On June 28 State Rep. Julie McCluskie (D) and State Rep. Matt Soper (R) held a town hall in Hotchkiss. About 50 people showed up, almost evenly split between affiliations. The topics discussed included transportation, health care, water and the fast paced growth of Western Colorado. There were almost no national talking points cited and no animosity between people about cultural divisions or the like. We spoke respectfully and listened to each other about issues that matter to the citizens of Delta County. And mostly, it felt like everyone agreed with most things that were said. There was a coming together that’s rare these days.

This was a breath of fresh air. These bi-partisan conversations need to happen. All of our issues are largely the same. How are we going to navigate this growth we’re experiencing? How do we make sure our local health care is affordable and strong? How do we assure that our elders are taken care of and can get to their doctors when they need to? How can we make sure our water, land and cultural traditions are protected?

Let’s identify what we need to do here in Delta County and get it done. We can’t leave it up to our elected officials, many of whom navigate government with the notion that "no government is good government". That is untrue. They work for us. And we have things that need to get done.

I am a Democrat in Delta County. Yet at Monday’s town hall I didn’t feel like a Democrat. I felt like a citizen of Delta County who wants to help answer these questions. And solve these problems. We can do it. And we’re stronger together.

Let’s keep talking.

Rob Miller

Delta County Democrats

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