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Rep. Issa’s Constituents Call On Him To Attend Town Hall On Health Care - NPR

 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

By Alison St John

Aired 2/15/17 on KPBS News.

Constituents in the 49th Congressional District have invited Rep. Darrell Issa to a town hall meeting focusing on health care next week.

Constituents in the 49th Congressional District have invited Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, to a town hall meeting focusing on health care next week.

Protestors have been rallying outside Issa’s Vista office since December, but have been unable to meet with him. 

Ellen Montanari, an event organizer, said 270 people showed up this week, the largest turnout yet. She said those at the rally include Democrats, Republicans and independents, and their issues are not partisan. 

Montanari said they asked for a town hall meetingbut the response was that a town hall meeting would cost $50,000 — too much taxpayer money. 

Since the coalition of groups has been unable to contact Issa directly, it rented a hall in Vista and crowdsourced money to pay for a full-page advertisement in The San Diego Union-Tribune inviting Issa to attend an "Emergency Town Hall On Health Care," on Feb. 21. 

“We have asked, ‘Where does (Issa) stand on this issue? Where does he stand on that? Where did he stand on the Muslim ban?” Montanari said. “His district director keeps saying, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know.’ If you don’t know the answer, how are we supposed to know what our member of congress is thinking or saying?”

Montanari said Issa’s North County constituents would like to speak with their representative directly.

“Congressman Issa," she said, “It’s people who live in your district who really want to hear from you — what you’re thinking, why you vote the way you do.” 

Montanari said the meeting will be peaceful and moderated by a minister from the Universalist church. She said organizers have two schedules planned: one if Issa attends and one if he does not. 

Issa’s office said they are still finalizing the congressman‘s calendar for next week when congress is not in session.

The meeting is planned for 6 p.m. at the Jim Porter Recreation Center, 1200 Vale Terrace, Vista.

Allison Stratton