U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky plans to kick off a series of town forums across Northwest Indiana on Thursday, fielding questions from residents and discussing a range of issues.
The forums, planned in Hammond, Merrillville, Crown Point and other locations, are scheduled to run through Jan. 18.
At the events, Visclosky, D-Merrillville, plans to address creating and protecting jobs in Northwest Indiana, national security, lowering the trade deficit and investing in infrastructure.
“I hold these forums annually because it is very important for me to stay in touch with the people of Northwest Indiana,” Visclosky said in a prepared statement.
The first forum is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at Hebron Public Library, 201 W. Sigler St., followed by stops at noon at Lowell Town Hall, 501 E. Main St.; 2 p.m. at Griffith Town Hall, 111 N. Broad St.; 4 p.m. at Hammond Public Library, 564 State St.; and 6 p.m. at Whiting Public Library, 1735 Oliver St.
Lake Station Mayor Keith Soderquist plans to attend the forum in his city Jan. 17. Soderquist said the forum usually draws a packed house in Lake Station.
“What's really good — he puts himself in front of you face to face, and he gives you a recent history of what they have been voting on and how he has voted and why on various issues,” Soderquist said.
Griffith Clerk-Treasurer George Jerome said he hopes Visclosky discusses how he will help get fellow legislators to act seriously regarding the nation's financial issues. Visclosky voted "no" on the fiscal cliff deal because the plan was not "balanced" or "comprehensive," according to a statement following the vote.
"I appreciate the vote he took on the fiscal cliff issue," Jerome said. "I think it was a principle stand, and I'd like to hear what he thinks of the possibility or the likelihood of his counterparts in the 113th Congress getting serious about our financial issues."