A protest dubbed an “Empty Chair Town Hall” in downtown Bend Wednesday was aimed at getting the attention of U.S. Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer.
The group hopes to highlight the need for in-person, unscripted public town halls with Chavez-DeRemer, who represents much of Central Oregon in the 5th Congressional District.
“We think those are really important because those are a way to speak directly to the representative and have her hear directly from her constituents,” said Gayle Stamler, who is on the Vocal Seniority Steering Committee.
Central Oregon Daily News reached out to Chavez-DeRemer’s office to find out how many public events she has held in Central Oregon since being elected last November. A spokesperson sent this response:
“The congresswoman has already hosted several town halls over the phone, allowing thousands of Oregonians to participate from across the district in the live and unscripted question-and-answer sessions. As always, the next one will be announced on her social media, website, and in the weekly newsletter at least one week in advance. Telephone town meetings are both incredibly accessible and transparent, and the congresswoman looks forward to hosting many more in the future.
Additionally, the congresswoman has made accessible constituent services a top priority for her office. She has held over 150 meetings with Oregonians both in the district and in Washington, D.C., and the office has closed over 400 federal agency casework requests and sent over 11,000 response letters and emails to constituents.”