My Congressman is a hero.
Why? Because he’s having a public meeting. TWO, actually; one of them right here in Durham. And we didn’t even have to ask him!
Now, some fussbudgets might object that there’s nothing “heroic” about a Congressman meeting constituents. “Hey,” they grumble, “this is his JOB. It’s what he was elected to do: listen to us here, and work for us and for a better America in Washington.
Silly idealists. Especially this year. This month. This WEEK. It must be heroic, because so few of his colleagues are daring to do it.
(Has your Rep. been seen in public this week? Our two NC Senators have evidently fled the country. #notkidding.)
According to the Town Hall Project, Butterfield is the ONLY ONE of North Carolina’s 15 Members of Congress holding actual town hall meetings this go round. Maybe the others think it’s now illegal here, like trans-friendly bathrooms. With our current nutcase Legislature, it would be an easy mistake. (But you can bet they’re busy raising campaign money this week. You can take that to the bank.)
I hear that some of the few solons who ventured out have met with somewhat exuberant receptions. Well, we here in the NC First District can get excited too, but Rep. Butterfield will probably hear more applause than protests.
Far as I’m concerned he’s standing on the right side of most things that are important to me. I voted for him in November, and have no regrets. And he even knows how to tweet. Like this:
And that’s definitely not “fake news.”
The Durham session is tomorrow. And wouldn’t you know I messed around and made a commitment to go to another meeting, about some dismal Quaker breakup thing. So I can’t be there.
But I’m sure Rep. Butterfield won’t be lonely. And realizing I’d be away, I already shared some of my views with him. I did it by FAX; and it got through quick.
First I thanked him for holding the meeting, and for being on the progressive side. Then I talked about health care, and the plans to rip it up. And I ended with a request:
I want to tell you about what I would say if I could be [at the town hall]. It is about my grandson Calvin King, who is seven, and a NC resident. And it is about Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.
Calvin looks healthy and lively in this photo, which he now is.
But if it weren’t for Medicaid and the ACA, he would not look this way. He has had to have two unexpected, serious surgeries to bring him to his present state of health.
Without Medicaid & the ACA, Calvin would not have been able to have these procedures. It’s that simple.
My understanding is that you support the ACA and oppose plans to repeal it. Thank you for that.
However, I wish I had heard your voice on this more often, and more vocally. And I wish you would lobby your colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus to, borrowing the words of a famous populist, “Raise Less Corn and More Hell!” about this issue (and many others, but I’ll stick to ACA/Medicaid here.)
Pardon my language, & I meant no disrespect. But this is not something I feel calm & polite about.
We in your district need to HEAR YOUR VOICE on this issue, more often, and louder.
You’re on the right side. You’re doing your best. Let all of us – and those on the other side – hear it, every day, on this issue.
This is not an academic or “political” issue.
Lives hang in the balance. Lives in MY family & thousands more in this District.
Thank you and keep up the good work!
First District NC
A North Carolina Member of Congress who actually wants to listen to constituents, in public. Right now, there’s only one.
But what a concept! (I could get used to this.)