Brooks encourages constituent feedback
by DELANEY WALKER, Banner Staff Writer
Jan 04, 2013 | 1114 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TRACI HAMILTON, Kiwanis December program chairperson, invited state Rep. Kevin Brooks, middle, to speak at Thursday’s luncheon. Chris Newton, Kiwanis president, smiles beside Hamilton and Brooks. Banner photos, DELANEY WALKER
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State Rep. Kevin Brooks told the Kiwanis Club of Cleveland he sees himself as a mail carrier ready to deliver his constituents’ needs to Nashville.

“I deliver their requests whether they need help, whether they need assistance, whether they need a grant — whatever the request may be,” Brooks said. “Sometimes I get to come home with good news. Other times I come home with bad news. Sometimes I come home with no news at all.”

This is the same way Brooks explained the job of a representative to one of Blythe Bower’s fifth-graders.

He told Kiwanis members input from Tennessee residents provides focus.

“I love it when somebody sends us an email. That is really how I learn what you all need from me,” Brooks said. “The personal direct communication helps.”

According to Brooks, more than 4,000 bills were filed last year in Tennessee. Three-hundred of them were made into law. Communication from Tennessee voters tells Brooks what to fight for and against.

“I am so thankful people send us letters saying, ‘This is something I think will be a great idea,’” Brooks said.

On his end, Brooks said he strives to be transparent with his constituents.

“There seems to be a lack of transparency, and that should not be the case. This is the same whether we are here in Cleveland, Nashville or anywhere else,” Brooks said.

Topics covering workers’ compensation, health care, taxes, the fiscal cliff, education and local industrialization were discussed during the luncheon.

Operations in Tennessee, and especially Cleveland and Bradley County, are going great, said Brooks.

“I tell people our children’s children will benefit from Wacker, Amazon and Whirlpool’s investments,” Brooks said.

“We are trying to make Tennessee the best place you can build and own your business. We eliminated a lot of the red tape last year and I want to continue that this year.”

Brooks assured the Kiwanis Club Tennessee’s budget is also well in hand.

“In Tennessee things are going great. I wish Washington would balance their budget and cut taxes like we do,” Brooks said.

“We cut the food tax. Everyone [in the state] who went grocery shopping this last year got a little big of a percentage of a cut.”

Tennessee’s budget is determined by a projection of what the government hopes residents will spend in tax dollars.

“When you hear budget expectations were not met, then that means people spent less on gas or groceries as prices rise,” Brooks said.

Projects have been on target, according to Brooks. He also said Tennessee’s politicians are encouraging Washington to balance the budget for the new year.

“We send them resolutions and fancy pieces of paper with gold seals. So far they have not done anything, but we will continue to encourage action,” Brooks said.

Meetings will soon resume in Nashville for 2013. Brooks reminded Kiwanians, and their fellow constituents, to keep him in mind.

“Help me carry the mail. I would love to hear from you,” Brooks said. “It should be easy to contact me, whether by phone or email. I am pretty easy to reach.”