Congressman Joe Kennedy III answered citizens’ questions and concerns in a town hall meeting focusing on healthcare and Russia in the auditorium Sunday, April 2.
An estimated 600 citizens from Massachusetts’ fourth district, represented by Kennedy, attended the meeting, according to a consultant of Kennedy, Marty Walsh.
Kennedy said that he felt the audience was “asking great questions about the challenges that are facing our country and what congress should be doing to address them. It’s a great opportunity for me, and I hope they enjoyed the discussion.”
Kennedy began the meeting by briefly outlining problems involving healthcare and Russia, before opening the floor to questions. He explained a number of policies and issues and possible courses of action for the Democratic party.
“He’s very helpful—as a representative should be, I think—in informing his constituents just about pending legislation, and where he stands on them,” said Newton resident John Tenner, who was in the audience.
Nancy Tenner expanded on her husband’s comment, explaining that an open dialogue with representatives is “so important to democracy.” She added that Kennedy understands how to effectively hold such a conversation. “He’s respectful, he’s clear, and he’s articulate about his position.”
Constituents submitted questions outside the auditorium prior to the meeting, the majority of which related either to healthcare or President Trump’s administration.
“I believe wholeheartedly and completely, that we, as a country, as a society, as a democracy, need to make sure that every single person gets access to quality, affordable, accessible health care. Period. End of story,” said Kennedy.
Citizens voiced concerns for the future of widespread, affordable heath care, and Kennedy explained the current challenges in congress and among political parties with finding a bipartisan solution. He requested continued action and support for this cause from citizens.
“For anybody out there that believes that this fight is over and done with, and we’re moving on with the next one, I’d tell you ‘no, we’re not,’” said Kennedy.
There were also many audience questions on Trump’s administration and various scandals involving nepotism and possible collaboration with the Russian government to change election results.
Kennedy called congressman Devin Nunes’ investigation of Trump’s staff connections to Russia corrupt and biased, saying that Nunes’ actions are a “disservice” not only to the Republican party, but the government itself. “It casts a shadow on the House of Representatives and our ability to do anything effectively and impartially and neutrally,” he said.
Despite noting the turbulence in the current political atmosphere, Kennedy also stressed his gratitude for citizens who contacted his offices with concerns and comments about the current presidential administration and legislative acts and encouraged them to keep up political activity.
“If there’s one thing that you take away from this meeting today, it is me saying thank you to those of you who called, who emailed, who stood up in the cold over the various protests,” he said.