The Northwest Herald recently moderated a town hall with U.S. Reps. Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten. The McHenry County College auditorium was standing room only, as so many were excited at the opportunity to hear from them. It was refreshing to see and hear the excitement, commitment and enthusiasm from the newly elected representatives.
Casten and Underwood each shared updates on current events in Washington, experiences of their new positions, as well as their committee appointments. Underwood has been appointed to the Education and Labor, Homeland Security and Veterans’ Affairs committees, and Casten is serving on the Financial Services and Science, Space and Technology committees.
Unlike previous town halls, attendees were not required to presubmit questions but were allowed to ask their questions, unfiltered, at the microphone. Nor were we required to show approval or disapproval by flashing the annoying green and red cards.
It was an open, free-wheeling, respond to all questions, old-fashioned town hall. Both answered every question openly and earnestly. A local, well-known attorney made the most of the opportunity by trying to embarrass Underwood with a “gotcha” question. He failed, and then quickly left. You can watch the town hall and hear the question yourself on the Northwest Herald’s Facebook page.
Underwood already has held another town hall in Sycamore, her third in four days. Both she and Casten have committed to frequent town halls with the belief that they must hear from constituents in order to address their concerns.
They encouraged everyone to visit their websites and to call or email their offices with concerns and questions.