Walden reported planning his own town hall four days after Constituent Town Hall

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., is planning town hall appearances in Hood River and The Dalles on April 12, despite no official confirmation of meeting times or locations.

Even so, organizers of a Constituent Town Hall in Hood River on Saturday, April 8, say they will continue with their plans. Bonnie New of Indivisible Columbia Gorge says the event would welcome Walden’s attendance.

Several unanswered invitations over the last couple of months for Walden to schedule a Gorge town hall led seven Gorge organizations to plan and schedule their own.

Megan Wagenblast of the Rural Oregon Initiative told John Nelson of The Dalles that she had been told by a Walden staffer of plans to hold town halls in Hood River and The Dalles on April 12.

Andrew Malcolm, communications director for Walden, confirmed that date in an e-mail note to Indivisible Columbia Gorge, but said times and locations were still in flux.

He said Walden’s office hoped to firm up plans on Monday, April 3, and notify media at that time.

New said the Constituent Town Hall was scheduled because April 8 falls during the congressional in-district work period, which organizers hoped would enable Walden to attend.

The event is being hosted by …

  • Building Community Connections
  • Columbia Gorge Climate Action Network
  • Columbia Gorge Women’s Action Network
  • Gorge Ecumenical Ministries
  • Indivisible Columbia Gorge
  • Protect Oregon’s Progress
  • South Wasco Indivisible

“We will most definitely try to attend if Mr. Walden schedules a town hall,” New said, “but the April 8 event will proceed with gusto. We want everyone to be able to share their concerns, stories and questions. The April 8 event will let people do that –- by speaking or writing.”

She said verbal and written comment from the April 8 event – plus video of speakers – will be compiled and delivered to Walden’s office and interested media.

“That way, Congressman Walden will have plenty of information on what is important and of concern to Gorge residents in his district.”

New said that since January, “Mr. Walden has received hundreds of calls, letters, and emails, from her group alone, requesting a public forum for Gorge-area constituents to ask questions and voice their concerns. We have received no response.”

She said the citizens town hall will let Gorge residents –- of all political stripes –- voice their concerns, discuss recent developments in Congress, and pose questions for Walden.

People attending the town hall will be chosen by lottery ticket to speak. Speakers can sort their tickets by topical interest –- health care, ethics, the environment, immigration or other.

People also may write personal stories and questions for submittal to Walden. If they wish, they can share thoughts online before the town hall through a comment form.

The Town Hall will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at the Hood River Middle School auditorium, 1602 May St.

Only residents of Oregon Congressional Dist. 2 –- Walden constituents –- will be allowed to speak and provide written testimony.

Events, Government, People

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