"Herrera Beutler Says $1.9 Trillion Relief Bill 'Not What SW Washington Families Want'" (The Chronicle, March 11). Oh, really? When was the last time the congresswoman was in the presence of her constituents? As a former high school teacher, I do remember meeting previous representatives and having Rep. Brian Baird in my classroom three times! Rep. Baird distributed pocket-sized U.S. constitutions to the class and even counseled one student after his presentation privately as she had recently lost her mom to a meth overdose. I understand COVID-19 has changed much for all of us, but where is the congresswoman?
It seems ever since the Tea Party started screaming about birth certificates, Congress members on the right have chosen to hide out. No town halls. Carolyn Long held many as Herrera Beutler holds "phone call town halls." These are during the dinner hour. With the technology today, it is very hard to understand this is the only platform available. Why not a simulcast on public access TV or YouTube?
I truly believe if our congresswoman traveled through Chehalis and Centralia and no doubt other cities in the county, she could see firsthand the mass of shopping carts that are miles from any store. Recently an alley nearby has become a common place for abandoned carts. Some were filled with garbage and some empty. One was placed next to an abandoned mattress. Luckily, neighbors saw to returning the carts and taking the rest to the dump. When police were notified, dispatchers explained, "it's happening all over. People displaced from their homes and nowhere to go have to leave their belongings behind."
I don't see how this sounds like a thriving county. People are obviously hurting and in need of assistance. Has the congresswoman been grocery shopping lately? Gone to the gas station? Prices are up. And for those struggling, how are they coping? Has Congresswoman Herrera Beutler visited the Lewis County Food Bank, the Lewis County Gospel Mission or the Salvation Army? Has she seen the RVs parked near the Mellen Street exit off I-5? When food was distributed at the mall, what did she think the cars were lined up for?
I don't think it would be too much to ask that she get out and see for herself. I am fairly certain Southwest Washington families need help, and now thanks to Democrats, they are going to receive it through the American Rescue Plan. The plan does include money so schools can reopen safely, businesses can recover, unemployment benefits can be extended and cities can be helped so that first responders can remain on the job along with money to provide vaccinations. If there does happen to be those who say they don't need the assistance, perhaps they can donate to help those less fortunate.
These are hard times that require leadership. We are on our way to recovery and yet, you still see maskless people and wonder if we won't be hit by a variant strain as folks are reluctant to follow advice from health care professionals. I have a feeling that the viewers of Fox "news," OANN, and Newsmax are spreading disinformation. What is the attraction to the party that is angry? It is against health care and tells people tax breaks for the wealthy will help the minimum wage worker and covid is not a real threat. How insane is it to demonize others to "own the libs"? I would argue not very patriotic. We need a strong voice to combat poverty, disinformation and hate. Congresswoman, where is your voice?