Massapequa Park, NY — Constituents from New York’s 2nd congressional district hand delivered an invitation to Rep. Peter King (NY-02) to participate in a Women’s Town Hall on May 7 at the Dominican Village in Amityville. The Women’s Town Hall is being organized by New York’s 2nd District Democrats, the National Organization for Women – NY, and ATLI, and this was their third attempt at inviting Rep. King. The groups have previously called his office and sent an invitation via registered mail.
In February, Rep. King agreed to meet with Liuba Grechen Shirley, founder and district organizer for New York’s 2nd District Democrats, a local political group in King’s district, after the group organized a protest with over 400 constituents in front of his office. Grechen Shirley requested that Rep. King hold a Town Hall, but he responded that his constituents know his positions, because he is regularly on television, and he refused to host a Town Hall adding that, “No one wants to have a confrontation.”
“What he fails to understand is that the purpose of a Town Hall is not for constituents to hear our Representative’s positions, but for him to listen to ours, to answer our questions,” said Grechen Shirley.
For the first time in more than 12 years, Rep. Peter King participated in a public availability for constituents by holding a telephone town hall in March. Thousands of constituents called in, and over 600 registered questions. During the 82-minute call and King took questions from 15 men, 4 women and one online question.
“King’s latent misogyny was evinced that night,” said Liuba Grechen Shirley. “You don’t select nearly four times as many men as women by accident. That is why we are holding a Women’s Town Hall – to give King’s constituents a voice, to give women the opportunity to ask questions about how Donald Trump’s agenda affects our lives personally.”
King’s acquiescence to hold a public availability at all can be largely credited to the female-led group New York’s 2nd District Democrats, which launched a campaign to demand King engage with his constituents, but the group feels that the telephone town hall failed to meet the mark. “This forum allowed Pete King to cherry pick the constituents who spoke to avoid answering the tough questions about his record and his flip-flops,” said Liuba Grechen Shirley.
“Whether it’s prenatal care, reproductive rights, health care, paid family leave, affordable childcare, equitable pay, immigrant and refugee rights, access to clean air and water, or preventing violence – these essentials are all on the chopping block of the Trump agenda.”
“Just last week, Trump privately signed a bill that allows states to withhold federal funding from organizations that provide abortion services. While only 3% of the services Planned Parenthood provides are abortions, states can now legally defund the organization. States can now legally deprive millions of Americans – both men and women – from accessing preventative, affordable health care. Planned Parenthood provides STD and cancer screenings, birth control and pregnancy tests. Last month, Rep. King all but confirmed that he would vote yes on Trump’s American Health Care Act, ignoring that over 10% of his constituents would lose their health care coverage under the AHCA,” said Grechen Shirley
Grechen Shirley added, “Peter King has voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. He’s voted against paid family leave. He supports the ICE raids that are tearing families apart in his district and it’s time for him to respond to his constituents. We would like to have an open, informed, constructive discussion with our Congressman, so that he listens to us about our concerns with the issues that are our affecting out lives. We hope that Rep. King attends our Women’s Town Hall.”