By Stephen Baldwin
The other day I ran into a fellow in Kroger who said, “I haven’t seen you since the big day. Congratulations! How’s it going?”
“Thank you very much. It’s going well! The baby is happy and healthy, so we are tremendously blessed,” I said.
He looked confused by my response, before saying, “Well… I was talking about the election. I didn’t know you had a baby. Congratulations on that too!”
Needless to say, this has been a wonderful fall/winter to remember. Fortunately, the legislative session starts later than usual this year, which has allowed me quality time at home with the baby and quality time here in the district with citizens. Before going into my first session as your delegate, I wanted to spend as much time as possible listening.
My dad always says there’s a reason humans have two ears: We should listen more! So for the last two months, I’ve been listening to you – teachers, foster parents, small businesses, social workers, farmers, property owners, veterans, mayors, loggers and concerned citizens. I’ve taken phone calls, emails and meetings. All in an effort to understand what folks need and if/how we can get it.
From Feb. 8 – Apr. 8, during the legislative session, I’ll take all that I’ve learned to the capitol as we consider bills. That doesn’t mean the work of listening ends. On the contrary, it continues with greater urgency! I want you to have my contact information so you can be in touch when the need arises:
Charleston Office: 304-340-3131 (Room R-150, beside tour office on main floor)
In addition to these options, you can receive regular information from me in two ways. One, follow my social media accounts (Baldwin for WV on Facebook or Twitter) for timely updates on pending bills AND legislative priorities. Two, continuing the tradition I began five years ago (on the board of education), this will be a regular column sharing my views on important matters for our valley and state.
I’m calling it “The Back Pew,” because that’s where I like to sit! I’m a doer more than a talker. I like to sit in the back, listen to everyone, and then get moving on the best course of action. You elected me to work on your behalf, and I intend to do that.
Thank you for the honor of serving as your delegate. I will do my very best to make you proud and move West Virginia forward. Let’s keep in touch!
(Rev. Stephen Baldwin is a local pastor and member of the WV House of Delegates. He represents portions of Greenbrier, Monroe AND Summers counties. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-340-3131.)