Lisa (paganmaid_2) wrote,
Lisa
paganmaid_2

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Show yourselves, Congresspeople!

I signed up to be a citizen journalist for the Huffington Post. I covered the Tax Day Tea Party in Chicago and forwarded news articles on car dealerships closing in the wake of the government bailouts and subsequent bankruptcies. Now I'm looking forward to the next big thing - our congressional representatives facing us, the constituents.

The question is - when?

I can understand the reticence. Over the weekend some reps held town hall meetings that were not only well-attended, but also by some who wanted to stir up drama, notably about health care reform, specifically their opposition to it. Things got pretty ugly. At some meetings supporters of reform and the public option were shouted down. One congressman had to leave under police escort. Some filmed the confrontations and posted them on the internet.

The congresswoman in my district in Madison, Tammy Baldwin, is on the forefront of reform and a supporter of the public option. She had a town hall meeting on the subject in June, where people shared their health insurance horror stories. Yet she has no public appearances planned for August.

The congressman in the district in Chicago where my mother and brother are registered voters is Mike Quigley, who replaced Rahm Emanuel. But Quigley has not taken a position on health care reform or a public option. According to sources, Quigley is on a "fact-finding mission" and therefore not in his district. Like Baldwin, he too has nothing public scheduled this month.

Jan Schakowsky, my congresswoman before I moved to Madison, also had a town hall meeting on health care reform in June and also supports reform and the public option. She also has nothing on the public calendar this month.

The silence is telling - and deafening.

I know it's not easy being a member of Congress these days. It's not easy being anything these days. But I still have confidence that we are a nation that is not easily swayed by the opinions of a very small yet vocal minority that are puppets of private interests. If you guys come out and see us who hired you, we'll be too glad to show you. And we'll put those who try to stir up drama for drama's sake out the door. We did hire you to represent our best interests. And contrary to other opinions, we want - and need - health care reform. That's why many of us voted for you. If we were happy with the status quo, the other guys would be in your shoes right now - as well as Mr. Obama's.

So come out, come out wherever you are. You gotta face us sooner or later.
Tags: congress, health care reform, jan schakowsky, mike quigley, tammy baldwin
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