The 115th Congress has its first recess this week, which means our elected representatives and senators should theoretically be back in Arizona, meeting with us, their constituents. But most, it seems, are skipping out on holding any sort of town hall or meeting with the people who put them in office.
Perhaps they're intimated by the turmoil at other recent raucous town hall meetings, or perhaps they know they'll be asked some tough questions about the president and national policy – cough, cough, the Obamacare replacement they've been promising, cough, cough.
Whatever their reason, the people are not happy, and in many instances, have taken it upon themselves to organize meetings and protests.
Here's a list of who is and who isn't holding town halls this week, followed by some sage advice from MoveOn.org, a left-leaning political advocacy organization.
Congressional District 1: Tom O'Halleran (Democrat)
Rep. O'Halleran does not appear to be hosting any events this week.
Here's the phone number to call his Washington office (202-225-3361) and his Flagstaff office (928-286-5338) to demand he do so.
Congressional District 2: Martha McSally (Republican)
While Rep. McSally has no town hall meetings scheduled for this week, some of her constituents have taken it upon themselves to organize one on Thursday, February 23.
According to the event website, the congresswoman has been invited, and the event will take place even if she doesn't show. More details here.
Congressional District 3: Raúl Grijalva (Democrat)
Rep. Grijalva has no general town halls scheduled for this week, though his office told the Arizona Daily Star that the congressman will host seven invite-only round table discussions focused on different topics.
He'll also be attending the Democrats of Greater Tucson's weekly meeting at the Dragon View Restaurant today. More details here.
Congressional District 4: Paul Gosar (Republican)
Rep. Gosar is holding a meeting with a fellow Freedom Caucus member, Virgina Rep. Dave Brat, on Thursday evening.
Details: Thursday February 23
Best Western, Kachina Room
8333 East Sunrise Sky Drive, Gold Canyon
Since it appears the event is designed to be a discussion between the two congressmen — i.e., not a town hall — there will also be a protest outside of the venue to demand he listen to those who put him in office. More details here.
Congressional District 5: Andy Biggs (Republican)
Rep. Biggs has no events scheduled, but his constituents have taken it upon themselves to organize a protest outside of his Mesa office on Tuesday afternoon. More details here.
Congressional District 6: David Schweikert (Republican)
According to Rep. Schweikert's office, the congressman is planning to hold a telephone town hall sometime on Monday, February 20. The time is to be determined, and we'll update this list when we get details.
Congressional District 7: Ruben Gallego (Democrat)
Rep. Gallego will hold a town hall-style community conversation on Wednesday evening to discuss issues affecting his constituents.
Details: February 22, 2017
Desert West Community Center
6501 West Virginia Avenue
Congressional District 8: Trent Franks (Republican)
According to Rep. Frank's office, he has no town hall meetings scheduled this week.
If you'd like to contact him about an issue, or demand he hold a town hall, try calling his Washington office (202 225-4576) or his Glendale office (623-776-7911)
Congressional District 9: Kyrsten Sinema (Democrat)
Rep. Sinema has no town hall meetings scheduled this week, though she is hosting a happy hour fundraiser on Tuesday in Phoenix.
If you'd like to contact her about an issue, or demand she hold a town hall, try calling her Washington office (202-225-9888) or her Phoenix office (602-956-2285).
Senator John McCain (Republican)
Though Senator McCain has been all over the news recently, he does not seem to be very interested in meeting his constituents during this week's recess.
If you want to contact him, though — perhaps to complain about his lack of community outreach or his stance on any number of issues — here's the phone number for his Washington office: 202-224-2235.
On Wednesday afternoon, a group of constituents has organized a rally outside of his Phoenix office to discuss health-care concerns.
Senator Jeff Flake (Republican)
Despite being the target of a recent protest demanding he meet with constituents, Senator Flake has no town hall meetings scheduled this week.
If you want to contact him and demand he hold a town hall meeting, here's the number for his Washington office: 202-224-4521
Multiple events are scheduled this week to protest McCain and Flake's stances on a variety of issues, here's what we know of so far:
- Today, there will be a protest outside of the private fundraiser Flake is having at Eastern Arizona College.
- On Tuesday, there will be a rally outside of Flake's Phoenix office to discuss healthcare concerns.
- On Wednesday afternoon, there will be a rally outside of McCain's Phoenix office to discuss health-care concerns.
- On Thursday evening, a coalition of health-care-related groups will host a town hall meeting at South Mountain College to discuss the effects of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Since it seems unlikely that either Flake or McCain will show, the event will be live-streamed on Facebook and constituents can ask their senators questions in front of the whole world.
If you plan to attend any of these events, you might want to check out these helpful materials first:
Town hall guide from MoveOn.org
Sample questions and talking points for issues like the Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court, the travel ban, et cetera
Bird-dogging: what it is and how to do it
How to de-escalate a tense situation
Other useful links
And finally, remember to film everything and share it on social media with the hashtag #ResistanceRecess so the whole world can see it.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.