Tales from My Town Hall Tour
Recently, the national media discovered something called a ‘congressional town hall meeting.’ While the idea seemed to come as a surprise to many, all of you know that I have always been a great believer in the positive impact of town hall meetings – doing 50 each year throughout Oklahoma’s Third Congressional District. My town hall schedule this year was no different than last – and I held 18 town halls during the month of August.
And I would like to report to you that, due to the number of important topics currently being discussed in our nation’s capitol, I had record turnouts at all my town hall meetings. In almost every community, there were ten times as many of my neighbors in attendance. In Altus, I had 250 people show up, compared to 50 people last year. In Ponca City we had more than 350 people attend and in Enid we had a record showing of almost 475 people.
While health care was overwhelmingly the topic of discussion, a variety of issues were discussed. Whether to express their opposition to the bank bailout, which I voted against, the so-called “stimulus” plan, which I voted against, or the national energy tax known as cap-and-trade, which I voted against – the citizens of the Third District came out in droves to express their intense dissatisfaction with the direction our government is taking our country.
I have always been a proponent of in-person town hall meetings. I believe that it is important for members of Congress to give their constituents an opportunity to look them in the eye and express their opinions. That’s why, long after town hall meetings are no longer the latest media fad, I will continue to hold them throughout the Third District.