Have a concern or question about a federal government issue? U.S. Rep. Mark Walker will be available to respond during a visit to Mount Airy this week.
Walker, who represents Surry County in Congress, is scheduled to be at Pages Books and Coffee Shop Thursday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. as part of a “coffee and conversation” tour across his 6th District.
With Congress now out of session, the local visit this week is part of a series by Walker that began Aug. 19 in Graham and will conclude in Roxboro on Sept. 2.
The visits will include a day in Elkin on Wednesday with a morning tour of Pittsburgh Glass Works, a stop for lunch at Speedy Chef, a radio interview at WIFM and an afternoon tour of Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital.
An announcement for the event says an “open house” format will be involved during Thursday’s stopover at Pages, located at 192 N. Main St. in downtown Mount Airy.
Many local constituents have not had a chance to meet the congressman serving this area, an ordained minister from Greensboro who was elected in November to replace the retiring Rep. Howard Coble.
Walker is said to be looking forward to visiting with local citizens Thursday and discussing his work in Congress, fielding constituent concerns and answering questions.
“It’s another way to be more transparent and open to constituents,” explained Kate Disbrow, a spokeswoman for Walker’s office in Washington.
Disbrow said Friday that the “coffee and conversation” format planned Thursday afternoon might seem new to local residents.
“Several other members have done this before,” she said of federal legislators. “I don’t think Mr. Coble ever did.”
All local citizens are invited to attend the session with Walker. “It’s just another forum to be more open and accessible to his constituents,” Disbrow added.
In March, Walker held a town-hall-type meeting at the Surry County Courthouse in Dobson, during which he discussed his involvements in legislative issues and his early impressions as a freshman member of Congress.
The topic of illegal immigration dominated that gathering, which remains a key issue in Washington.
Despite his “rookie” status, Walker has been an active legislator, including introducing his first bill, the Human Trafficking Detection Act of 2015. It includes better training and informing of Department of Homeland Security workers in the detection and interception of human traffickers and their victims.
More recently, Walker has been highly critical of President Barack Obama’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.