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Listening sessions could focus more on local issues

The Lafayette County Dems held the first of five Listening Sessions Monday night at the Lafayette County & Oxford Public Library, where about 60 people gathered to discuss local, state and national issues.

Having an open forum for citizens to express their concerns is a great idea and is a good way to bring the community together while exercising our First Amendment rights.

Since the meetings are hosted by our local Democratic Party, it stands to reason that most attending the Listening Sessions will be democrats, and most were who attended Monday night’s meeting.

Much of the discussion, however, focused on how to grow and connect the local party.

However, Chair Cristen Hemmins said the meetings were geared toward hearing people’s concerns about local issues and that all are invited, regardless of political affiliation.

While national issues are prominent in many of our thoughts, with Oxford municipal elections coming up in June, it would behoove the meeting’s facilitators to move the discussion toward more local issues so that the information gathered can be useful to those running for an Oxford alderman seat or for mayor to get a real understanding of what their constituents see as local concerns, as well as keep current leaders, like the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors informed as well.

We commend any effort by local groups to meet and discuss the future of Oxford and Mississippi as all citizens here, regardless of what political party they belong to, are affected by the decisions of our local leaders.