Black Caucus has right approach

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 27, 1999

Mississippi’s Legislative Black Caucus has the right idea. Members of the caucus, some 15 strong, held the last of their five public hearings in Natchez this weekend. The sessions, held throughout the state of Mississippi, are designed to allow legislators to &uot;hear the voices of the people.&uot; The lawmakers opened the forum to a wide variety of topics – from education to gaming – and offered both answers and an attentive ear to audience members.

It’s the type of give-and-take that should be taking place more often.

The cornerstone of our democracy is the citizenry – the people who cast the ballots and whose lives are governed by the leaders they elect.

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The leaders – whether members of Mississippi’s Legislative Black Caucus or Adams County supervisors – serve the voters and taxpayers. And, in addition to serving, they represent these voters and taxpayers.

That means they are supposed to &uot;listen to the voices of the people&uot; each and every day. And they are expected to take actions based on those voices.

Open forums, from last weekend’s session to the upcoming Chamber of Commerce forum on Thursday, are designed to give those voices a chance to be heard.

And it’s up to all of us to take advantage of those opportunities.

We applaud the Legislative Black Caucus for having the public hearings, and we applaud the voters who cared enough to attend.

Furthermore, we challenge members of the caucus to push beyond the focus of race and apply those principals of leadership to all they do. We’d like to see more public forums, more public hearings … more opportunities for the &uot;voices of the people&uot; to be heard, regardless of race or any other qualifier.

It’s the right idea, and the right approach to government.