GAINESVILLE, FL- Persistence pays off for Gainesville residents. After weeks of requests, Representative Ted Yoho (Florida 3rd District) confirms that will attend the town hall scheduled for March 4, 2017 at 10:00 AM (Countryside Baptist Church – 10926 NW 39th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32606).
Since the election of President Trump, many Gainesville residents have gained a new hobby, government participation. Members of Indivisible Gainesville (a group founded to resist the Republican agenda through employing tactics made popular by the Tea Party), Alachua County Labor Coalition, Women’s March- Gainesville/Ocala, Gainesville– City of Resistance, and others spent thousands of person hours calling Representative Yoho’s offices daily and protesting his Gainesville office weekly with the singular goal: Get Representative Yoho to Agree to a Town Hall.
Earlier this month, the initial venue withdrew permission to hold the event citing possible security concerns—which caused rumors of cancellation and accusations to the congressman to fly. However, leaders in Gainesville and staffers in the congressman’s office secured a new venue. This town hall is Representative Yoho’s first town hall in Gainesville in the past year.
“Over 1,000 constituents are following Indivisibles’ Facebook event for a town hall with Rep. Ted Yoho. Over 500 constituents replied they will be attending, these numbers are unprecedented for Gainesville,” said Carrie Webb, Director of Public Relations for the Gainesville Indivisible group.
The Gainesville area is home to the University of Florida and nearly 20% of the population of Florida’s 3rd Congressional District. Yet, Representative Yoho has disproportionately scheduled his visits to other areas within his district—suggesting to some that the republican may not want to hear from constituents in the largely progressive Gainesville area.
Indivisible Gainesville expects that questions asked at the town hall will cover all aspects of the congressman’s voting record, including his recent votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and disapproving the Stream Protection Rule. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, over 35,000 people receive health insurance from the federal health insurance exchange from the Affordable Care Act in Florida’s 3rd Congressional district. At this time, no data exists for the number of residents in the district that have benefitted from the provisions granted by the act—such as allowing children to remain on a parent’s or guardian’s insurance until the age of 26, which might be particularly relevant to the college and university community.
The Indivisible movement in Gainesville will not end with this event, “Indivisible Gainesville will not ever let the voice of our people go unheard,” said Ms. Webb “Our representatives will be held accountable, this upcoming town hall is just the beginning.”