People protest against official
March 1, 2017
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Constituents of Kevin McCarthy and Devin Nunes gathered outside of the DoubleTree hotel on Camino Del Rio Court on Feb. 21 to demand town hall meetings.
Tickets to the Kern County Republican annual Lincoln Day dinner were $200 at their cheapest, and $10,000 to be seated next to Nunes and McCarthy, the house representatives of the 22nd and 23rd districts respectively.
Protesters filled a corner of the intersection of Camino Del Rio Court and Rosedale Highway an hour before the fundraising dinner was set to begin.
People held signs that read,“Please listen,” and “Where in heaven are Kevin and Devin?” where drivers could see them speak their concerns regarding immigration, healthcare, and the absence of their congress members over a megaphone.
“We have serious questions and we deserve serious answers. It’s time to come out of hiding and address your constituents,” shouted Jesse Aguilar, a teacher at East Bakersfield High School, to the crowd. “It’s time to explain yourself and hear us out.”
Tracy Lopez, a member of Indivisible 23, also stressed the importance of Congress members meeting with their constituents.
“This week is a district work week, that’s why he’s here. He’s supposed to be home with his constituents. Once again, Kevin McCarthy has chosen to use his constituents’ valuable time to attend big money fundraisers for himself and his political buddies,” said Lopez.
As the event drew closer, the crowd moved toward the hotel and took to both sides of Camino Del Rio Court to address dinner-goers as they drove to the parking lot. Protesters entreated dinner-goers to, “Please tell Kevin to have a town hall!” The group dispersed once it appeared that all those attending the dinner had arrived.
When asked to comment, Jack Langer, the communications director for Nunes, said, “It’s nice to see these left-wing activist groups keeping busy.”
McCarthy could not be reached for comment. The next day, constituents held their own town hall meeting, which McCarthy declined to attend.
On Feb. 23, protesters also gathered at the corner of Stockdale Highway and Coffee Road to march to McCarthy’s home, accompanied by McCarthy and Trump supporters who said that they were there to ensure that the the protest remained peaceful.