Getting set up in Raleigh, meeting constituents in district

Published 5:45 pm Monday, February 27, 2012

It’s my honor to represent you again in the North Carolina House. My arrival at the General Assembly was a homecoming as former colleagues welcomed me and made me feel I’d never been away. House Principal Clerk Denise Weeks told me that our district committee appointed me in the shortest time ever for a replacement representative. Our district set a record – 17 days. It usually takes 3-4 months and this gives the General Assembly staff time to get everything set up.
This accounts for some of the issues I’m dealing with: like shuffling office space, getting telephones and computers properly connected and waiting for a permanent office address to order business cards and stationery. Even last Thursday when I printed from my state laptop to my office printer, my letter printed in some unknown place. Please be patient as I continue to work through a backlog of hundreds of phone calls, emails and letters. As Denise told me, the General Assembly has never needed to set up an interim representative this quickly.  There are still some problems to overcome.
That’s not prevented me from getting right to work on important issues. I’m serving on several interim committees while the General Assembly is not in session. Last Wednesday I met with the Select Committee on Methamphetamine Abuse. We are charged with updating 2005 legislation that I happen to have worked on then. I was particularly interested because there was a meth lab bust in Brevard the week before this meeting. Constituents had contacted me with concerns. We heard from law enforcement, pharmacists, national meth programs, and more. I was especially interested in a presentation by highly trained specialists who clean up meth labs and in the danger of residual contamination.
I plan to meet with local law enforcement on meth issues before the next meeting in mid-March.  I’ll also talk with local pharmacists and others interested in helping to resolve this dangerous problem. If you have thoughts on this please email me at trudi.walend@ncleg.net
On a happier note, I was delighted to learn that there was a successful use of our Amber Alert Program in Asheville recently. Amber Alert helps locate missing children who are in danger. I sponsored our state’s Amber Alert bill after a young girl kidnapped in Florida was taken on I-95 through South Carolina and North Carolina, and then murdered in Virginia. My bill almost did not pass because the Highway Department did not have money for the digital signs. We distributed a news article about Amber Alert and the need for sign funds. Within a short time a company from Winston-Salem arrived in Raleigh with a big check for the first sign. The rest is history. We now have digital signs on all interstate highways. They are used to display Amber Alerts, Silver Alerts, hazard warnings and even the number of minutes to certain intersections.
This week you’ll find me in the district. I’ll be meeting with constituents, attending various meetings and events in Transylvania, Henderson and Polk counties. Saturday I was in Polk County where I met with elected officials and many interested citizens. I also attended the opening of a new Republican headquarters. Also I plan to spend time each day in my home office catching up on calls, emails, and letters. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any concerns you have regarding state government. As many of you know my husband, Ken, works in our Raleigh office and in the district. Ken handles many of your concerns or he points you in the right direction. He’s the only retired engineer in the General Assembly and he especially enjoys working with highway projects or issues.
Representative Trudi Walend
R-Polk/Transylvania/south
Henderson counties
State Legislative Office Bldg.
300 N. Salisbury St., Room 503
Raleigh,N.C. 27603-5925
919-715-4466
trudi.walend@ncleg.net