Peter DeFazio's Town Hall Meeting yesterday was awesome!
Hi Thom! My husband and I just moved to Albany OR from northern CA. Yesterday we attended Rep. Peter DeFazio's Town Hall meeting in Albany. It was his 13th Town Hall meeting this month and he had another one in Corvallis last night. Just excellent! The place was packed with people asking intelligent, well-informed questions. That, in itself, was refreshing! His opening statement was so current, including about the debt ceiling deal, which he voted against; his comments against the Super Congress committee of 12 and how many lobbyists have been hired to lobby those 12 people. Insane! Three of the things I found most interesting were: 1) he is FOR a balanced budget amendment with some decent rationale backed with data. Made me think about it again. 2) that the chasm between liberals and conservatives in the House can be tracked to a significant extent to how districts are re-districted in a partisan fashion using software that creates districts that are not competitive, going either mostly Republican or mostly Democratic; that this has made for approximately 70% of districts across America being non-competitive. He advocated for new ways of re-districting like that voted for in CA - a group of retired judges do the redistricting; 3) He is well-versed on the problem of big money in politics. I asked for his stand on a constitutional amendment to declare that corporations aren't people and money isn't speech (got that straight from listening to you!). His response was pragmatic in that he sees that as the long game. He let us know that he and Rep. Schrader are introducing a bill to allow Congress to make law countering what Citizens United has made legal. He spoke to so many issues that people asked about with great detail. He was honest when he wasn't well versed in some issues. What a breath of fresh air to be in a conversation of concerned citizens speaking to their representative who was so well read and well versed in so many important issues across the board! I'm stoked to live in a district represented by a congressman who actively introduces and advocates for legislation that matters to us! Yesterday was truly democracy in action!! Thom, I would love to hear a conversation between you and DeFazio about the balanced budget amendment, money in politics, anything else!