CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Multiple communities around the state will have a chance to listen to and express concerns to state government leaders in the coming months.

Jill Upson

The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs is kicking off a statewide listening tour on Tuesday in Huntington at 6 p.m. Jill Upson, the Executive Director of Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, said this is a true listening tour.

“People from various communities come in and talk about different concerns they may have,” she said. “Hopefully have those concerns will be addressed right there on the spot because we have a lot of representatives from various agencies also traveling on these tours with us.

“The main idea behind these tours is to listen to the community. To hear from them, to hear what their concerns are and just things that come up in their community that they want to see addressed by the state government.”

The agencies traveling with the tour include the Minority Health Institute, WV Women’s Commission, Tiger S. Morton Catastrophic Illness Commission, Small Business Administration, Huntington Police Department, WV Bureau of Senior Services, Department of Agriculture, Governor’s Office of Constituent Services, AARP, Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Military Affairs and Public Safety, Department of Agriculture, WV Women Work and more, per release.

Upson said the tour isn’t just for minority-targeted audiences but for a much broader one.

“We do have other targeted populations that we assist such as senior citizens and disabilities,” she said. “I actually have a veteran’s issue that I am going to be addressing this evening (Tuesday) as well.”

Three other areas are scheduled for the tour including Dunbar on April 9, Piedmont/Keyser area on July 9 and Ranson on August 13. Tuesday’s Huntington meeting will be at the A.D. Lewis Community Center at 1450 A.D. Lewis Ave.

“Even when people have things they are not particularly happy about, just to show them that they have access to the people who work for them,” Upson said. “We do, we work for the public, that is a positive thing.”

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