Hundreds attend town hall with McMorris Rodgers' staff

KREM 2's Ryan Simms reports on the town hall organized to express concerns to Cathy McMorris Rodgers' staff

SPOKANE, Wash. – Hundreds of people attended a town hall meeting regarding Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers Tuesday evening. Even though the congresswoman could not attend the event, hundreds of her constituents showed up anyway to give her representative a long list of their concerns.

Around 900 people showed up to the town hall and an overflow audience had to be accommodated upstairs. As for the town hall, some people wondered why it was held Tuesday evening, on a night where McMorris Rodgers was in Washington D.C. to watch President Trump speak.

Organizers of the town hall said that the event was set up weeks before they knew the President would be speaking. As a result, they said it was too hard to reschedule the event. That said, hundreds of people still came to the meeting on Tuesday to make their voices heard.

Representatives with Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ office were greeted cordially on Tuesday. The audience stayed quiet and respectful, but once constituents started speaking, the crowd went wild.

“You’re the highest-ranking woman in the house, yet you haven’t taken the lead in any women’s issues,” one audience member said.

“I pay plenty of taxes and I think it’s time the top one percent pay their fair share,” another audience member said.

Taxes, transparency, or trust; name the hot topic and chances are, it was brought up on Tuesday.

“They need to show the American public they could be trusted and what they say is true. That’s not happened,” an audience member said.

“My concern has been that repealing the Affordable Care Act is a perfect example of government and congresswoman coming between a million of my patients and me as a doctor,” another audience member said.

Another hot topic was immigration. One of the major points of the evening was when a Syrian-born high school student addressed the audience.

“We are, in reality, tax paying, hardworking, and loyal American citizens,” the Syrian-born student said.

The liberal group Fuse organized the town hall meeting. Despite plenty of controversial subjects and the heated debates that go along with them, Tuesday’s meeting remained civil.

KREM 2 News did try to interview the representative from the Congresswoman’s office who was showed up at Tuesday’s meeting, but she declined talk and said she was unauthorized to talk to the media. 

Her office issued the following statement the morning after the event:

“The Congresswoman wants to hear from everyone in Eastern Washington, because hearing from all sides makes her a better representative. Congress is in session for the next six weeks, and the Congresswoman is hard at work in the nation’s capital advancing the priorities important to everyone here in Eastern Washington, like the future of health care, jobs and the economy, and fighting for those with disabilities. As she moves forward with everyone’s priorities, she is dedicated to finding common ground and bringing everyone to the table to have constructive, courageous conversations about how we can better our communities.”

--Molly Drenkard, Spokeswoman for Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers

© 2017 KREM-TV


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