After 500 days of waiting and a great deal of hype, Jason Lewis was able to carve out one day to meet with the voters in CD2. Each event was one hour long. He claimed 700 applied for tickets and provided seating for no more than 100 at any location- so most were left out in the cold. These venues were also located in less densely populated areas of the district. You will notice in videos below, that all venues had many empty seats. The largest audience was reported to be around 45.
So how were these in person “town halls” different from the ridiculous tele-town halls?
- Both have pre-selected audiences- with many voters excluded- tickets were required- and Lewis’s team chose who got tickets.
- Both required people to submit questions in advance.
- Both involved highly controlled exchanges- controlled by the congressman and his staff.
- Both did not allow for anything more than a minimal exchange of ideas and healthy dialogue, Rep. Lewis does most of the talking.
- Both- most importantly- do not bring our community together.
- Both provided no transcript or video record- other than what those who did get tickets provided (see below)
— Jean (@jean_pins) May 19, 2018
There were protesters outside all 3 venues, with the largest concentration in Lakeville. There voters from all over CD2 were encouraged to share their thoughts on being locked out and what questions they would have asked had they been granted a “golden ticket”. In Lakeville, Planned Parenthood started off with a welcome, followed by a woman expressing her concerns about her medical needs and some comments on the reasons we were gathering. Throughout the rally, voters shared their thoughts, which the congressman- mere feet away- Chose not to hear, and would not give them entry as they posed a “security risk”?! One woman even had a ticket and was denied entry. Rep. Lewis entered and exited by a side door to avoid his constituents entirely! Ceri did an excellent job in Wabasha of documenting what was going outside their venue as well and we appreciate her footage. Please view and judge for yourselves.
- If you agree that these were #FakeTownHalls, please let Rep. Lewis’s office and any media know that CD2 deserves better! Tweet, FB, call, email, write letters to the editor. Feel free to share this post as documentation of what actually happened that day- including the “scary protesters”. Use the #FakeTownHalls and tag @cd2action so we can see who is contacted.
- If you think CD2 deserves better- then VOTE, work for candidates that you think will better represent you by actually listening and engage in real dialogue, talk to your neighbors, build a community and GET OUT THE VOTE