By Marlena Hartz : Freedom Newspapers
Rep. Jose Campos, D-Santa Rosa, reviewed a long list of legislative accomplishments at Monday’s Curry Democratic Party Town Hall Meeting, which included funding for Pre-K and tax cuts for low-income families. But he set aside equal time to address the concerns of those gathered, an intimate group of barely two dozen.
Party officials formed a semicircle around the District 63 representative as he answered constituent questions from the podium at the North Annex of the Clovis-Carver Public Library. Local officials were pleased with the turnout in what was their first town hall meeting since the November election.
“I think the meeting was full of energetic people,” said chairperson Jan Elliott, optimistic about future activities of the group, a minority in overwhelmingly Republican area. “He (Campos) sees our vision to take care of the needs of the community.”
Although concerns from the audience blanketed a wide range of issues, from a call for stricter sexual offender laws to anxieties over the rising cost of medical care, Campos’ question and answer session was overshadowed by talk of Cannon Air Force Base.
Campos, who has worked closely with the Committee of Fifty and other local leaders, evaded questions about the future of the base should it close. But he encouraged an impromptu brainstorming session in which one audience member suggested rallies would be strengthened if local businesses allowed employees leave from work.
Supporters of Campos were impressed with his people-focused style.
“He’s the kind of leader who always carries a cell phone with him. You can call him and talk with him about your concerns,” said Melrose City Council member and Democratic Party treasurer Lance Pyle, who pointed to the retention of Cannon as the number one issue facing the community, and Campos, right now.
At the end of the meeting, an elderly woman politely requested the representative’s attention — placing a small medallion in his hand, a token, she said, of her appreciation for Campos’ dedication to city of Melrose.
It is moments like this that Campos values most.
“It is very important that local citizens know what is going on in Sante Fe,” said Campos, who sees himself as a liaison, and meetings like Monday’s, his duty.