One of the first things I did after I decided to run for state assembly was to go out and talk to our community leaders. I visited with county and city administrators, police chiefs, sheriffs and fire chiefs, school superintendents and local farm bureaus. All too often politicians make bills and decisions without talking to those who are most affected by their actions. I believe that by including those who are experts in their fields in the bill making process, we get better representation and better laws.
The two messages I heard from everyone I talked to was to include them into the process and stop creating unfunded mandates (requirements that take time and resources, but have zero funding).
To read more about these community visits, please see the 2011 archives.