House meetings stimulate policy discussion

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (NBC12) - Barack Obama wants to hear from you, whether you voted for him or not.

Average citizens, Democrats and Republicans alike, can host Change is Coming House Meetings across the country to gather opinions and collect feedback.

The new administration hopes more Americans will take action as many did during a campaign filled with unprecedented community involvement.

The excitement still lingers.

"I'm full of this energy," said citizen Gene Robinson. "I've been meeting with people, I've been talking to people, I've been knocking on doors lets do it some more."

These richmonders gathered to discuss the many challenges they face on a daily basis.

From being "green," to affordable healthcare, to poverty and crime.

One of the topics that sparked debate deals with a young population who some say have fewer opportunities to succeed.

"They want to be a basketball player, a rapper, a football player and they can't make it that way," said one meeting participant. "You get a minimum wage job you have a family, they are forced to do something illegal. I call it the lost generation."

More importantly, the people here talked about what they can do to turn things around.

"If somehow we got out and talked to everybody in Richmond, like every residence, every business about changing their bulbs from incadescents to CFLS Richmond could use a lot less energy in a very short amount of time," said participant David Clark.

Elizabeth Southard hosted one of Saturday's meetings.

She says she's out to prove one person, one community can truly make a difference in the world.

"You have to look at everything as a small part of a larger whole, so all we can really change is our community. So if we can change our community and this community changes that community, everything is changed," said Southard.

There are more Change is Coming events in the Richmond area and across the country throughout the next month.

You can find a meeting closest to you here.

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