In “Tillis is open to town halls, minus shouting,” 3/6/17, N&O, Senator Thom Tillis said “he would host town hall meetings with constituents, but only if they were done without shouting or name calling.” Some friends and I have attended 4 town halls between us in the past few weeks. All four town halls have all been orderly events filled with people who really want to talk about their concerns, or share their stories. We’ve heard no shouting in any of them, although three of the four were ones with absent elected officials – Congressman Holding and Senators Burr and Tillis were refusing to hold them. Congressman David Price held the fourth (actually Price is holding a round of town halls), and by many accounts, his constituents left feeling heard. But even if people do actually shout at a town hall meeting, it is part of Tillis’ job to face the consequences of his actions!
The coverage of the town hall meetings has been interesting. When CBS affiliate WNCN covered a town hall meeting in Apex absent Congressman George Holding, they covered it with the title “North Carolina congressmen avoid facing angry town hall crowds in person,” and showed people in larger town halls elsewhere sounding off. However, the Apex Town Hall meeting on Feb 23, 2017, was more than civil. The organizers allowed everyone to speak who wanted to speak. We heard from over 70 concerned constituents on a wide range of issues. Most people were from Apex. There were great energy and ideas flowing in the room! The coverage of people at the Apex town hall was accurate, but the framing of the story (starting with the title) may have been misleading