Several activist groups in Philadelphia are planning to hold a town hall for Sen. Pat Toomey – with or without the senator himself.
Indivisible Philadelphia – the city’s chapter of the national nonprofit looking to “hold members of Congress accountable” – has planned the town hall for 6:30 to 8 p.m. on June 1st at the Church of the Holy Trinity, located at 1904 Walnut St. in Rittenhouse Square.
Other organizers include Tuesdays with Toomey, which has protested outside the senator’s office every week for several months, Philadelphia United for Progress, Moving Philly Forward and the Philadelphia Unemployment Project. More than 200 people said they would attend the town hall on Facebook, while close to 900 said they were interested in the event.
Toomey has never held an in-person town hall in the city – despite a seemingly endless stream of requests from Philadelphians after President Donald Trump’s election. The senator has, on the other hand, held several telephone town halls (a.k.a. phone conferences) – but they don’t quite suffice for many of his constituents.
“Thousands of concerned constituents have taken time from their jobs and busy daily lives to call, email, and write to Senator Toomey voicing concerns on health care, workers’ wages, equality, immigration, Russian meddling, and other critical issues they face due to the current administration,” Indivisible Philadelphia said in a statement. “These concerned constituents want Senator Toomey to address them at this town hall and assure them he hears their concerns and will protect and fight for their interests.”
Toomey spokesperson Steve Kelly said Toomey has informed event organizers that while he “appreciates the invitation,” he has a “longstanding obligation on June 1st” and will be unable to attend.
Vicki Miller, an event organizer, said she wasn’t exactly surprised by Toomey’s response.
“Because he had never [held an in-person town hall in Philadelphia] before, we had a feeling he would not accept our invitation,” Miller said. “He doesn’t have the track record of doing these. We were hoping otherwise, because we think it would be a very good discussion.”
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Source URL: https://www.phillymag.com/news/2017/05/25/philly-town-hall-with-without-toomey/
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