PRESS RELEASE: Indivisible Gainesville Engages Community and Promotes Peaceful Town Hall Message

Indivisible Gainesville Counters the Independent Alligator’s Focus on Violence.

On April 4th, the Independent Alligator published an article about the upcoming town hall with Representative Ted Yoho. Indivisible Gainesville found ourselves shocked and disappointed at the coverage. Not only was the article filled with errors—including the incorrect date for the previous town hall—but also it was inflammatory.

The goal of Indivisible Gainesville is to increase engagement of constituents with their elected officials. However, the Alligator—the only media outlet to cover the upcoming event—just made this goal more difficult to accomplish. Rather than focus on the promise of a dialogue between the very conservative congressman and his progressive constituents in Gainesville, the article instead perpetuated a baseless narrative of violence that will only serve to keep those more vulnerable out of the conversation.

The article could have focused on how the upcoming town hall at Lincoln Middle School holds the potential for the voices of more residents to be heard. How questions will come directly from the audience at the microphone—no filter. And how the venue is larger than the previous one (twice the capacity), handicapped accessible (e.g. designated parking and ramps), and can be reached via public transportation. 

While we understand that an exciting headline is necessary to gain readers, the Alligator must use journalistic integrity. In this age of politics, the mere fact that a member of the Freedom Caucus will happily meet his more liberal constituents is news. No need to add extra drama to it.

4 comments

  • I cannot help but thinking that Yoho is having another Town Hall strictly because of political reasons. I don’t think it’s because Indivisible wanted it or because he’s a “nice guy.” We need to think about the reasons he might be doing this–likely for political gain on his part. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be used as pawns as he tries to “capture” more political power.​

    On Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 8:51 PM, Indivisible Gainesville wrote:

    > jezzabellgem posted: “Indivisible Gainesville Counters the Independent > Alligator’s Focus on Violence. On April 4th, the Independent Alligator > published an article about the upcoming town hall with Representative Ted > Yoho. Indivisible Gainesville found ourselves shocked and dis” >

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    • I won’t disagree with you – we will not change this man’s perspective, and we know that. All we can do is show up and make our voices heard, because even though it’s his town hall, he’s not the only one who will hear us. The more we are in numbers, the more powerful we become wether he likes it or not. And don’t think for one second that we’re allowing him to use us. Remember there’s always a strategy looming in the background. That’s how political chess works, and if we don’t play, we’ll never get anywhere.

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  • I attended the town hall last night. I am not a Yoho supporter and agree with the reasons for crown reaction. However, it was very disrespectful to the congressman and to those of us who came for a “meeting”. A meeting is not a heckling contest. If people on either side of the aisle cannot show basic POLITENESS, what is the point of attending? Many people did not get to ask questions b/c the heckling, etc. took up so much extra time. I was ashamed of my fellow Gainesvillians and progressives, and will not attend another one because of the crowd behavior.

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  • Moderator: please edit to correct typo “crown” to “crowd” Thank you

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