I learned in ninth-grade civics class that meeting with constituents is one of the duties of a member of Congress. Theoretically, contact with local citizens is the very key to representative government. The eternal debate about whether a governmental representative should vote his or her conscience or constituency notwithstanding, I believe everyone agrees a Congress member should have as much communication with “home folks” as possible.
Recently when 9th District U.S. Rep. Doug Collins was home during the congressional recess, I tried to make an appointment to meet with him and got nowhere. I know of at least a dozen others who had the same experience. He was rarely in his Gainesville office if at all during the two-week recess.
Moreover, Collins held only one town hall meeting last year in which citizens could meet with and question him face to face. Because there was only one such event, people in attendance had little chance of having our questions answered, and in fact there was such a crowd that many people were not even able to get into the room.
I believe the citizens of the 9th District deserve better.