Of the people, by the people, and for the people.
When did it become acceptable to ignore the people who trust you/depend on you?
Is it appropriate, for instance, for a teacher to only respond to the smarter, less disruptive kids?
Is it OK for police to only protect the safer, law-abiding parts of town?
Should our government leaders only meet with those who will not challenge them?
As I write this letter, it’s been 822 days since our Congressman, John Katko, has held an open meeting.
Yes, he’s been reported as "showing up" at meetings and social gatherings with those who had supported him. In turn they get access to the congressman at dinners and celebrations.
Certainly there are plenty of photos of Mr. Katko on his Facebook page with handshakes, and tours of facilities who have successfully improved their businesses.
There are posts of him at meetings (not open meetings), speaking of his bipartisan support of school safety, combating the opioid crisis and lowering taxes.
All of these are things that our political leaders have always done.
There is one video that caught my attention when John Katko spoke on the floor of the House on the death of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. That was a very appropriate thing for him to do.
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There is, however, a huge difference between how Louise Slaughter and John Katko represent their districts. Louise was everywhere, talking to people, asking for their thoughts, making her constituents a part of her representation. She would walk around her district and talk to anyone who needed, wanted her ear. She was a woman of the people.
Not John Katko. It’s been 822 days — almost two and a half years — since he has held an open meeting for anyone who wished to speak to him, question him about policy, or get his take on major issues regarding health care, gun violence, the flooding of properties along Lake Ontario.
Traditionally, August is the time of the year when Congress leaves Washington to go back to their districts and talk to their people.
“Hi there, how are you?"
“It’s so great to see you again."
“Here’s what I have been up to on your behalf."
“What do you want to talk to me about?”
Shamefully, John Katko is nowhere to be seen.