Constituent confronts Chris Collins: Why are you on CNN when you won’t hold a town hall in your district?
CNN’s Van Jones held his Messy Truth Town Hall series on Thursday night with New York Republican Congressman Chris Collins. One of his own constituents, Renee Sutton, stood up to ask Collins a question.
“I’ve been among those writing letters and demonstrating, demanding that you hold a public town hall in our district so we can meet with you and share with you, and have you listen to us … about how your legislative agenda impacts our families and lives,” Sutton said.
She promptly called him out afterwards. “So how do you justify your appearance here tonight — national audience here on CNN — outside of our district with an audience not consisting entirely of your constituents, when the actual people you represent are asking to meet with you and you’re refusing to do it?”
Collins explained that he meets with thousands of constituents every week, noting, “I’ve never seen the value of the time commitment for a town hall.” He added, “For eight years, no one ever raised this issue with me … What’s happened today is there are a group of individuals — not saying you in particular — but they are protesting and shouting and these aren’t productive.”
Sutton replied, “I’m not interested in protesting or disrupting or crashing one of your appearances at a fire department or birthday party … But I want a setting where you will listen to me.”
“Just because I didn’t vote for you, just because I don’t agree with your legislative agenda, am I any less entitled to your representation in Congress?” she asked. “Then please respond to my e-mails requesting that.”
Watch the full clip below.