Congressman Alan Lowenthal will host his first large-scale town hall meeting of the year Monday March 13 where he’s slated to discuss a variety of issues with his constituents including healthcare reform, immigration policies under the new White House administration and environmental issues.
Lowenthal represents California's 47th Congressional District which includes Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill and several other southland cities. Straying from his preferred method of public outreach—smaller and more intimate meetings with constituents over coffee—Lowenthal will take his forum on the road to Long Beach City College’s Liberal Arts Campus for a. The event is titled “Conversation About America.”
Keith Higginbotham, the congressman’s communications director, said that the building being used for the town hall has a capacity of about 1,000 people, an attendance figure they hope to reach. Currently their office has received about 500 RSVPs.
He added that this new, bigger venue was in response to the alarm expressed to their office regarding the aforementioned issues to be discussed.
“He knows that there are a lot of people who are scared and concerned and he just felt it was appropriate to have an event like this where could maybe sit in front of his constituents and try and allay some of those fears,” Higginbotham said.
Considering the political makeup of Long Beach, Lowenthal will probably avoid the wrath of constituents who have turned out at some of his Republican colleagues’ town hall events which have led to viral videos of constituents confronting lawmakers with demands to keep the Affordable Care Act in place, urging to investigate the Trump White House’s involvement with the Russian government and chants of “Do your job.”
Lowenthal has been critical of many of the initiatives that have other House members caught in the crosshairs of constituent anger, namely opposing the “repeal and replace” of Obamacare.
He’s used social media to advocate for the millions of people who have benefited from the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, pointing to the 71,000 people in his congressional district that stand to lose their healthcare if the Republican plan is adopted.
“With crushing cuts and per capita caps, the GOP bill will hurt the 70 million poor Americans, more than 12 million in California alone, who rely on Medicaid,” Lowenthal said. “Seniors with long-term care needs, Americans with disabilities, pregnant women, and children are among the groups who will see their coverage and services cut.”
In a Facebook post today referencing an editorial published by the New York Times, Lowenthal called for a delay to take up the Republicans’ plan to replace the law until it can be vetted publicly.
“The only reason for the GOP’s rush to vote is to keep the American people from knowing what’s really in their bill,” Lowenthal said. “Remember, the original ACA House bill was posted online for 30 days before the first Committee began their mark up and more than 100 days before the bill was formally introduced in the House.”
Monday’s town hall is scheduled to run from 6:00PM to 8:00PM in the auditorium located on the north end of the college’s liberal arts campus. For those unable to attend in person the event will be streamed live on Lowenthal’s Facebook page.
Long Beach City College Liberal Arts Campus is located at 4901 East Carson Street and the auditorium where the event is being held is on the north end of campus on Harvey Way.