Members of Congress have apparently learned a valuable lesson when it comes to holding town hall meetings in their home districts during congressional recesses. Granted it's not the lesson constituents would've liked them to take away from past confrontations. Instead of encouraging civic engagement, members of Congress instead just try to avoid behind held accountable and caught on tape in any kind of situation which may later wind up as a viral YouTube hit.
During this August recess, the majority of representatives and senators refused to hold town hall meetings:
Is your representative holding a public town hall meeting this August recess? No Labels called every office, and only 40% are scheduling open town hall meetings. It’s a sad sign of the state of affairs when our elected officials don’t have time to meet with their constituents.
No Labels activists spoke to all 430 current members of the House of Representatives to find that only 177* of them scheduled meetings. The results of the phone survey also reveal that members of both parties share the blame, with about 67% of Democrats and 50% of Republicans stating they had no town hall meetings scheduled for the recess period.
It's curious to wonder whether this trend will carry through the 2012 election season -- Will elected officials embrace an open dialogue with voters or avoid them in hopes that less conflict will translate into more votes?