Easing the congressional district transition process in Forsyth

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx’s district director, Bob Meek, left, and U.S. Rep. Alma Adams’ district director, Keith Kelly, discuss the transition process from District 12 to District 5 during a recent informational session at Winston Lake Family YMCA.

Easing the congressional district transition process in Forsyth
December 15
04:55 2016

Photos by Tevin Stinson

Foxx, Adams staff members offer information



Last week the offices of U.S. Reps. Alma Adams and Virginia Foxx held a joint informational session to educate constituents on redrawn congressional lines, the transition process from the 12th District to the 5th District, and the duties of a congressional office.

Earlier this year, a federal court forced the N.C. General Assembly to redraw congressional lines because the court said they had been drawn in 2010 in a discriminatory way. The redrawn lines forced Forsyth County out of the 12th  District, which is represented by Adams, and into the 5th  District under Foxx. To jumpstart the informational session held in the heart of the new 5th district, at the Winston Lake Family YMCA, Adams’ district director, Keith Kelly, spoke for Adams when he said it has truly been a pleasure serving the people of Forsyth County.

Next, Adams’ manager of constituent services, Kay Tembo, and staff director Josette Ferguson, discussed the duties of a congressional office. Tembo said the office is like the customer service agents for the government, handling cases dealing with federal agencies.

“We handle cases with various departments like the Department of Labor, Department of Education and Veteran Affairs,” Tembo continued. “Some of the most popular cases we handle deal with Social Security, disability, and immigration. ”

Ferguson, who works out of Adams’ Greensboro office, assured those in attendance that although they are changing districts, the process for filing a case won’t change. She said Foxx’s office handles case work the same way Adams’ does.

“They do the same thing we do. That’s why it’s important that we have a budding relationship,” she said. “You may hear that Congresswoman Foxx’ office isn’t going to give you the same treatment as Congresswoman Adams office, but they will do the same thing.

“We are passing you along to another set of hands that can do the same thing,” Ferguson said.

Representing the set of hands that will take over congressional duties for everyone in Forsyth County next month was Foxx’s district director Bob Meek. As he stood before the gathering of mostly Democrats, Meek said Foxx’s office will fight for the rights of everyone, Republicans and Democrats.

“We don’t care who you voted for, where you came from or whatever you think politically. If you live with-in our district, you deserve first class service and we will give you first class service.”

Meek also provided information on how Foxx’s office is run and how they will handle pending cases.

He mentioned that Foxx has an office in Clemmons and in Boone, with three representatives working at each office. The authority to look into personal information does not transfer when lines are redrawn and districts change. As a result, Foxx’s office will be sending out letters to constituents in the area with pending cases asking if they want their cases transferred.

“That authority doesn’t get transferred automatically when you have a district change. You have to reauthorize us to look into your personal information.”

Meek, who is a Vietnam Veteran, said many of the cases they receive from the area deal with Social Security. He said the office will work to ensure those cases are handled as soon as possible.

“We always try to expedite cases,” he said.” If any of you have ever had a Social Security case, you know it seems like you may be dead before they resolve it. We don’t want that to happen, so we push for those cases to be resolved.”

Redrawn lines will increase District 5 from four partial counties to six whole counties. Meek said the office is busy making sure everything is in place. Foxx’s Clemmons office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Following the meeting, a number of people said they were still concerned with Foxx’s ability to rep-resent the entire county. In response, Meek said very soon Foxx will be seen at community events connecting with the people.

“Congresswoman Foxx enjoys attending community events and connecting with the people she serves,” said Meek. “Soon you will see her at every event that is held here in

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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