Town Hall ID Required

Congressman Gene Green holds another health care reform town hall meeting tonight. He's held several already during the August recess that have drawn large and loud crowds. As Rod Rice reports, there will be a new wrinkle to this evenings event.

The town hall begins at 7 at the Hartman Community Center on East Avenue P just outside the East Loop and just south of the ship channel. Green says the problem at the town halls he's had so far is that many of the loudest attendees aren't his constituents.

"Over half the people signed-in from other parts of the county and even other parts of the area."

He says they have their own members of congress and were crowding out and shouting out people from his district.  So tonight only residents who can prove they're from the 29th Congressional District will be allowed into the hall.

"I don't like to do it; we've never had to do it.  I've done town hall meetings for 20-years."

Green says no one learns anything from a disruptive gathering.

"You know, we're talking about serious business and just having chants and things like that are just not conducive to trying to work out  issues and give answers and comments."

Green says he's not trying to stifle dissent because there are people in the 29th who don't support health care reform and who don't vote for him and even their voices get drowned out by what he believes is an orchestrated national effort to disrupt town hall meetings.
 

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...