Friday, August 07, 2009

5,312 constituents talk health care

Last night, 5,312 households in Independence and Sugar Creek joined me for a telephone town hall and together we discussed the complicated issue of health care reform. I am proud to say that, while the questions were hard, our friends and neighbors were thoughtfully engaged and I think we both learned a great deal.

Unlike the divisive and disrespectful displays that have confronted my colleagues in other parts of the country, last night was a courteous conversation that showed just how seriously the people I am honored to represent take their responsibilities. It was my pleasure to hear their thoughts and concerns and will take their well reasoned suggestions back to Washington as we continue this crucial debate.

Telephone town hall meetings are a relatively new format to allow up to thousands of participants to talk together so families from across our district can share their views and hear my thoughts on issues of mutual concern. I have now used this tool twice. Last spring, I discussed the auto industry bail out with residents of Raytown. I have yet to find a better tool to reach a large audience and hear from a wide range of constituents. Thursday night the technology allowed me to speak with over 5,000 people and none of them had to leave their homes, find a sitter or even leave their arm chairs.

If you would like to hear the complete town hall, it is now posted on my website. Feel free to click here to listen anytime >>>

Thanks again to the people of Independence and Sugar Creek who took time out of their busy schedules to join me and their neighbors as we try to find an answer to one of our critical national needs.