Photos: TX25 Indivisible, Driftwood/Dripping Springs
Last week, with 24 hours’ notice, Rep. Roger Williams scheduled four Town Halls, one of them in Bee Cave, just outside Austin. Organizers from Indivisible Texas 25 East Austin and Driftwood/Dripping Springs groups scrambled to attend.
Bee Cave mayor Monte Parker moderated the event, and we got this dispatch from one of the attendees.
Congressman Roger Williams held a Faux Town Hall in Bee Caves Tuesday, February 19. With no more than 24 hour notice, his staff sent out a Facebook invitation to the 10:00 am event. The moderator was Bee Caves Mayor, Monte Parker, who started with a stern warning to the constituents in attendance, we were to follow the rules, which he never explained.
Roger Williams made a speech, then Parker asked questions that had been submitted from the audience during registration. (You had to pick from a skewed list of topics.) Questions asked, Williams responds, no audience participation allowed.
Finally, a few audience members were able to ask questions, which Williams answered, but Parker made sure there were no follow-up questions, which is not how Town Hall—where concerned citizens have a dialogue with their Representatives—are supposed to work.
Mayor Parker was unprofessional and completely disregarded the first amendment in his handling of the situation, going so far as have a police officer come warn a citizen he would be removed because he asked a follow-up question.
The lack of respect for the citizens in attendance frustrated nearly everyone; one man was told if he didn’t like the way things were, he could leave—and so he did.
From the beginning, Mayor Parker set the adversarial tone, and he continued his heavy-handed approach throughout the one-hour meeting. This is not how Democracy works. We must hold our leaders to a higher standard. Mayor Parker needs to take a look at his bias before he moderates another town hall.
Watch Rep. Roger Williams tell a student constituent why he does not support H.R.8.:
Yesterday, I asked @RepRWilliams to support H.R. 8, a bipartisan bill that would save lives by ensuring guns don’t fall in the hands of those unfit to carry. He looked me in the eye, told me he would not support the bill, & invalidated my generation’s fears and concerns. pic.twitter.com/y87PTsqOoA
— Parisa Mahmud (@ParisaaaM) February 20, 2019