May 17, 2017 Huntington Beach, CA – Twenty five constituents held a mock town hall today at the Huntington Beach Pier in front of Representative Dana Rohrabacher’s office. The constituents demanded a town hall with the Representative, who has been ignoring calls to hold a public meeting since the district demanded it over 100 days ago. Constituents are concerned that the Congressman completely aligns himself with President Trump. They were greatly alarmed by the breaking news today that Republicans in Congress believe Trump and Rohrabacher being on Putin’s payroll. Rohrabacher has virtually made it impossible for those who oppose him to have access to him. They’re not allowed into his office and are muted or blocked on social media. It wasn’t until recently that their calls have been answered by his staff.
Rohrabacher dismissed constituents, who oppose his positions on most of the major issues, calling them political thugs and“enemies of American self-government and democracy”. In more than one occasion, Rohrabacher said he won’t heed the call for a town hall. According to him, the time for discussion is over now that he had won the elections. Instead, Rohrabacher prefers to hold secret meetings, last-minute teleconferences with select constituents, who seem to support his far-right positions.
Despite claims otherwise, only a handful of the hundreds of constituents, who wrote or called Rohrabacher’s offices, received responses. One constituent, Ann McKay said, “like all his responses...canned, by subject, no matter what you actually wrote, stating his unwavering position, no matter what he hears from his constituents”. Kevin Waldron, who also received a response from his Representative, said the letters he received were “formulaic and off topic”, while Aliza Goldstein said, “I felt like it was dismissive of my concerns... I felt condescended to.”
At the mock town hall, constituents directed their questions at a homemade prop of Rohrabacher. One participant asked how could Rohrabacher have voted yes on ACHA without knowing its contents. Another asked about his position on the Muslim ban. It’s not clear if the Representative was in his office during the event. Protestors held signs that read “Asking for A Town Hall Doesn’t Make Me a Thug” and “No Town Hall? No Vote!” They also chanted, “What do we want? A town hall.”
The mock town hall was organized by Indivisible Orange County – District 48 (IOC48). Aaron McCall, from IOC48, explained that this was the first in a 12-mock town hall series that will take place at the various cities in the district. IOC48 is a large group of concerned constituents who came together in the wake of the elections. IOC48 advocates civic engagement and education.
Mock Town Hall video: https://www.ioc48.com/blog/2017/5/16/tuesdays-with-dana-51617