Food For Thought: Town Hall Meetings

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You know ‘the resistance?’ It was kind of a catch-all for the movement against Trump and his agenda. How it did not represent the will of the people and must be stopped at all cost. And while this moment, while noble in its intentions, missed three important points when forming an effective resistance. How to take root and establish what the goals of a resistance are, what steps to take in order to make sure goals are accomplished, and articulating what exactly a successful resistance would look like when its goals were accomplished. 

To be quite honest, this isn’t an article about establishing a framework for such a movement, rather highlighting a necessary action for such a movement to be possible in America. That action being town hall attendance and its importance to modern-day direct democracy in this country. 

While town halls used to be a mundane avenue for politicians to pay lip service to their constituents by parroting platitudes and making semi-true promises to virtually non-existent crowds, the 2017 town hall looks much different from those in the past. Recent town halls have been filled with rowdy constituents demanding answers on policies that would effect them. Much of this can be attributed to the backlash to the bombastic Trump agenda, the threat of deep healthcare cuts, drastic changes to climate policy, and rampant income inequality have mobilized a once apathetic citizenry. 

 

And the media has taken notice. For the first time, mainstream media outlets like MSNBC and FOX News are collecting footage from local town hall meetings because the scenes of actual direct democracy are good for ratings. Now, with the Senate health care bill vote being postponed until after the July 4th recess, the town halls and events that U.S congressional members are holding are surely going to receive attention on a national level. Knowing when and where these events are happening will be crucial in the coming days. Please share this article and think about the following topics/questions when going up to talk to your local official:

 

  • What issues are important to you? Why are they important to you and how can you communicate that in a constructive way?

  • If healthcare is important to you, how come? What changes do you want to see made to the current healthcare system? Do you want to see the current Republican bill to go through, improvements to the existing ACA, or a single-payer (Medicare for all) system?  

  • If environmental policy is important to you, how come? What does your representative think of think of the President’s decision to drop out of the Paris climate deal? In what ways do you think green energy could benefit or detract from your community? 

  • If foreign policy is important to you, what issues and with what countries are you taking issues with? Research how your representative lines up with your beliefs about those countries.

  • If jobs are important to you, what about jobs? Do you think wages should be higher? What about training for jobs currently available?

  • If education is important to you, how come? What do you think can be improved about the current system? Are you concerned about the way Betsy Devos is running the student loan program? Or protections of LGBT students? 

  • You more than likely have a connection or know a person who is connected to one of these issues. This is why these issues are important? 

 

Here is a comprehensive list of all upcoming town halls, thanks to the Town Hall Project: 

 

 

Sen. Ron Wyden (Oregon-D) 

7/5/2017 @ 2:00 PM, PDT

Linn County Town Hall 

600 N 5th St. Lebanon, OR

 

7/6/2017 @2:00 PM, PDT

Washington County Town Hall

9985 SW 125th Ave, Beaverton, OR

 

7/7/2017 @ 1:00 PM, PDT

Deschutes County Town Hall

325 NW Dogwood Ave. Redmond, OR

 

7/8/2017 @ 11:00 AM, PDT

Lane County Town Hall

875 7th St. Springfield, OR

 

7/8/2017 @ 3:30 PM, PDT

Yamhill County Town Hall

2400 Douglas Ave, Newberg, OR

 

 

Sen. Jerry Moran (Kansas-R) 

7/6/2017 @ 11:30 AM, CDT

Rooks County-Kansas Tour Listening Stop

311 Main St. Palco, KS

 

7/7/2017 @ 12:00 PM, CDT

Haskell County- Kansas Tour Listening Stop 

300 S Inman St, Sublette, KS

 

7/7/2017 @ 2:00 PM, CDT

Seward County-Kansas Tour Listening Stop

1801 N Kansas Ave, Liberal, KS

 

 

Sen. Maria Cantwell (Washington-D) 

7/5/2017 @ 6:00 PM, PDT

Health Care Town Hall

1410 NE Campus Pkwy. Seattle, WA

 

7/7/2017 @ 11:00 AM, PDT

Net Neutrality Town Hall 

1119 8th Ave. Seattle, WA

 

 

7/8/2017@ 11:00 AM, PDT

Town Hall

830 SW 116th St. Seattle, WA

 

 

Sen. Brad E. Schatz (Hawaii-D) 

7/7/2017 @12:00 PM, HST

Town Hall

555 Fraser Ave. Lanal City, HI 

 

 

Rep. Ron Kind (Wisconsin 3rd-D) 

7/5/2017 @  3:30 PM, CDT

Adam County Listening Session 

569 N Cedar St, Adams, WI 

 

Rep. David Young (Iowa 3rd-R) 

7/6/2017 @  10:00 AM, CDT

Open Office Hours

311 Main St, Palco, KS

 

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (Florida 7th-D) 

7/6/2017 @ 2:30 PM, EDT

Public Forum on the Federal Budget

 2950 Aloma Ave, Winter Park, FL

 

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (Oregon 1st-D)

7/6/2017 @ 2:00 PM, PDT

Washington County Town Hall Meeting

9985 SW 125th Ave, Beaverton, OR

 

Rep. John Yarmouth (Kentucky 3rd-D) 

7/6/2017 @ 6:00 PM, EDT

Health care Town Hall

1130 W Chestnut St, Louisville, KY

 

 

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (New York 12th-D)

7/6/2017 @ 6:00 PM, EDT

Stand Up District 12! Town Hall

222 E 93rd St, New York, NY

 

Rep. John B. Larson (Connecticut 1st-D)

7/6/2017 @ 6:00 PM, EDT

Public Town Hall on Health Care 

10 Central Avenue, New Hartford, CT

 

Rep. Jim Himes (Connecticut 4th-D) 

7/6/2017 @ 6:30 PM, EDT

Town Hall

88 North Ave, Westport, CT

 

Rep. Keith Ellison (Minnesota 5th-D) 

7/6/2017 @ 6:00 PM, CDT

Town Hall

6700 Portland Ave, Richfield, MN

 

Rep. Bill Foster (Illinois 11th-D)

7/6/2017 @ 6:00 PM, CDT

ACA & Health Care Forum

333 Madison St, Joliet, IL

 

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (Wisconsin 5th-R) 

7/6/2017 @ 7:00 PM, CDT

Town Hall

7635 W North Ave, Wauwatosa, WI

 

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (Washington 7th-D)

7/6/2017 @ 5:30 PM, PDT

Impact of Trumpcare on Working Families

1119 8th Ave, Seattle, WA

 

 

Rep. Brad Schneider (Illinois 10th-D)

7/7/2017 @ 2:00 PM, CDT

Healthcare Roundtable

3010 Grand Ave, Waukegan, IL

 

7/8/2017 @ 1:00 PM, CDT

Congress on Your Corner 

8955 N Greenwood Ave, Niles, IL 

 

 

Rep. Robert C. Scott (Virginia 3rd-D)

7/10/2017 @ @ 6:30 PM, EDT

Health Care Town Hall

350 Kings Fork Rd, Suffolk, VA

 

Rep. Donald Norcross (New Jersey 1st-D) 

7/10/2017 @ 6:30 PM, EDT

‘Your Government, Your Neighborhood’ Town Hall

 1100 Turnerville Rd, Pine Hill, NJ

 

Rep. Juan Vargas (California 51st-D) 

7/10/2017 @ 5:30 PM, PDT

Immigration Forum 

2258 Island Ave, San Diego, CA

 

Rep. Matt Cartwright (Pennsylvania 17th-D)

7/11/2017 @ 10:30 AM, EDT

‘Coffee with your Congressman’

61 E Northampton St, Wilkes-Barre, PA

 

Due to the rapid updates of locations and town hall meetings near you, Uncharted Domain suggests to stay connected to the Town Hall Project website for further details. To learn more, be sure to visit the townhallproject.com for more details

PoliticsAlec Bose