I recently attended a town hall held by my state legislators from the 49th Legislative District. My legislators answered numerous questions on a broad range of topics. If they weren’t familiar with an issue, they acknowledged they couldn’t answer and said they would look into it. They stayed after the town hall ended to answer any other questions or follow up on their answers to questions they already addressed. None of the questions were screened.
I was struck by the contrast between these legislators and Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground. As we all know, Rep. Herrera Beutler won’t hold an in-person town hall. Her phone “town halls” are a poor substitute.
She only answers a few questions and there’s no opportunity for follow up. I don’t know whether she screens the questions.
Not only is she unwilling to answer questions in an in-person town hall, Herrera Beutler is otherwise inaccessible to the constituents whom she represents. We can’t find out her schedule when she’s in town. Her staff says they don’t know her schedule. Her office door in Officers Row is locked.
Rep. Herrera Beutler is our representative. We have questions for her. She should hold an in-person town hall.