Dear Editor: On March 1, the Cap Times published a column by Dave Zweifel in which he claimed that I “couldn’t possibly think that those constituents are worth representing” referring to those who come to my town hall meetings with views different from my own. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Nationwide, elected officials are being criticized for not holding town hall meetings. I have prioritized them. I hold more than any other member by far — hosting more than 100 meetings annually, and they are all in-person so my constituents, no matter their political leanings, can speak to me face to face. 

During the months leading to Nov. 8, I was clear and honest about my agenda, just as I have been since my first term in Congress. Voters know what they’re getting with me, because when I make a promise, I keep it.

I ask Mr. Zweifel, and those who agree with his opinion, to consider how they would feel if Congressman Mark Pocan suddenly supported the repeal and replace of Obamacare, after campaigning and promising to preserve it.

I hold frequent town hall meetings because I’ve always believed that the people deserve to see who represents them, and to have an open forum to voice concerns and discuss the issues. Whether or not we agree, it’s productive to have these conversations — it’s how we grow as a community and a nation. I listen to all points of view, I consider the merits of arguments, and I often make decisions based on input from my constituents. I will not, however, walk back promises I made to the voters who soundly elected me.

Whether you agree or disagree with my politics, I’m frequently in my district providing my constituents with an opportunity to speak with me directly, and despite criticisms, I will continue to do so. I look forward to seeing everyone at my next town hall.

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