Not at the PA 5th Congressional District Town Hall Meeting in the Forum Building at The Pennsylvania State University today.
Neither Representative Thompson nor any member of his staff showed up for the Town Hall Meeting that he was invited to in the 5th Congressional District in Centre County where he lives. This meeting was held during the February 2017 Congressional Recess when he was in the district. These recesses are designed to give Congressional members time to go home and “tackle constituent concerns” back in the district.
Town halls are often used to help “tackle” these issues in an efficient, open and transparent way. When a Representative fails to set up a face-to-face town hall meeting, his/her constituents set it up for him/her and invite the Representative and/or his staff. This is what happened here in Centre County today.
Since no representative from G.T. Thompson’s office, including Thompson himself, showed up to answer our questions, concerned constituents talked to his cardboard substitute. The meeting was taped and will be sent to him for his response.
About 300 voters in Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District showed up at this town hall today to ask Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson questions of concern. These issues included but were not limited to sexual assault, Title IX, education, immigration, gun safety, ethics, healthcare, disability, access to the representative, and open and transparent government.
I spoke about 47 minutes into the meeting about transparency and about the increase in hate crimes and tension here in Centre County, in the state, and across the country over the last several months. This included telling Mr. Thompson about an incident reported to me in my capacity as Chair of the Centre County Advisory Council to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Two or three days ago, a voter’s tires were slashed in State College by another individual because this voter had a sign inside his car that said, “I support immigrants.”
Here’s the full video of the Town Hall Meeting.
The town hall meeting lasted about 90 minutes. But #WhereWasThompson? Where was he hiding? Was he avoiding his constituents?
Mr. Thompson, or as you like to be called, G.T., you were hired (elected) to represent the entire congressional district. Not just those that you agree with. As your boss, we need you to answer our questions. We are not “paid activists” or “the political opposition” as you seem to think; we are your constituents. We want to hear from you now. We want to know what you think and why you are voting the way you do in Congress.
NOW. Not months down the road. And we want your responses on record. Not behind closed doors.
As Marc Friedenberg told the audience and the Centre Daily Times today at this meeting,
“We’re not protesters, we’re not political opposition, we are constituents and there are a lot of things that we care about,” Friedenberg said. “We care about health care, we care about the environment, we’re very worried about the way a lot of different issues in our country are moving right now, and we’d like a chance to at least know that we’ve been heard.”
And isn’t it more efficient for our concerns to be heard at a town hall meeting? Especially since your offices are “overwhelmed” by the calls, letters, etc.?
We as your constituents think so.