May 11, 2011
Rob Bell and David Toscano may be back to their day jobs as lawyers, but their roles as Virginia delegates continues. Both men met with constituents at the Senior Center in Charlottesville to brief them on the legislative session, and to hear their biggest concerns.
The Senior Statesmen of Virginia organized Wednesday's forum to ensure more voices are heard.
"The people like to come here to say one-on-one what their opinions are," said Jim Perkins, of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.
The opinions of Delegate Bell (R-58th District) and Delegate Toscano (D-57th District) are admittedly on different sides of the political spectrum. However, the issues they heard from the crowd are not much different than anyone else: transportation, education and the economy.
"It's nice to come in afterwards, report what we've done and really get people a chance to say 'you got that one right or that wasn't such a good idea,'" said Del. Bell.
"It's always good to come here and listen to what they have to say. With every forum I learn something new that I can take back with me to represent people better in Richmond," added Del. Toscano.
Even if the constituents don't always agree with every vote or policy change, both men are happy to welcome constructive criticism. After all, it's part of their role as delegates.
"It's very wise that they come to speak to us. We elect them and they have chosen to do the job for us," said Ann Neumark.
Ultimately, the forum is a chance for the delegates to meet their constituents and get a jump start on the November elections, which, at this time, both are unchallenged.