After Rep. Pat Tiberi ignored a petition with over 1,000 signatures requesting a public forum on the Affordable Care Act, constituents organized a town hall and personally invited the Congressman to attend.
Today constituents from Ohio’s 12th Congressional District personally delivered an oversized invitation to Congressman Pat Tiberi’s office, asking Tiberi to attend a town hall meeting to discuss Republican plans for replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Late in January, constituents delivered a petition with more than 1,000 signatures requesting that Tiberi host a public forum on the ACA. But Tiberi’s office did not schedule a town hall or provide a reason for not doing so.
“People in Ohio’s 12th District want to have a meaningful discussion with Congressman Tiberi in a public forum,” says John Russell, who began the petition for a town hall. Russell owns Fall Creek Farm in Galena, OH. “They want to share their stories of how changes to the ACA could affect their lives. And they want to press Tiberi to answer the difficult questions about how Congress will ensure that everyone can get the coverage they need.”
Since the Congressman appears unwilling to host an event, the constituents decided to take matters into their own hands. “Tiberi doesn’t have to do any planning—he just has to show up,” says Russell.
In recent weeks, numerous constituents have noted Tiberi’s conspicuous absence in the district. Some have posted fliers in community centers, libraries, on college campuses, and elsewhere across the district asking for help finding the “missing” Congressman. Photos of those fliers and similar signs have also appeared in Twitter posts with the #WheresTiberi hashtag.
“There’s no doubt that Tiberi and other members of Congress are wary about showing up at town halls packed with frustrated constituents,” says Mia Lewis, a leader of the non-partisan Indivisible Columbus group for District 12. “But Tiberi will never get a clear understanding of the views within our community if he and his staffers are only willing to meet with a few people at a time in his office.”
The town hall meeting will be held next week,Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 7pm, when members of Congress are expected to be in their districts. It will be held at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 93 W. Weisheimer Rd., Columbus, OH 43214
Repealing the ACA before a new bill is ready could result in nearly one million Ohioans losing their health coverage, according to an Urban Institute study.