Updated: Sunday, 25 Jan 2009, 10:18 PM CST
Published : Sunday, 25 Jan 2009, 10:18 PM CST
AUSTIN (KXAN) - Some Austin residents are keeping a close eye on the 81st Legislative Session and they are learning how to take part.
An educational series kicked off on Sunday at the First United Methodist Church Family Life Center. The series is non-partisan, opening doors to republicans, democrat, libertarian, and green party members who want to voice their sides of the issues.
The idea behind the series is to get more people to really understand the issues, to get involved and get out to the capitol to lobby and be part of the legislative process.
"We're having a devastating issue in our economy right now across the country and Texas is most likely going to be hitting a budget shortfall in the near future," said David Kobierowski, who organized the educational series. "So, the idea is for folks to get involved be part of the process and they can be influential on what is the most important issues for them and for their communities because all of our voices count."
During Sunday's forum, citizens heard from Sherri Greenberg who addressed the dynamics of the capitol and what to expect with a new speaker in Session '09.
"I wanted to come again and get better educated about what's going on right here in my neighborhood," said Donna Bennett, an Austin resident.
The educational series is also being carried out simultaneously through the web, making it easier for anyone across the state to listen in on the discussions.
However, Harold Huff from Austin County are making the drive to get involved.
"The folks in my county are concerned about animal ID provisions that might be a burden on them with their horses and cattle," said Huff. "They're very concerned about the Trans Texas Corridor and the fact that that it may come through our area."
Some other issues of concern for Sunday's group included what legislators will do with Voter ID, Energy, Immigration issues and education.
The educational series will be held every Sunday from 4:00 p.m.
to 6:00 p.m. through May except Sunday, February 1, 2009 because of
Super Bowl Sunday. The meetings will be held at the First United
Methodist Church Family Life Center located at the 1300 block of
Lavaca Street. http://www.fumcaustin.org/aboutus/direction.html The
Family Life Center is located diagonally across the street from the
church. There is no cost for the series.