By Ed Martin, Editor
Congressman David Valadao
Congressman David Valadao

On Monday (March 6), Kings County Congressman David G. Valadao hosted what he called a Hometown Huddle event at his Hanford office, avoiding the traditional Town Hall format, one that has led to rancor at many congressional town halls lately.

Other members of Congress have scheduled town halls, and many have faced the wrath of constituents, upset with politics as usual and the possible demise of the Affordable Care Act. Other Republicans have decided against hosting Town Halls, including Tulare Representative Devin Nunes, who despite his elevated status in the House of Representative, refuses to host a local town hall.

The Hanford Republican is doing something different. Beginning at 3 p.m. on Monday, March 6, Valadao will meet with constituents on a first-come, first-serve basis.

According to a press release issued by his office, Valadao says “This exciting, new event will allow constituents to meet one-on-one with Congressman David Valadao to discuss legislative issues at the federal level.”

Or it could be designed to avoid the public’s wrath. The Leader emailed Valadao's office to get additional information. The Congressman's deputy chief of staff and communications director, Anna Vetter, responded: "Congressman Valadao is always looking for new and creative ways to communicate with his constituents," she stated. "He regularly hosted community coffee events, workshops, and telephone town halls. The Hometown Huddle is just a new way to reach out to his constituents in ways that work for them."

Valadao explained, “Listening to the values and concerns of my constituents is one of the most important parts of my job representing the Central Valley in Congress. While my constituents and I communicate with each other in many forms, one-on-one meetings are extremely beneficial as I am able to discuss and address their specific concerns and hear their story firsthand.”

Constituents interested in meeting with Congressman Valadao are encouraged to attend Monday’s event. Individual, ten-minute meetings to discuss personal concerns and opinions will be granted to constituents in attendance on a first-come, first-serve basis. Participants must reside within Valadao’s district.

Based on the 10-minute rule, if Valadao spends two hours at his office, one can anticipate meeting upwards of 12 constituents. "As far as timing goes," stated Vetter, "I am sure you noticed there was not a set end time. Congressman Valadao will be available to meet with each constituent who attends the event."

To confirm residency within his district, individuals should visit the U.S. House of Representatives “Find my Representative” page.” Congressional staff will also be available to provide casework assistance to those in need.

Congressman Valadao's Hanford office is located at 101 North Irwin Street, 110B, Hanford, CA 93230. Constituents with further questions regarding the Hometown Huddle event, should contact Congressman Valadao’s Hanford office by telephone at (559) 582-5526. Residents may also sign up to receive notification about future events online.

In addition to regularly scheduled community coffee events, community workshops, and telephone town halls, Congressman Valadao hopes this Hometown Huddle will provide his constituents even more opportunities to voice their opinions on the issues impacting California’s Twenty First Congressional District. Constituents may also sign up to participate in telephone town hall events on Congressman Valadao’s website.