Clackamas County resident: Lori Chavez-DeRemer avoids in-person town halls

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Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-5) refuses to meet with her constituents in unscripted, in-person town halls.

To truly represent their constituents, members of Congress should hold regular town halls to listen to their concerns and represent these views through the legislative process.

Research and analysis from the Center for Effective Lawmaking indicates that in-person town halls are an effective tool for cultivating policies closely tied to constituents’ priorities and needs.

Chavez-Deremer’s newsletter regularly highlights the businesses and interest groups she has met with recently. Yet despite inquiries, none of these meetings are announced in advance or open to the public.

When a request for an in-person town was made on her website, the response was that she will do a telephone townhall in September. However, the telephone town halls that I have attended appear to be quite scripted, with questions screened in advance.

Meanwhile, Rep. Andrea Salinas has held five in-person town halls since taking office eight months ago, where participants’ questions are chosen by lottery. Sen. Ron Wyden has held an astounding 35 in-person, unscripted town halls so far this year.

Chavez-DeRemer regularly states that she “promised to represent you with transparency, authenticity, and integrity.” How can she represent all of us if she only selectively meets with some of her constituents.

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