Constituents of Rep. Mike Rogers, who represents Auburn in Congress, once again hosted a “town hall” style meeting, this time in Opelika, where residents of Alabama’s 3rd Congressional district could ask their congressman questions.
Constituents of Rogers and Rep. Martha Roby, R-Alabama, held a similar event in Montgomery in February. Rogers was not present at either meeting.
Like in the Montgomery town hall, organizers recorded all questions and said they intend on sending it to the congressman’s office. While they said they were doubtful of a response, organizers said they want a chance for dialogue between them and Rogers.
A representative from Rogers' office told The Plainsman Congress' voting schedule is busier than usual, and that Rogers has district events scheduled from as far back as last year.
Many of the event’s attendees said they have attempted to contact Rogers over the past couple months to request a town hall meeting. In February, more than 100 people gathered outside Rogers’ empty Opelika office in hopes of getting a face-to-face meeting.
“People have been calling his local offices and his D.C. office asking him to come and speak to his constituents, and we never got a direct reply,” said Alabama Together member Roberta Jackel. “There were always kind of excuses for why he couldn’t have a town hall meeting, and yet we know he’s been in the area."
Alabama Together, an offshoot of Pantsuit Nation, were the primary sponsors of the town hall event.
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While some asked general questions about Rogers’ position on issues like LGBTQ rights, healthcare and immigration, some also asked about specific bills sponsored or introduced by Rogers, like the Border Wall Funding Act, which would levy a 2 percent tax on all wire transfers of money going to more than 40 Latin American countries, and the American Sovereignty Restoration Act, which would withdraw the U.S. from the United Nations.
Attendees also broke off into small groups to discuss topics like marginalized citizens, Social Security and the U.S. budget with one another.
“It’s really a wonderful idea and a wonderful way for people in the district to come together and give a message to their elected leader,” said Mark Wilson, who helped organize the event.
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