Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 30, 2013

The future is calling, but will anyone answer?

Jayson Larson
Athens Daily Review

Athens — U.S. Representative Jeb Hensarling created quite a scene at the Henderson County Annex on Wednesday.

Hensarling, who represents Athens and Henderson County in the U.S. House of Representatives, came for a town hall meeting. The response was overwhelming.

By our count, all 60 chairs in the room were filled, and another 70 or so stood along the walls. On top of that, there were literally so many people trying to hear what the congressman had to say, about 10 or 15 more stood in the hallway leading into the room.

And don’t even get us started on the parking situation ...

We point all that out to underscore that politics should work in this very way. We send someone to represent us, and we expect that someone to come home every now and then and own up to what he or she has been doing in Washington or Austin. When our elected representative does show up, we should respond in large numbers.

But there’s one group that was noticeably absent Wednesday — the young.

While it would be nice to see teen-agers and college-age students in the crowd, we’re talking about those from age 25 to about 45. We rarely see this age range at such meetings, and they surely weren’t well-represented among the throng that crowded in to see Hensarling.

To be fair, this age group is typically one that is raising children and juggling long hours at work while serving as the head chef, riot police and activities director at the old homestead.

Even so, this “middle-aged” group, if you will, must stay informed. Over the past few years, we’ve heard about and watched drastic changes in areas such as education, health care and public safety. In some instances, politicians have cast votes that were unpopular among their constituents.

Griping about it in the breakroom at work will never fix those problems. Getting involved, even if by merely just showing up to a town hall meeting and directly questioning our elected representatives, just might.

— Athens Review