Town Hall Addresses Health Care And MoreRivard Report

The Ella Austin Community Center’s auditorium was packed Saturday afternoon, as a crowd of about 200 filled the seats and lined the walkways, sweating in anticipation of the town hall meeting centered around health care and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Because the air conditioning system in the auditorium was no match for the sweltering summer day and full house, Ella Austin CEO Anthony Hargrove asked the crowd to “bear with [him]” as the AC worked double-duty.

Bear with him they did. Audience members remained – paper fans providing relief from the heat– actively engaged for more than two-and-a-half hours, standing in line to ask local congressional representatives questions.

“This is how democracy works,” community activist Ashley Smith told the audience. “You are here to let your voices be heard, to ask questions, and to hear responses from the people you elected.”

The meeting was sponsored by TX23 Indivisible, a local chapter of the grassroots advocacy group focused on resistance to the Trump administration and its policies. U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-San Antonio) and U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-San Antonio) were in attendance.

Roseanna Garza/Rivard Report

A crowd of about 200 people fills the Ella Austin Community Center auditorium at the healthcare town hall.

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) declined invitations to attend the town hall meeting.

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