Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
Local citizens gathered at Earl Brown Bowl last night to ask questions and state grievances to their legislators. After every seat was filled, citizens lined the walls and filled every available space in the room, raising both the temperature and excited chatter in the room as they waited for the town hall meeting to begin.
Senator Michelle Benson addressed the crowd first. In her legislative update, Senator Benson warned against the collection of our personal medical data by requiring all medical practitioners to have interactive medical data systems, and the issues that may be caused once the “Forty by Thirty” plan is enacted, which would increase Minnesota’s renewable energy standard to forty percent by 2030. Senator Benson was followed by Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, who updated the crowd on her current work at the Minnesota State Legislature before introducing U.S. Representative Tom Emmer.
Representative Emmer began by telling a joke, and then updated his constituents on his work in Washington D.C. The crowd reactions were a mix of outcries and applause. As soon as Representative Emmer finished speaking, hands shot up in the air to ask him questions.
Citizens heatedly shot questions and grievances at Representative Emmer, who stood his ground for his decisions, but repeatedly responded with, “call my office.” Citizens addressed Representative Emmer’s vote for Speaker John Boehner, voting to fund the DHS, and asked a number of questions
In regards to a question asked as to why Republicans seem to be failing in Congress, Emmer responded that it is an issue of having the right people in the right leadership positions, reiterating what he said to a fellow congressman, “Commit for five terms. Do it so you can actually change the structural integrity of the place. Then you’ll see some bigger changes” A member of the crowd yelled out, “It’s always another election, be a leader!”
The town hall concluded with Representative Emmer taking time to stop and talk to almost every constituent in attendance. Some citizens left happy with the information they received, while others left even angrier than when they arrived.