LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Signs of protest and few outbursts, but overall those who attended Tuesday's town hall meeting with Congressman Randy Neugebauer say it was surprisingly calm and informative. Participants spoke out about a number of issues, but the majority of comments concerned health care.
Town hall meetings like this have become known for outbursts, shouting, and more. So we wanted to know if folks actually think they're making a difference.
"Yes, whenever enough people rise up and say something, you've got to take notice," Matthew O'Neill said. He was just one of around 1,000 people who filled the hall at First United Methodist Church. Sings clearly showed people's concerns, the uninsured, stimulus money, government reform, and the common thread, people want action.
"I was surprised that most of the time it was courteous," one attendee said. Only a handful of people spoke out of turn. Mostly, people made their opinion known with applause.
Those who attended say they got most of their questions answered. "I got a lot of what I wanted to find out," one attendee said.
Even democrats appreciated the forum. "I thought it was a great meeting," Pam Brink with Lubbock's Democratic Party said. Though Brink tells NewsChannel 11 that she felt Neugebauer could have been more clear about the current health care proposal. "I think it would have been good if Representative Neugebauer had made it clear that this is a choice," Brink said.
So, do these meetings make a difference, or have they become a vehicle for law makers to gain voter support? "This is about the American people's health, and I don't take that lightly and neither should the President," Neugebauer said.
Neugebauer, who's up for re-election in 2010, says the town hall meetings are for the public good, and he says voters must continue to make their voices heard. "I really think they're making a difference, because I think we would have and an energy bill already passed, I think we would have already had a health care bill already passed if the American people hadn't risen up and made such a vocal opposition," Neugebauer said.
Congressman Neugebauer also collected written statements from attendants. He plans to share the concerns with other members of Congress in Washington D.C.
Feel the need to contact an area lawmaker? Here are the address, phone numbers and e-mail address to send them your input.
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