DALLAS COUNTY, AL (WSFA) - Residents from Dallas and Perry counties attended a special town hall meeting hosted by Alabama State Rep. Prince Chestnut ahead of the legislative session.
Rep. Chestnut, D-District 67, said he wanted to do more listening than speaking during this meeting. His goal was to get a better grasp of what issues the people of Dallas County want tackled.
“I want to make sure the people are able to express themselves. Once session starts the only people that really have access to you are your family and lobbyist. This gives the community an opportunity to let me know what they want to see. I am able to put that in the forefront of my mind and not the back,” said Rep. Chestnut.
More than 50 people packed into the Dallas County Commission chambers for the listening session. One by one residents brought forth their questions and concerns before the representative. Education, jobs, the prison system, health care, gas tax, and infrastructure improvements topped the list of issues.
“The things I wish to address the most are the things that effect District 67. If we lift up District 67, if we lift up the black belt the entire state of Alabama will be lifted up,” said Rep. Chestnut.
“Very rarely will you find elected officials we elect do an open listening session on the statewide level. I think our other representatives need to take a page out of his book,” said Collins Pettaway III, Dallas County resident.
This year Rep. Chestnut will serve on the House Judiciary Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee on Education, and the House Urban and Rural Development Committee. He believes this will be helpful as he advocates for this area.
District 67 includes Dallas County and parts of Perry County.
The legislative session begins March 5.