Large crowds turn out for Rep. Kurt Schrader's town hall

By Whitney M. Woodworth, Statesman Journal

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Washington, February 23, 2017 | comments

As many as a thousand constituents filled the bleachers and floor of North Salem High's School gymnasium for U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader's town hall meeting Wednesday night to discuss immigration rights, health care and as one speaker said, "the orange elephant in the room" President Donald Trump.

"Salem puts on quite a crowd," Schrader said. "I believe this district represents what America is all about."

The town hall, as part of a nationwide trend, garnered larger crowds than previous years. About 150 people attended a town hall for U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden in 2014.

Speakers asked Schrader not only what he would do to protect undocumented immigrants, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, LGBT rights and the Affordable Care Act but what they themselves could also do.

"Showing up tonight helps," he said.

Schrader also implored those worried about losing their rights or health care to share their stories with him, so he could bring those personal stories before Congress.

Many speakers' comments and some of Schrader's replies yielded thunderous, stand-up applause from the crowd.

A member of Purple DACA Letters presented more than 100 letters written by teachers, church leaders and business leaders in support of DACA to Schrader and requested: "Please take these back with you to D.C. We really need you to stand up for us and be our voice in Congress and D.C."

The room broke out in cheers. Over the raucous noise, Schrader commented, "This is bravery, folks."

Town Halls

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