Thursday October 12, 2017
Some have questioned why U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello's constituents continue to pressure him after he held a town hall in Berks County, even suggesting that we are pawns of the Democratic Party. As one of those outspoken constituents, let me point out that one measly public event in nine months, with less than a week's notice, is not "listening to his community."
We have a lot to discuss with our congressman because every day since January, the Trump administration - with which Costello votes 93 percent of the time - has taken rights and protections away from women, children and marginalized communities.
Every week, we attempt to speak with Costello and his staff about various issues, including the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, a move that deprives 800,000 immigrants of a chance to live, work and serve in the military; the lapse of the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which strips health insurance from 9 million children; the abject failure to support Puerto Rico, where 3.4 million Americans face unimaginable suffering; and the systematic deprivation of women and girls of the right to control their own bodies.
What do we get, we mild-mannered voters with zero connection to the Democratic Party? We get ignored by staff, blocked on social media and misrepresented as threatening - all while the congressman votes in line with the president and in sharp contradiction to the wishes of his constituents. Perhaps Costello is the pawn here.
Costello must do more to hear constituents