask questions of the legislators.

The one-hour session begins at 7 p.m. to those who call 1-877-229-8493 and enter the ID number 17921. 

Legislative town hall meetings in Spokane

Spokane-area residents will have chances to ask their legislators what’s going on in Olympia this weekend at several town hall meetings scheduled for Saturday.

Sen. Andy Billig, Reps. Timm Ormsby and Marcus Riccelli, all Democrats from central Spokane’s 3rd District, have a 10 a.m. meeting at Shadle Park High School Auditorium, 4327 N. Ash, and a 2 p.m. meeting at Emmanuel Family Life Center, 631 S. Richard Allen Ct.

Sen. Mike Baumgartner, Reps. Kevin Parker and Jeff Holy, Republicans from northwest and south Spokane’s 6th District, have a 10 a.m. meeting at Lincoln Heights Elementary School, 3322 E. 22nd Ave.  

Not sure what legislative district you're in? For a detailed map of Spokane-area legislative districts, click here.

Question for legislators? You might be able to phone it in

OLYMPIA – With the legislative session a little more than halfway through, many Washington residents might have a question or two for their state senator or representatives.

Some might have lots of questions.

Although many legislators are ensconced in Olympia for the duration, some plan to come back for town hall meetings this weekend. Others will be asking their constituents to phone it in – take part in a teleconference version of those meetings, sometimes known as a tele-town hall.

“It’ll be interesting,” state Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, said of his first tele-town hall, scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight. Although he served some 15 years in the House, the technology didn’t exist to do call-in meetings with large groups when he left the Legislature in 1995.

Participants call a toll-free number and enter an access code to participate. Some just dial in to listen; others want to ask questions.

In a session that involves fixing a major gap in the state’s general fund, cutting programs, possibly raising taxes, and approving a bill to allow same-sex marriage, there’s probably plenty to talk about.

For a list of teleconferences and actual town hall meetings for Spokane-area legislators in the coming weeks, click here to go inside the blog

3rd Lege District “town hall” call on Wednesday

Residents of Spokane's 3rd Legislative District might be getting a call around 6 p.m. Wednesday inviting them to participate in a tele-town hall.

A what? you might say.

It's like a town hall meeting, only on the telephone.

Sen. Lisa Brown and Reps. Timm Ormsby and Andy Billig will all be on the other end. Or more accurately, another ends. In a tele-town hall, there are lots of ends because hundreds of people can be on the line.

Participants can ask their questions, and listen to the questions of others and the answers from the three Democratic legislators. If you want to participate but don't get a call, you can dial toll-free at 1-877-229-8493. You'll have to enter an ID code when requested, of 18646.

A spokeswoman said the three legislators decided to do a town hall meeting by phone because scheduling a session in Spokane early the session can be difficult. They may do one in person later.

For 6th District residents, however, can ask their state senator questions the old fashioned, face-to-face way on Saturday. Sen. Mike Baumgartner is holding two standard town hall meetings.

The first will be at 8 a.m. at the Multipurpose Room, PUB 101, on EWU Cheney campus. (It's hosted by the Associated Students of Eastern Washington University, who apparently don't plan to party late into the night Friday to be up bright and early for the town hall meeting…or maybe they just won't go to bed until after the meeting is over.)

Another meeitng is at 10:30 a.m. at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in Browne's Addition, 2316 West 1st Ave.

Town hall Saturday to discuss bomb, violence

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and state Rep. Kevin Parker will hold a town hall meeting Saturday to discuss public concerns over the bomb found along the parade route in downtown Spokane Monday.
The one-hour forum, “Understanding threats in our community”, will allow area residents to discuss their concerns and share ideas about the bomb that rerouted Spokane’s Martin Luther King Day parade as well as the Tucson shootings, Parker, R-Spokane, said.
“As a survivor of the shootings at Columbine High School in 1999, I have learned it is essential we come together to talk about the safety of the community,” said Parker, who was a youth counselor talking with a student when those shootings occurred.
The town hall begins at 10 a.m. Saturday in Room 122 of the Phase 1 Building, WSU Riverpoint Campus, 412 E. Spokane Falls Blvd.


In town, at a hall. It’s a town hall meeting

OLYMPIA — With the session about two-thirds gone, some legislators are using the time this weekend or next week to check in with the voters and talkabout what’s happened so far, and what’s up next.

In the Spokane area, legislators from the 6th District have town hall meetings on Saturday, while House members in the 4th District are doing one by phone rence on Tuesday. Here’s the info on both.

Democratic Sen. Chris Marr and Rep. John Driscoll have two meetings Saturday:
10 a.m. at Northwood Middle School, 13120 N. Pittsburgh
 2 p.m. at Hamblen Elementary, 2121 E. Thurston.

Republican Rep. Kevin Parker also has two meetings, but at different locales:
9 a.m. at Ridgeview Elementary, 5610 N. Maple
11 a.m. at the Museum of Arts and Culture, 2316 W. First.

Republican Reps. Larry Crouse and Matt Shea have a “telephone town hall” starting at 6:50 p.m. Tuesday. To participate, dial in close to that time at 1-877-229-8493, and use a PIN of 15550.

On a “newsy” note, a group of social, education and environmental organizations supporting tax increases to stave off further program cuts is mobilizing forces to attend the town hall meetings of Democrats. A  notice from Rebuilding Our Economic Future Coalition is asking for its supporters to attend the Marr/Driscoll events.


Town hall meetings have limits

Town hall meetings are under the microscope this August as some members of Congress find hostile constituents waiting when they’re back from Washington, D.C.

 Liberals and conservatives argue whether the town halls represent the general public mood or ginned up outrage. In truth, they may be a little of both. Town halls are many things – participatory democracy, political theater and off-season campaigning.

What they are not, however, is a particularly good place to get information.

This summer’s hot topic is health care reform, brought on by congressional consideration of a bill that fills more than 1,000 pages and is so vague that people are understandably confused and concerned. But the best way to clear up that confusion isn’t always by asking about a complicated subject while a dozen or so other people wait anxiously in line behind you and 400 or more of your neighbors cheer or boo.

Then there’s the other problem: sometimes people say things that just aren’t true, and members of Congress either don’t bother to correct them, or say other incorrect things.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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