Sometimes a title is all you need to tell a story. Take the town hall happening at Clark College tonight — “A Town Hall With or Without Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler.”
Pretty telling, right?
The congresswoman’s constituents are clearly getting fed up with Herrera Beutler dodging in-person meet-ups and their event title says it all.
The town hall organizers — mostly members of local progressive groups — say the Republican congresswoman is shirking her obligations and avoiding face-to-face communication with the very people she represents in Washington’s Third Congressional District.
The claim is nothing new. Activists have been calling for Herrera Beutler to attend in-person town halls since the November 2016 election, but say that, so far, the best they’ve had are a couple videoconference or teleconference meetings with the legislator.
As one Camas progressive put it last week, “It’s very disappointing.”
Indeed, any time a politician ducks out on the chance to interact with their constituents in a face-to-face setting it is disappointing. It is also, we would argue, the very behavior that contributes to the ever-widening gap between Americans on opposite ends of the political spectrum.
To bridge that divide, politicians (Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike) are going to have to figure out how to really talk — and more importantly, really listen — to their constituents.
We don’t know the exact reason for Herrera Beutler’s lack of in-person town halls. There may be a valid reason why the congresswoman cannot attend local meetings with constituents during her district days. But we…
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