Congressman Darin LaHood was scheduled to speak yesterday at the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce meeting room, but the event changed venues at the last minute. Congressman LaHood spoke to the Chamber down the street at Pathways instead. Organizing for Action, an issue advocacy organization, had planned a protest outside the Chamber meeting room before LaHood was scheduled to speak. Scott Cross, with Organizing for Action, says the protesters were not made aware of the venue change and Cross says he thinks he knows why.
“It seems like there is a complete avoidance of people wanting to just meet with their constituents. This is what democracy looks like. Democracy is people peacefully protesting and trying to petition their grievances to their elected officials.”
Cross says the protesters are just normal people who would like to speak to their elected representative.
“This is families that we are talking about. Families just want to have that moment to talk to their representative and say ‘This is what this means to me’. This is not a dedicated movement to try to hurt them. This is a movement that is happening because they are refusing to hold town halls. They are refusing to do in person visits.”
Brad Stotler, District Director for Congressman LaHood informed WLDS news that the congressman’s speech to the Chamber was a closed event, and any questions for the congressman should be emailed to him