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HOWLAND, Ohio - About 200 people attended Valley Voices in Action Community Town Hall meeting at the Howland High School Gym Saturday afternoon.

 The group intends to stay focused on voicing its opinion on many issues that affect the quality of life for folks in this region.

"What we saw yesterday when the bill on American Healthcare, which we called "Tax Cut Bill," was pulled from the House, and the power of the American people was heard. People all over this country were organized and spoke out," said Karen Zehr, a member of the Valley Voices in Action Coalition. 

People attending believe in taking an active role in setting the agenda by voicing their priorities.

"People have to have a voice in what's going on. It's a democracy. We are the power base that all parties and the government function on," said veteran Peter Fraser. "If we are not involved in participating government, then the parties fail. To me, being involved is critical."

State Senator Schiavoni, who is running to become Ohio's governor, answered about two dozen questions.

Schiavoni explained he is for some exploration of gas and oil, but against injection wells.

He also talked about the importance of public education, ending unfunded mandates and holding charter and online schools to the same standards as public schools.

"I think most of the questions had to do with education in some aspect," said Schiavoni. "People are concerned with the health care and what's happening at the federal level. People are very concerned about the job market."

No one in the crowd of about 200 asked about the opiate crisis, but Schiavoni brought it up. 

Schiavoni believes instead of 3.1 billion dollars in tax cuts, the money would be used for education, police and emergency services and wrap around services to help recovering addicts get their lives on track.

U.S. Senator Rob Portman, who was invited, has set up another date to meet with the group. 

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