Over the past few weeks I've lunched with students at SIU-Carbondale, paraded on St. Patrick's Day in downtown Chicago, and spoke with labor friends in Springfield. I've encouraged groups of excited Democrats in Winnebago, McHenry, Monroe, Kankakee, Logan and Douglas counties to continue their awe-inspiring work. I've met business leaders, doctors, lawyers, and teachers from across the state to understand what it is that troubles them most and what can be done to help.Last week alone I spoke to the Illinois Democratic Women Convention in Springfield, met with elected officials in Taylorville, and hosted a conference in Decatur. On Friday, I attended the 113th general meeting of the Southern Illinois Editorial Association in Makanda to discuss transparency in government and the media's role as a watchdog. "Judging from the reaction of the crowd, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias was preaching to the choir as he called for more transparency in government," stated the Southern Illinoisan. As I've said many times before, communication is the most vital component of public service. Please feel free to contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns, comments, or invitations. Thank you again for all of your support.