It was “mobile office day” in Dade County for Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) on Wednesday, when the junior U.S. senator for Georgia sends forth his representatives to hear the Voice of the People. Thus The Dade Planet set out Wednesday morning for the Dade Administrative Building with camera, recorder and notebook, eager to witness Democracy in Action.
The Planet did not find any going on. Though fortunately there were peanuts. Field Representative Beatrice Torralba
The peanuts were provided by Sen. Perdue’s charming young field representative, Beatrice Torralba, whom The Planet found sitting like Cinderella in the Commission Room, catching up on her emails as she waited in vain and in solitude to deliver representative democracy and free Georgia peanuts to the denizens of Dade.
Ms. Torralba graciously assented to an interview, having no one else with whom to converse, and The Planet forthwith describes the services she offers, in case citizens wish to avail themselves of such next time.
“The senator’s one person,” said Ms. Torralba. “He needs us to go around the state and make sure that there’s representation … to make sure that Georgians are heard. We try to get around.”
There are 159 counties in Georgia, she said, and she covers the 17 in the northwestern part of the state. Each month, she holds a mobile office day in one of them. At that rate, it might be a year and a half or so until the next Dade day, but Ms. Torralba says she comes in between times for meetings and civic events. In any case, citizens are welcome to call or email her office at any time. You may reach her at (404) 782-7492 or Beatrice_Torralba@perdue.senate.gov.
What kind of problems, asked The Planet, do people bring to these sessions? “We deal with all kinds of issues, from the VA Administration to immigration,” said Ms. Torralba. Health care, drugs and local issues frequently come up, she said. Recently she got a call from a veteran couple wishing to adopt the dog they had served with in the military. “It just depends, really, on the county,” she said. “I know in Ringgold one of their concerns is the hospital.”
What about Dade County’s concerns? Do citizens here have no issues at all to bring up with their man in Washington, or in any case with their man in Washington’s charming young lady in Trenton? The cavernous silence of the Commission Room gave mute witness to a nirvana-like beatitude in Georgia’s northwesternmost county, but glance at any contentious local online forum—as The Planet did in the cause of research—and you will reach the opposite conclusion.
In fact, denizens of Dade carp about everything from a proposed roundabout at highways 11 and 136 to a perceived federal threat to their right to bear arms (“They won’t to take our righs!”).
No, Ms. Torralba and The Planet concluded, a more likely reason for the echoing vacancy of the “mobile office” was that people did not know about it. It was announced to the local chamber of commerce, which announced it to the local government (at which point The Planet caught wind of it) but not, apparently to the local press.
Ms Torralba promised to notify The Planet next time, and The Planet in turn promises to pass such notification duly on to such of the public as may wish to participate in representative democracy.
Ms. Torralba invites Dade so to do. “It is the Senator’s main concern that no matter what the population size that we go out to areas like this and make sure we’re representing them,” she said.
And remember, there are peanuts.