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Demand lawmakers hold real town halls

To the editor:

Recent letters to the editor remind us all that elected state and federal officials representing Pennsylvanians will be on the November 2022 ballot.

Certain state senators, including Jake Corman, President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate, and state representatives, including Kerry Benninghoff, the Majority Leader of the PA House of Representatives, and all U.S. Representatives, including Glenn Thompson and Fred Keller, will be up for re-election next year should they choose to run.

Although that election is still some 19 months away, now is the time for incumbents and voters to make serious commitments.

To Benninghoff, Corman, Thompson, and Keller: Will you commit NOW to hold multiple Town Hall meetings with your constituents starting as soon as the pandemic allows? To be legitimate town halls, these meetings must be open to the public and press, advertised in advance, with unscreened questions and opportunity for follow-up.

We don’t know when public meetings will be advisable, but each incumbent can commit today. Will each of you promise to do this?

Voters: Will you make a parallel commitment now to not vote for any incumbent of either party not willing to hold multiple, open town hall meetings throughout the region? Will you contact your representatives to tell them?

It’s challenging to stay current on pressing issues in Harrisburg and Washington. Regular public Town Hall meetings will inform us all. Voters should demand them — and incumbents who want our votes should be more than willing to offer them.

Linda Barton

State College

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