in the next town up from mine (population 1500), there was a public "listening session" today hosted by 4 sitting United States Cabinet Secretaries (Veterans Affairs, Labor( my favorite), Health and Human Services and Agriculture. It was held in the National Guard Armory and attended by a SRO crowd of over 5000 with tons of Secret Service and the unusual (for us) protesters..
Everyone was polite, we all joined in for the Pledge of Allegiance and then cheered the fact that our LA State National Guard would be leaving from this same building in a few weeks to serve our Country in Afghanastan
The Secretaries spoke very little, but open the floor to questions and actually listened while their staffs took detailed notes, what the concerns were of small town Americans regarding various issues
it's very nice to see upfront and personal, American Democracy at work