Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga) emails constituents: You’ll be ‘safe and secure’ at my Town Hall meeting.

Atlanta-Area Action Alert: Rep. Hank Johnson, the Democratic Representative of Georgia’s Fourth Congressional District is holding a health care reform town hall meeting (Flyer – .pdf) Monday night, August 10, 2009. If you can attend this (or another) town hall meeting, here’s a list of ‘best practices’ to help you prepare.  After the event, you can report your experience and upload videos and photes of the event here.

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The conduct displayed at recent town hall meetings (see here, here, here and here) has now unbelievably led to this: Members of the United States Congress must now send emails to their constituents to assure them that it will be ‘safe and secure’ to meet with their Congressperson [my emphasis]:

We have a very important town hall on health insurance reform on Monday, Aug. 10 at Georgia Perimeter College’s Cole Auditorium in Clarkston at 7 p.m.

I just want to assure you that GPC and my office will provide a safe and secure environment in which to hold a respectful and candid dialogue on this critical issue.

Please do not allow news reports of “town halls gone wild” deter you from attending our meeting. I want to hear from my constituents who have real questions and concerns about health care insurance reform proposals being debated in Congress.

Our democracy doesn’t work unless we treat each other with respect and are willing to listen to diverse opinions. I’m here to listen to you, and I think we will all benefit from listening to our distinguished panel and to each other.

In the event that you are unable to attend, a video of the event will be available on my website for you to view by Thursday, Aug. 13.

So please join me Monday, Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. at Georgia Perimeter College. I look forward to a productive exchange of ideas.

Thank you.

Hank Johnson

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9 Responses

  1. Thank you for taking your responsibility to your constituents so seriously. They only way our system continues to function is for the dialog to be open and continuous. So many recent Town Hall Meetings have become very contentious when those present did not feel they were being dealt with honestly. There is a strong feeling in the country that needed modifications in our health care system are not be dealt with openly and honestly, but a cover for a larger and more devious agenda which is not in the best interest of our country or it’s citizens. The very deep and abiding feeling is causing a ground swell among otherwise very normal and congenial citizens. This ground swell should not be dismissed as some GOP organized opposition. This ground swell is the face of fear for an underlying desire for some to change our basis of governing to centralization. This will not work and I request that you seriously consider your position and take a position for the people rather than the party leadership.

    Thank you very much for you consideration. I will plan on seeing you Monday evening at your town hall meeting.

    John Langwick

    • The more the merrier, John. You can report on the event at FDL here.

  2. John: The so-called “ground swell” you speak of is being manipulated and orchestrated by rightwing talk radio hosts and Fox “News” reports using fear tactics and outright distortions of what the President has proposed. Consdier the fact that some of the most distressed opponents of a “governement-run health-care plan” are themselves the beneficiaries of Medicare, which of course IS a government-run health-carre plan. You seem like a reasonable person and I hope you will listen with an open mind and not jump to conclusions on the basis of inadequate or misleading information. See you there.

    Jeff Sokolow
    District 6 (next door)

    • Thanks for this comment, Jeff. I’m amazed that the people that seem to be the most exorcised by the proposals either already have health insurance through their employment or are insured through government-subsidized, i.e., socialized, health care.

  3. My husband and I showed up at the town hall meeting at Periimeter College prior to 6 PM . The lines were already beyond long, and grew even longer once we secured our polite place in the line. After an 1.5 hour wait, we were turned away as the gym was completely filled. The lines had been poorly drawn, and the folks at the end of the line had managed to move ahead and secure a better position than the courteous folks. The public would have been better served if there had been more town hall coordinators to manage the people flow/paths, and less policeman. Perhaps any future town hall meeting coordinators should anticipate a large turnout and plan accordinlgy. That would ease the disappointment to those that were unable to be accommodated.

    • Thank you for this report about Rep. Johnson’s town hall meeting. Your suggestions for better coordination are also important because, from what I’ve been able to tell, the members of Congress are educating themselves about the tactics being employed at these town hall meetings and are adapting their meetings to deal with the disruptions.


  4. This post has received 119 (and counting) visits since I posted it last Friday. This is relatively high traffic for this blog. About 40% of these visits are from Georgia and nearly all are from the United States but someone in Moscow is also interested: (Russian Word)

    Moskva, Moscow, Russian Federation, 0 returning visit

    Date Time WebPage
    August 11th 2009 08:13:54 AM No referring link

    August 11th 2009 08:14:13 AM No referring link

  5. From Russia to D.C.:

    Domain Name ? (U.S. Government)
    IP Address 143.231.249.# (Information Systems, U.S. House of Representatives)
    ISP Information Systems, U.S. House of Representatives
    Continent : North America
    Country : United States (Facts)
    State : District of Columbia
    City : Washington
    Lat/Long : 38.9097, -77.0231 (Map)
    Language unknown
    Operating System Microsoft WinXP
    Browser Internet Explorer 7.0
    Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; GTB6; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; InfoPath.1; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729)
    Javascript disabled
    Time of Visit Aug 11 2009 10:24:45 am
    Last Page View Aug 11 2009 10:24:45 am
    Visit Length 0 seconds
    Page Views 1
    Referring URL unknown
    Visit Entry Page http://grievanceproj…y-town-hall-meeting/
    Visit Exit Page http://grievanceproj…y-town-hall-meeting/
    Out Click
    Time Zone unknown
    Visitor’s Time Unknown
    Visit Number 13,874

  6. A couple of reports on the event here and here.

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