Tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in 111 Forum, a town hall has been organized for Penn State’s representative in Congress, Glenn Thompson. The event was put together not by Thompson himself, but instead by the IST Student Government, and, if he fails to show up as expected, is largely meant to serve as a form of protest for Representative Thompson’s refusal to hold his own town hall. Thompson was first elected to represent the 5th Congressional district in 2009, and was re-elected to his 5th term last November.
According to statecollege.com, constituents have been consistently rebuffed in their efforts to have Thompson hold an in-person town hall, with Thompson’s scheduler claiming that “the Congressman’s schedule is full until April,” and also that “he will not offer a venue for ‘paid activists and political opposition’ to create a ‘spectacle.'” Thompson is likely afraid that, were he to hold a town hall, it would quickly deteriorate into a frenzy, as many other Republican town halls held this week have, with angry constituents pressing their Representatives and Senators on their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act without providing a proper replacement, and their complicity regarding President Trump’s conflicts of interests, connections to Russia, and efforts to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and ban individuals from seven majority-Muslim countries.
Regardless of whether or not Thompson shows up, the group still plans to use “this opportunity to let Mr. Thompson know that we are his constituents, we are not paid by anybody to express our views, and we have real concerns about the direction of our Congressional district.” The group will be recording the event and all questions asked in their entirety, so that it can be made available for him to respond to at a later point.
The group’s hope is that “strong turnout for this event will encourage Mr. Thompson to hold a series of town hall events in the future,” and encourages all interested to “bring your signs, bring your questions, bring your stories, and bring your friends and family.”
Photo Credit: Centre Daily Times