Grassroots America taking root

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Grass Roots America - we the "watch-dogs." Whenever the talk is taxes and budgets, more than likely, they will be there, which means, they have been pretty busy during the past few days.

"It's more important than ever to look at local government and make sure that local government is living within it's means," said JoAnn Fleming, with Grassroots America, We the People.

Members have been making their way around East Texas, pulling agendas, and showing up in board rooms like one at TJC Wednesday. Just Wednesday morning, they showed up at the City of Tyler's regular council meeting and just Tuesday, they were inside the Smith County Commissioner's Courtroom.

Let's not forget Emergency Service District and school board meetings where they are sitting and listening to those who could make you pony up more tax dollars.

Executive Director JoAnn Fleming says committees within the group are keeping a close eye on local policies and local budgets.

"What we want them to do is spend every one of our tax dollars as if they were spending their mother's life savings," she explained.

Member Richard Blake was in Tyler City Hall, Wednesday morning, offering input on the city's proposed budget.

"At the local level, you can have a much quicker impact on the things that effect my family, my business," said Blake.

Political scientist Dr. James Newsom with U.T. Tyler says an important part of any political equation is where your money is going and how it is being spent.

"[Weather you] agree with them or disagree with them, they've provided a way for people to take an interest in local affairs," said Newsom.

He says that interest will only increase in today's economic climate.

"Grassroots America, We the People is not a 'protest in a box' group," said Fleming. "We're here to stay.

Grassroots, taking permanent root.

Grassroots America, We the People organizers say right now, they have thousands of East Texans registered in their database.

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