At the town hall meeting on April 19, I voiced the following to our absent Representative Shimkus. Mr. Shimkus has been in office for a long time. What should we expect of our member of Congress? No one expects 100% agreement on everything, but can we not expect respect -- enough respect to show up and listen to us? We are all citizens before we are Democrats or Republicans. But Representative Shimkus, “What have you done for us lately?” Are we better off today than when he was elected 22 years ago? Rural land is being bought up by big corporations who are running the farms. Family farmers are going. Heroin addiction is epidemic. Our air is more polluted than Chicago with higher rates of COPD, asthma, and allergies. Our University is losing 25 percent of the students, our towns are losing population, small businesses are closing. Just drive around -- many businesses have closed. So what has Shimkus done to address these issues? Is he developing a tech corridor? Are we going to have Branson, Missouri here in Charleston? Are we developing any other sources of revenue? Because I haven’t seen it. Is he getting federal money to sponsor enterprise zones? Is he trying to get federal funding for a high-speed train to connect Chicago and St. Louis through here? How will he deal with the expected loss of 1/3 of jobs in the next ten years because of technology? Robots are coming. New problems demand new ideas, and defunding Planned Parenthood is not relevant to these issues. Coal mining jobs were the answer 100 years ago. Old tired ideas and comforting Bible quotes are not working. God gave us brains for a reason. Let's fix these issues and plan for tomorrow.
Cynthia Adams, Charleston