As we enter our sixth month of COVID-19 response and face a primary election, I’d like to point out how valuable it has been to have an Eighth District representative to Congress who is also a medical doctor. For any who don’t know, Rep. Kim Schrier holds regular telephone town halls that anyone can participate in, and the pandemic is a frequent topic. Questions are allowed, and she passes along reliable information not only from public health sources but also her personal experience and medical training. (The most recent town hall was July 28, but if you’d like to participate in the next, visit her website at https://schrier.house.gov/ for a notification.)
This is in contrast to my experience with the previous holder of her position, who flatly refused to hold town hall meetings of any kind prior to leaving office. When in 2017 I followed his requested procedure of scheduling a personal meeting in his office to discuss issues affecting our district that are important to me — since he’d left no other way to communicate with him — he flat walked out less than five minutes into what had been a polite conversation, simply because he didn’t agree. No cordial debate, no support for his own opinion, not even a show of listening or trying to find common ground.
That is not representation. It’s arrogance.
Regardless of your politics, of course, I encourage everyone to vote. I voted to re-elect Schrier because she’s willing to keep communication open in both directions and with anyone. I hope you’ll also do some homework and vote for a candidate who’s willing to listen—even to constituents they disagree with. Thanks, neighbors!