Since I started my time as your United States Representative in Washington, my top priority has always been to serve the needs of my constituents. Making sure I am in touch with the concerns and values of those I represent is extremely important to me when considering pivotal legislation in Congress. During the month of August, the House of Representatives was not in session in Washington, allowing for a district work period. The district work period serves as the perfect opportunity for me to connect face-to-face with every-day hardworking people, including small business leaders, local officials, family farmers, and other community members to better understand the needs of my district and prioritize goals for the future. After wrapping up the most recent work period, I will take the thoughts and ideas I’ve heard across the district and continue my work in Washington on behalf of folks back home.
Over the course of five weeks in August, I traveled to a total of 22 counties and every corner of the district. One of the main things I wanted to accomplish during my travels was to hear from constituents. To me, the best way to accomplish this is by holding town hall meetings. I held town halls in Casey, Russell, and Logan Counties, on the Clinton/Cumberland County line at Dale Hollow Lake, and in Hopkinsville with the Hopkinsville Young Professionals.
One issue in particular that I’ve closely monitored since my start in Congress is the battle against the drug epidemic. I was glad to report on the progress Congress has made in recent months to combat drug abuse, while also hearing from folks at home about what we can improve upon. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to tour Center Point Recovery in Paducah, a dynamic substance abuse treatment program propelled by a peer-driven community and based on the goal of transitioning residents back into jobs, community life and self-sufficiency. In addition to the incredible facility, I saw first-hand the amazing work both staff and residents partake in to achieve their goals. Likewise, I spoke at the Paducah Lifeline Ministries Banquet to express my appreciation for faith-based recovery programs like this, which do a great deal of work in the fight to end drug abuse. I was honored to tour Center Point Recovery and speak at the Lifeline Ministries Banquet, and I look forward to the many success stories we will hear from both influential groups in the future.
I am constantly gauging the state of our current workforce environment, which is why I was glad to spend some time at Career and Technical Centers at Logan County High School and Mayfield High School. At each center, I had discussions on the need to prepare students for today’s workforce opportunities and ensure we are setting our young professionals up for success. I often hear from employers that they are in desperate need of more skilled-workers, a problem that’s seen all over the nation. Despite this growing challenge, I was thoroughly impressed by those I spoke with at the Career and Technical Centers and believe we can make great strides for our workforce community in Kentucky.
Lastly, an important event my staff and I held while in the district was a series of federal grants workshops. As a key service my office provides, I wanted these workshops to serve as an opportunity for my constituents to gain more information on exploring and securing federal grants. Over the course of two days, my staff and I held two grants workshops in Tompkinsville and Madisonville. The workshops were attended by representatives from over 32 counties in the western and eastern portions of the district. I hope that I can continue to serve my constituents with more information on federally-available resources and help secure crucial grants for projects back home.
While these are only a few highlights from my time in Kentucky, I wanted to share some of how I spent August visiting and learning from those I represent. After spending thousands of miles on the road in western and south-central Kentucky, I am encouraged and reinvigorated by all the folks I met. I am ready to take back all that I learned this past month to work for the interests of my constituents. I look forward to making progress in coming months on legislation to serve the needs of all Americans, and most importantly of those I represent.
Rep. James Comer is a United States Congressman for the First Congressional District, which spans from south central Kentucky to the river counties of far western Kentucky. Contact him with any questions or concerns in his Washington D.C. office at (202) 225-3115, in the Tompkinsville Office at (270) 487-9509, in the Paducah Office at (270) 408-1865, or schedule an appointment in the Madisonville Office by calling (270) 487-9509.