CHUBBUCK — A local woman has started a regular gathering that she hopes will continue as a place for community conversations on all manner of topics.
LaQuita Morgan held the first one in February at Chubbuck City Hall and got insightful comments from the 35 to 40 people who attended, she said. Another one is set for Monday at City Hall starting at 6:30 p.m.
She called Chubbuck Mayor Kevin England for permission and he was supportive of holding it there.
People had up to five minutes to discuss an issue and there was a good mix of opinions and topics during the approximately hour and a half long gathering, Morgan said.
Sometimes in political meetings one person or one topic will dominate the conversation, she said.
But not this time.
“The thing that I loved is there were a lot of questions but it was on a wide range of topics,” Morgan said.
The genesis for the effort is she likes to stay informed about legislative issues and would call her representatives for information.
“I started to realize it seemed there was a breakdown in the community between the average members of the community and our representatives," she said.
So Morgan asked state Rep. Randy Armstrong, R-Inkom, what could be done to change that.
He suggested a town hall.
And the idea brought out a number of comments on many different topics.
For instance there were concerns about education, property taxes, COVID-19 emergency orders and other matters discussed at the meeting, Morgan said.
Another thing that came up was the dam removal that U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson has suggested.
Other topics included farming and utilities in Idaho.
And Morgan said there was a lot of really solid feedback afterward.
“I think that some of the good ideas that came out of it were just a reminder to the community to be emailing and calling our representatives,” she said.
And she thought it was a successful approach for people to talk about the concerns they had in the community.
So that led to scheduling another community gathering.
"People felt like it was good for the community to get together and have conversations about things that matter to the community and have more regular interaction with officials and leaders in the community,” according to Morgan.
She said that people enjoyed it so the moment was right for another one.
“It just seems like it was time for people to connect with each other and have community conversations and focus on home and community,” she said.
But while the room was full for the first gathering, she’s not sure yet how well attended a Monday evening event will be.
“We're trying to do them monthly, but we may take a break over the summer,” Morgan said.
Otherwise the goal is to continue to hold them on a monthly basis.
“But we’ll see what happens,” Morgan said.