Protestors continue message of calling on Collins to host town hall

LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) — More than 100 people filled the parking lot outside the Lancaster field office of Republican Congressman Chris Collins, touting a message now familiar: They want to hear from their representative, in person, at a town hall meeting.

But that’s something he’s never done.

From a billboard in Hamburg to Monday’s rally, voters in the 27th Congressional District are continuing to urge Collins to meet with them in a public forum.
“Our intention is to just make our voices heard,” said Jenna Wozer, a resident of this district and rally organizer. “Representative Collins has made it very clear he has no intention of holding a town hall meeting for us, so we’re gathered here to make our voices heard beyond that. He won’t come to us, so we’re going to amplify our voices so he can hear us.”
Ralliers holding signs and chanting in full voice filled the parking lot outside Collins’ office, which is closed for the holiday. They papered his door with sticky notes of varying messages and questions. The notes were taken down at the conclusion of the rally.

“We are leaving him some notes so he knows exactly what our concerns are,” Wozer said. “He can’t hear all of our voices since he’s not here, so we’re gonna leave him some letters.”
Collins has said repeatedly he’s never held town hall meetings. And he doesn’t believe they’re the best use of his time.
His Republican congressional colleague Tom Reed held a series of public meetings last weekend in Western New York’s southern district. They were heavily attended, and forced Reed to use a megaphone to try and be heard over incessant chants.
The local push is admittedly part of a larger movement across the country by a group called Indivisible, a grassroots campaign of mostly democrats calling on responses from their respective members of Congress.
“We’re a bunch of people that have never really been involved in politics before, and so the Indivisible movement, they are a group of people who do know what they’re talking about, and they’ve made themselves accessible to us.
Organizers of this rally said although this is part of a nationwide trend, the message is ultra-local. And, these are voters.
“Look around. We are your constituents, we are the people who are ultimately going to vote for or against you, and so whether or not this is happening nationally, it’s happening in your backyard. And you need to listen to us,” Wozer said. “I believe that a lot of constituents didn’t actually know who he was before now, and we’re making it clear what he’s been for and what he’s been against so the people can make their own decisions.”
Collins has said he invites those who attend rallies like this to contact his office for a private meeting because he wants to avoid the raucous forums many witnessed at all four of Reed’s meetings this weekend. Reed has said in response to the turn out, that it’s democracy at work.

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