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Obama Asks Americans to Open Homes For Discussion

This weekend, President-elect Barack Obama will be seeking input from Americans at the grassroots level. "Change is Coming" meetings will take place in private homes, businesses and community centers to discuss issues relating to Obama's policies. KSMU's Benjamin Fry spoke to the host of one such meeting in Springfield and has our story.

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama had an ardent supporter in Springfield native James Coleman.

"I did extensive canvassing door to door over a period of several months, and it was several hours, almost daily," Coleman said.

Coleman says one of the two issues that first drew him to Obama was more open communication between the government and voters.

And now, Coleman's hoping to reflect that transparency.

He's helping the President-elect gather input from the grassroots level by hosting a local "Change is Coming" meeting on Sunday.

"This is something the country's been needing for a long time, transparency in government; the open communication between the people and the administration," Coleman said.

Though the idea of meetings was initiated from the top down, local officials see this as a way of continual involvement from the bottom up.

Matthew Patterson is the executive director of the Greene County Democrats.

"You know, often after an election we just say, 'see you in a year or so' and we'll go from there. This keeps it going and makes sure we keep the ball going and make sure the momentum continues to go our way," Patterson said.

The Obama transition team says the hosts of this weekend's grassroots meetings will report back to the administration.

For KSMU news, I'm Benjamin Fry.