Congressman Glenn Thompson should take a page from Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman and hold a town hall in the Centre Region during the upcoming two-week April recess.
On April 3, I had the pleasure of attending a town hall meeting with Corman at Celebration Hall in State College. Town halls, once a routine part of American civic society, have since become a rarity in some areas. The Corman town hall, well publicized weeks in advance, drew roughly 200 constituents on a Monday morning. The conversation was spirited and the questions tough, but Corman was respectful and thoughtful in his answers. There may have been some booing, hissing and disagreement at times, but no one yelled, the tables weren’t overturned, and I and many of the people I spoke with after the event went away with a better understanding of the issues.
Meanwhile, after repeated requests for Rep. Thompson to hold a town hall, and assurances that he would “put something together in April,” no plans have been announced thus far. More than 200 members of the House of Representatives declined to hold town halls during their February recess, including Thompson. For someone whose slogan is “Listening and Leading,” Thompson could learn from Corman, who demonstrated leadership in making an effort to listen to his State College constituents.
Justin Wheeler, State College