Local Organizers to Rep. Katko: No Public Town Hall? We'll Host our Own

Mar 16, 2017

Ever since the Trump Administration entered the White House in January, local groups have been vocal about expressing their thoughts concerning policies on immigration, proposed federal spending cuts or plans to replace Obamacare.  This weekend, one group has decided to create their own public town hall meeting after requests for Congressmember John Katko to hold - in person - town halls never happened.  The gathering will be hosted by the C.N.Y. Solidarity Coalition.  Federal legislative team member Donna Oppedisano thinks the audience will hear more of those consistent messages.

Earlier this year a large gathering at Syracuse's Hancock Airport was held against the Trump Administration's actions on the initial immigration travel ban.
Credit File photo / WAER News

I think there is a sense in our local community and a sense nationally that things are askew and people’s voices want to be heard.  And they’re using every mechanism they have within our democracy in order to have those voices heard.”


People will be allowed two minutes to speak about the issues on their minds.  Congressmember John Katko was invited but, the group says he declined to participate.  An empty chair will visibly be set out for him.

“Representative Katko has recently made some movements to interact with people and that is a really positive sign and we want to thank him for that.  But, we’re hopeful that this town hall will be a step toward, perhaps, having our elected representative meet with his constituents in larger groups.”

Oppedisano says organizers have no intentions of unruly, disruptive or chaotic behavior but, rather, they intend to have a structured format to express opinions and concerns on Washington policies and executive actions.

“And we are concerned that our elected representative is not willing to stand-up  to some of the very extreme policies that are being forwarded in the Congress.”

WAER News Director Chris Bolt will moderate and we’ll report on the outcome next week.  The CNY Solidarity town hall happens Saturday at Nottingham High School at 3100 East Genesee Street from 3 to 5 p.m.