From the Missouri Viewpoints Archives:

Publication date: August 24 2007



Missouri State Rep. Jason Holsman (D-45)

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Holsman, Meiners, Asher and Toellner visit Grandview

Holsman, Meiners, Asher and Toellner visit Grandview

Events sponsored by the Hard Bean Caf and MikeFergusonOnline.com

 

The Hard Bean Cafe in Grandview was a busy place this past Saturday (August 18th). Two elected representatives were on hand to meet with the public and the leader of a controversial ballot initiative effort was in town.

 

State Representatives Kate Meiners and Jason Holsman, both Democrats, were available to answer questions and listen to concerns from constituents Saturday morning. Meiners represents the state's 46th District and Holsman the 45th. Together, they represent part of south Kansas City and all of Grandview in the Legislature.

 

The turnout was light but that did not discourage either official. Both were able to meet with some of the customers in the business and also visited with some of the people who were going to and from the Farmers' Market on the other side of Main Street. Rep. Meiners said she understood the low turnout, "Between the heat and the fact that everyone is getting ready for school next week, I'm not surprised."

 

The events organizer, Mike Ferguson, said he was disappointed in the low turnout but will continue to sponsor appearances by public officials. I would have liked to see more people take advantage of the opportunity to visit with those who represent us at the Capitol but, like Representative Meiners said, we were competing with factors like excessive heat and the start of the school year.

 

Its important that we communicate with our elected representatives.

 

Both Representatives agreed to come back and be available to meet with the public another time. This was their last public appearance before heading back to Jefferson City for a special legislative session called by Governor Blunt.

 

In addition to the legislators' appearance, Tim Asher from the Missouri Civil Rights Initiative was in town as well. Asher is the Executive Director of the MCRI, an organization that is trying to amend the Missouri Constitution by ballot initiative. The MCRI, if approved by voters in 2008, would ban any state governmental agency from considering race, sex, ethnic origin and some other demographic factors when awarding contracts, in hiring and in enrollment in public colleges and universities.

 

Opponents of the measure say it would eliminate many Affirmative Action programs that benefit women and racial minorities. Supporters, like Asher, say the government should not consider racial, gender or other ethic factors when making decisions.

 

Brent Toellner, the Legislative Chair of the Kansas City Dog Advocates, was also at the Hard Bean to discuss various legislation that affect dog owners in the area. Among the items discussed were city ordinances that ban specific breeds of dogs (like Pit Bulls) and efforts to convince communities to build public dog parks.

 

Asher and Toellner were at the Hard Bean to be interviewed by Grandview's Mike Ferguson for Missouri Viewpoints a new public affairs television program that will be available on the internet in the next couple weeks. Rep. Holsman was also interviewed for the program. The first Missouri Viewpoints program will be available for viewing on this website and others very soon.

 

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