Op-ed: Keeping the Lines of Communication Open

No single person has all of the answers to the problems facing our state and our local communities. Addressing all of our complex problems requires input from a variety of sources who are committed to building stronger and more vibrant communities.

The importance of gathering a diverse set of opinions and considering many different viewpoints is one of the reasons why I place a high priority on staying connected to the community and communicating with as many local residents as possible. Meeting new people and hearing their perspectives is not only interesting and rewarding for me personally, but also extremely helpful in my role as an elected official. These daily interactions are an essential component of representing the interests of local communities in Harrisburg.

Since taking office in January, I have set up a website at www.SenatorAument.com and established social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter to provide up-to-the-minute information on what is happening in the community and in Harrisburg. These online connections have also been invaluable for me as an avenue to learn about the issues that are most important to local residents.

While these Internet-based tools are extremely valuable, there is no substitute for one-on-one communication. My district office in Lititz serves as a one-stop shop for information on a wide variety of topics pertaining to state government, and my staff and I are happy to help local residents cut through red tape and navigate the complexities of government. A broad range of educational information is also available at my district office, including applications for government programs and brochures regarding important state government services.

In addition to meeting community residents at my district office, I have been extremely fortunate to be invited to visit numerous schools and community events throughout the 36th District, and the interactions with local residents have been extremely helpful and informative. I have also been impressed with the knowledge, interest and passion of local residents who have participated in telephone town hall events, and the feedback offered during the survey portion of the tele-town hall is reflected in my legislative agenda.

Over the next several weeks, I look forward to continuing my efforts to connect with as many local residents as possible through a series of town hall meetings in Elizabethtown, New Holland and Manheim. Given the tremendous volume and quality of interactions with local residents over the past several months, I have no doubt that these meetings will yield positive results, and I hope members of the community can find time to join me at these events.

CONTACT: Zachary Peirson (717) 627-0036