As concerned citizens all across the country flood town halls in Republican districts, Virginia GOP Congressman Dave Brat came up with what he thought was a genius plan – hold his event a whopping 60 miles away from where most of his constituents live.
The voters of Virginia’s 7th district weren’t having it.
So many of Brat’s constituents showed up to the town hall that the street was lined with people hoping to attend the event, which was held at a restaurant in Blackstone.
The beginning of a long line outside the town hall for Rep. Dave Brat in Blackstone, Va. pic.twitter.com/E1RTaRSNnU
— Patrick Wilson (@patrickmwilson) February 21, 2017
The venue quickly reached its full capacity – roughly 200 people – and many were forced to “attend” the event from the sidewalk just outside the building.
Lots of folks stuck outside of Dave Brat town hall – they’re at capacity at around 200 ppl pic.twitter.com/eqm4Bdw87i
— Alexis Levinson (@alexis_levinson) February 22, 2017
One woman who stopped by Brat’s event said, according to her handmade sign, that she drove 165 miles to get there – and, no, she wasn’t paid to attend.
— NastyGO (@gwenorel1) February 22, 2017
While many, many constituents showed up in hopes of getting inside and sharing their concerns, there were also large crowds of protesters outside the town hall expressing their displeasure with the Republican congressman:
Protesters outside Rep. Dave Brat town hall in Blackstone, Va. pic.twitter.com/eE9U0lN6fS
— Patrick Wilson (@patrickmwilson) February 22, 2017
Let this be a lesson for other Republicans planning to make it difficult for their constituents to find them. Instead of dodging town halls or making it more difficult for folks to attend, just have some courage and face the people.
Hiding from your constituents, after all, only motivates them more, as Congressman Brat found out on Tuesday.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.