At noon today in downtown Bend, residents of Oregon's second congressional district are planning to protest what they see as Rep. Greg Walden's reluctance to hold open town halls.
The march begins at noon today at Brandeis Square (Newport Avenue and Wall Street near the Bank of America) and is slated to march through downtown before ending in front of Walden's Bend office at Bond Street and Greenwood Avenue.
There are also protests scheduled for other cities in Walden's district, including gatherings (also at noon today) in Hood River, Medford and La Grande.
Kathy Paterno, a Central Oregon Resident who sits on the board of the Rural Organizing Project, says that she and others have tried unsuccessfully to organize a town hall with Walden since 2006. She did say, however, that Walden had appeared on an episode of Talk of the Town on COTV.
"Our concern is that there are a lot of serious economic issues in our community and the country and we’re not being listened to by the people in power," says Paterno, one of the organizers of today's protest.
She said that the protest, which they're calling "Occupy Congressional District," is aimed at persuading Walden's staff to schedule a town hall meeting during the December recess and complete a total of five town halls throughout the district by April.
"He’s our politician and he’s a perfect example of being unplugged from giving people a feeling of being represented," she says.