This work period is for you

Published 3:39 pm Tuesday, August 5, 2014

By U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne

I know many of you have probably heard that Congress is in “recess” for the month of August. Now to some of you, that may bring up images of a bunch of kids hanging out on the playground, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

This August, I will spend the “District Work Period” traveling throughout Alabama’s 1st Congressional District, with stops planned in each of the six counties which make up our district. This travel allows me to spend time with you, the people who elected me.

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Much of my time will be spent on promoting economic development in our area. During a recent telephone town hall, I asked the participants what was the most important issue on their mind. Improving our economy was the top answer. With that in mind, I’m planning to bring together representatives from our area’s chambers of commerce and industries for an economic development roundtable in Atmore. I will also be speaking with the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce about economic development in Baldwin County.

One of my favorite ways to spend my time in the district is visiting with local businesses. Whether it is Gulf Distributing in Mobile or Olin Chlor Alkali Products in McIntosh, I look forward to hearing about how federal policy is affecting our local industries. During the visits, I think it’s important to not only visit with the business owners and managers, but also the employees. It’s important I not lose sight of what issues matter most to them.

We’ve planned even more town hall meetings, with stops scheduled in Saraland and Chatom. I’ve already held 26 town halls, but I plan to keep holding more. Town halls are a great way for me to interact directly with the people I represent. I also devote most of the meetings to taking questions from those in attendance. You can get updates about when my town hall meetings will occur by signing up for email updates on my website,

With school starting back soon, I will also convene a roundtable with local K-12 education leaders. I want our students to have the highest standards possible, and for parents to have an important role in the education process. I’m worried that federal mandates and policies coming from Washington are making it harder for our teachers and administrators to do their job. I look forward to hearing directly from them.

I will also be embarking on a tour of hospitals in the 1st Congressional District. With new regulations from Obamacare coming out every day, our hospital administrators are being hit hard. These visits will allow me to see firsthand how the law is impacting the medical field and will provide a great opportunity for dialogue on how to move forward.