The Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus will be holding the final in a series of town hall events Thursday night at the Harry R. Kendall-Nugent Center on the campus of Philander Smith College in Little Rock. The fifteen members of the ALBC have been traveling the state this year hearing from constituents and explaining the state legislative process at the town halls. Democratic State Rep. Vivian Flowers of Pine Bluff is the chair of the caucus.
“People I think are hungry for information and want to be a part of the process,” Flowers says.”They just don’t always know how. So I would say it’s been pretty successful and I can say we can probably anticipate seeing more meetings like these. But certainly we hope that this is something the caucus continues to do.”
Other town halls have been held in Fort Smith, West Memphis, Pine Bluff, Camden and Blytheville. Flowers says she and her colleagues have gained a valuable perspective about constituent views through hosting the events.
“When you have to look somebody in the face and hear how your vote might impact somebody’s life in a way that you didn’t think about, I think it has a positive impact and it allows us to work better and more closely together thinking about the entire state versus our own back yard,” she says.
Flowers says past town halls have been well attended. She says the events have been a chance to explain the differences and connections between state and federal policymaking. Top issues discussed have been healthcare, jobs, gun violence and criminal justice-related matters.
The Thursday night town hall begins at 6pm. Flowers says the location had to be changed because of a malfunctioning air conditioning unit at the Willie L. Hinton Neighborhood Resource Center in Little Rock.