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The art of politics

Staying on top of the issues through Tallgrass Creek group

Created date

October 25th, 2011

Wouldn t you just love the opportunity to speak directly to your local elected officials to ask them your questions and hear their responses to your concerns? Getting face time with politicians can be a challenge for the average citizen, but the people who live at Tallgrass Creek have the power of numbers on their side. A group of residents at the Overland Park Erickson Living community have formed a public affairs committee. Primarily, the group brings elected officials to campus to speak to the community members. Recently, the committee hosted Congressman Kevin Yoder, who talked about the work he s doing on behalf of his constituents, in Washington, D.C. We have lots of speakers, especially at election time, says Larry Hanna, who founded the public affairs committee. Candidates are always anxious to come by and get us to vote for them.

Shared interests

An engineer by training, Larry worked in management in the oil and gas industry for many years. After he retired, he says, he had more time to devote to his interest in politics and current affairs. When he moved to Tallgrass Creek he discovered a vibrant community of peers, many of whom share his interests. There are a number of us here interested in public affairs and what is going on with our government, he says. Tallgrass Creek s public affairs committee meets about once a month to discuss current events and political issues that may be of interest to their fellow residents, Larry says. Members of the club take turns suggesting different speakers to invite to their community.

In the loop

Elaine Bessier also belongs to the public affairs committee. Elaine spent her career as a journalist, so she says she s always had a keen interest in current events. That s why I joined the committee, she says. The public affairs committee and the speakers it brings to Tallgrass Creek make it easy for residents to stay up-to-date on political issues and current events, Elaine says. [The public affairs committee] brings very interesting and informative speakers who are important to us, as far as our community is concerned, Elaine says. It definitely keeps everyone informed, and it s very important for us to keep up with things.

Variety of interesting speakers

In addition to elected officials and candidates for office, Larry says, the public affairs committee also periodically hosts other types of speakers who present current events from a different perspective. Recently, the club hosted soldiers from Fort Leavenworth, Kans., who are training to be generals in the U.S. military. Larry says his Tallgrass Creek neighbors particularly enjoyed that lecture. Most of [the soldiers] had been overseas in Afghanistan or Iraq, so they told us about some of their experiences, Larry says. They did a really good job.