Light duty for an elected representative | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

The 2018 “Trust Barometer” recently published by Edelman, an international public relations firm, found that the informed public’s trust in U.S. government declined last year by 30 points on a 100-point scale. That’s the steepest decline ever measured by Edelman.

Trump is the obvious reason at the national level, but trust is falling at lower levels of government as well, especially after the Washington State Legislature recently voted to exempt itself from the Public Records Act. Recently I made several tries by phone and email to reach Representative Sherry Appleton to discuss her vote, and after finally getting through I learned a surprising thing: her next public meeting on Bainbridge will not be until next year, that this is Poulsbo’s “year.”

Such face-to-face meetings have been the essence of democracy since the time of ancient Greece, for they provide an opportunity for people from different backgrounds to both listen and watch together as politicians respond to their questions. The 23rd Legislative District has only three cities in it — Poulsbo, Bainbridge and Bremerton — and if our elected state leaders held just two forums in each city each year, that would add up to a total of six meetings a year. That seems like light duty for a job that carries the title “Representative.”

ROD STEVENS

Bainbridge Island

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