After demonstrations across the Sixth District and a flood of constituent email and phone requests for Congressman Goodlatte to hold face-to-face town hall meetings, he has responded by… promising to hold more “telephone town halls.”
He even added a page to his Congressional website for people who want to sign up for them.
But Goodlatte has carefully avoided promising any actual face-time at meetings open to everyone in the district. (In fact he has not held such a meeting since 2013.) And “telephone town halls” are a poor means for communication between a legislator and the people he is supposed to represent. Phil Stump, a retired Lynchburg College professor and Indivisible Lynchburg organizer, explained the problem in an article in the Lynchburg News & Advance:
“I tried to participate in one of the call-in town halls in the past that [Goodlatte] had, and it was hopelessly frustrating. I just gave up after a while,” Stump said. The format allowed aides to screen callers and did not allow for the “possibility for interchange” with Goodlatte or other constituents, Stump said.