WHY THIS ACTIVITY?
The August recess is prime time for human dignity group leaders to meet with their members of Congress since they are home in Oregon for the month. Currently, our two Senators have frequent, open, unscripted, in-person town halls. These “real town halls” are quite different from the sterile, “tele-town halls” that representatives like Lori Chavez-DeRemer and Cliff Bentz occasionally hold… if they hold them at all.
There are so many important issues that we’ve been organizing around all year on the ground, from immigrant justice to accessing Inflation Reduction Act funding. This month’s KTA is a way to bring all these efforts into the spotlight! At your town hall, you can highlight the organizing you are doing in your community to bring more and more people into the movement for dignity and justice.
WHAT IS THE ACTIVITY?
Regardless of where you live in the state, this month’s Kitchen Table Activity is to make your voices heard by your federal elected leaders, whether that’s by attending existing events or by asking them to meet with you publicly to discuss the issues that matter most to your community.
In Congressional Districts 2 and 5, human dignity leaders have repeatedly asked Rep. Bentz and Chavez-DeRemer for real town halls. So far though, Chavez-DeRemer does not engage with the people in her district unless it is on short notice, with very limited public access, and with completely controlled content. But if enough of us ask her for real town halls, she will have no choice but to agree. Because it’s her job.
For folks in Districts 1, 3, 4, and 6, are you happy with the engagement opportunities that your representatives have for rural Oregonians? Do you want more? We weren’t able to find information about August town halls for any of them. Do you have times or dates we could share out? Let us know by emailing email@example.com.
HOW TO COMPLETE THE ACTIVITY:
1. Forward this KTA to your human dignity group and make a plan for getting together to reach out to your congressional representative.
2. Figure out who represents you in Congress. Check out the map here.
3. Call or send a message to your member of Congress! You can use this sample text as a starting point:
Now that the August recess has begun, I am [calling/writing] as part of the [Human Dignity Group name] representing [number] of members in District [XX] to request that you hold a “real town hall” that is in-person and unscripted in [XX] County.
I ask you to schedule this real town hall during the August recess with enough advance notice so that the people you represent can have a fair opportunity to attend and participate.
I look forward to seeing you in a real town hall soon.
Your Town, District __
4. Share this idea with others! The more individuals and groups requesting this, the more likely we will be able to fully participate in democracy and share our concerns, appreciation, and ideas with our representatives.
5. Let us know how it went! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Extra Credit: Write a Letter to the Editor in your local paper asking your congressperson to host a town hall in your town.
For more inspiration and information, check out COIN Oregon – BAT-DRAT. The Consolidated Oregon Indivisible Network (COIN) has developed messages and information for District 2 (Bentz Accountability Team — BAT) and District 5 (DeRemer Accountability Team — DRAT). Are you in another district and have resources to offer? Share them with us at email@example.com and we can send them out!
ORD1 – Suzanne Bonamici
- Email – Bonamici has no email but has this portal: Address Lookup | Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (house.gov)
- Phone – Washington, DC (202) 225-0855; Beaverton (503) 469-6010
ORD2 – Cliff Bentz
- Email –https://bentz.house.gov/contact
- Phone – Washington, DC (202) 225-6730; Ontario (541) 709-2040; Medford (541) 776-4646
ORD3 – Earl Blumenauer
- Email – Blumenauer has no email but has this portal: Write Your Rep | U.S. House of Representatives
- Phone – Washington, DC (202) 225-4811; Portland (503) 231-2300
ORD4 – Val Hoyle
- Email – Hoyle has no email but has this portal: Address Lookup | Congresswoman Val Hoyle (house.gov)
- Phone – Washington, DC (202) 225-6416
ORD5 – Lori Chavez-DeRemer
- Email – Chavez-DeRemer has no email but has this portal:Address Lookup | Representative Chavez-Deremer (house.gov)
- Phone – Washington, DC (202) 225-5711; Oregon City 503-387-8651; Redmond 971-403-8940
ORD6 – Andrea Salinas
- Email – Salinas has no email but has this portal: Address Lookup | Representative Andrea Salinas (house.gov)
- Phone – Washington, DC (202) 225-5643; Tualatin (503) 385-0906; Salem (503) 385-0906