Protesters from the progressive political group We Stand Indivisible held a rally Tuesday outside Southwest Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler’s Vancouver office. A couple dozen people alternated chants of “Where is Jaime?” and “in-person town hall.”
Clark County resident Jerry Mathis held up his own sign, calling on Herrera Beutler to hold what he called “a real town hall.”
“She is afraid for some reason to see her constituents,” said Mathis, who complained that her last several town halls were held by phone.
The Vancouver Indivisible chapters have been critical of Herrera Beutler’s telephone town hall format. The congresswoman hasn’t held an in-person town hall in her district since Jan. 17.
“I think there are an awful lot of people in Clark County who are very disappointed,” said Camas resident Rebecca Keith, who attended the rally.
“People are trying to be active. They’re trying to participate in their government and have their voices heard,” she said. “And the person that’s supposed to represent us won’t even talk to us.”
Herrera Beutler was not at her Vancouver office and staffers locked the doors to the public. Clipboards were handed out to protesters midway through the rally to express written comments.
In an email, spokeswoman Angeline Riesterer said Herrera Beutler was aware of the protest and welcomes feedback from all residents of Southwest Washington.
“Demonstrations are one way to communicate those priorities; so is the feedback she gets from meetings with constituents, in-person and telephone town halls, emails, phone calls, letters, roundtable discussions, and all of the other ways she solicits input from residents,” Riesterer wrote.
Herrera Beutler easily won re-election for her 3rd District seat in November with 61.8 percent of the vote.