State Sen. Benjamin B. Downing, D-Pittsfield, announces his first 2016 Coffee & Conversation public forum will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11, at Chester Town Hall, 15 Middlefield Road.

In order to be accessible to all his constituents, Downing hosts monthly open forums in rotating towns across his Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden district.

After Chester, Downing's forum itinerary will bring him to the communities of Dalton, Otis, Alford, Westhampton, Egremont, and Windsor during the first seven months of 2016.

All are welcome to join Downing and his district staff during these events to pose a question, submit a comment or pitch an idea regarding state government. Downing provides free coffee and refreshments for those who attend.

For more information, visit and click on "Upcoming Events."