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A chance to speak your mind

Sen. Wyden comes to town for his annual town hall meeting
Prineville and Crook County residents will have a chance tomorrow to share their concerns and comments with U.S. Senator Ron Wyden in a town hall meeting, which we would encourage you to attend.
   The town hall meetings are a valuable opportunity for the public to give input and ask questions of the senator. This is your chance to talk with Sen. Wyden and hear what he has planned for Oregon and what Congress is up to these days.
   Contrary to what some may think, we are not a democracy. Instead, we are a republic and we elect representatives and senators to represent us and our interests. It's critically important for Sen. Wyden to know what interests and concerns you have so that he may better represent you back in Washington, D.C.
   The town hall will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Crook County meeting room, 320 NE Court St. If you're not able to make the Prineville meeting, there will also be a session in Madras Wednesday from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the Jefferson County Fire Hall, 765 SE Adams Drive.
   Since being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996, Wyden promised to hold meetings in every Oregon county. He made good on that promise and has held almost 350 town hall meetings. This is something Wyden should be praised for _ the willingness to make a conscious effort to reach out to his constituency and meet individually with Oregonians. His town hall meetings give the public a chance to express their opinions and have been one of the best examples of representative democracy in Wyden's tenure.
   We strongly encourage you to attend Wednesday's meeting and hear from Sen. Wyden. It's part of what makes our republic work.
   Shelby Case
   for the editorial board