Update 4/11: After publication of this story, Senator Jeff Flake announced plans to hold a town hall on Thursday in Mesa. Details below.
This week, members of the U.S. Senate and Congress are back in their home districts — although you'd hardly know it, given their reluctance to schedule any public events.
Out of Arizona's nine representatives in Congress, only two — Republican Andy Biggs and Democrat Ruben Gallego — have scheduled town halls or forums where they'll take questions from members of the public.
And neither of our Republican senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain, has announced plans to meet with their constituents, either. (McCain did answer a handful of carefully selected questions on Facebook Live on Friday — you can watch it here.)
However, there are plenty of other opportunities to get involved with the democratic process this week — whether it's by protesting or by attending a civic forum to learn more about about some of the key issues being debated in Arizona or around the country right now.
Here's a day-by-day rundown of what's happening:
• "Indivisible" groups from around Arizona are hosting what they've titled the "Shake Flake Un-Election Kickoff." While Flake is at a fundraiser in Paradise Valley (featuring guest of honor George W. Bush), they'll be holding a counterrally a few miles north.
Tuesday, April 11, 4-7 p.m.
Intersection of Cactus Road and Tatum Boulevard, Phoenix
Pre-registration is not required, but you can RSVP on Facebook here.
• Congressman Andy Biggs will hold his first town hall Tuesday night at Without Walls Church in Mesa. However, it's only open to District 5 residents.
Tuesday, April 11, 7 p.m.
Without Walls Church
1303 South Lindsay Road, Mesa
From his website: "Because space is limited, we can only accommodate constituents of Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District and you must RSVP in advance to attend. To attend, please RSVP to email@example.com and include name, address, and e-mail of each person attending."
• Democrats from District 5 are hosting an alternative town hall event that's happening at the same time as Biggs' event. Constituents are invited to ask questions about education, health care, immigration, national security, environment, trade, the judiciary committee, and other topics.
Panelists include Arizona Democratic Party vice chairman Jevin D. Hodge, state representatives Ken Clark and Randall Friese, and Mesa City Councilman Ryan Winkle.
Tuesday, April 11, 7 p.m.
Gilbert Elementary School
175 West Elliot Road, Gilbert
No pre-registration necessary.
• AZ Indivisible CD 6 is holding a Health Care Hearing featuring experts from the health care community. Guest speakers include Simon Qaasim from the Children's Action Alliance, Sam Richard from the Protecting Arizona's Family Coalition, Robin Schaeffer from the Arizona Nurse's Association, Michael Boylan from Crisis Prevention and Recovery, and Mike Roser from Aurora Behavioral Health.
Wednesday, April 12, 7-8 p.m.
Scottsdale Civic Center Library Auditorium
3839 North Drinkwater Boulevard, Scottsdale
No pre-registration necessary, but you can RSVP on Facebook here.
• Congressman Ruben Gallego will host a community forum on immigration. He'll be joined by immigration attorneys Delia Salvatierra and Ray Ybarra Maldonado, as well as community organizers from LUCHA.
Thursday, April 13, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Isaac Middle School
3402 West McDowell Road
Register for a free ticket here.
• The O'Connor Institute's Millennial Council, which wants to help young people become civically engaged, has their first event on Thursday night. There will be an overview of the state budget and legislative agenda, as well as margaritas and taquitos.
Thursday, April 13, 5-7 p.m.
W. P. Carey Armstrong Great Hall, Beus Center for Law and Society
111 East Taylor Street
• UPDATE: Senator Jeff Flake has announced that he'll hold a town hall at the Mesa Convention Center on Thursday. It's first-come first-served, but keep in mind that no "signs, banners, or objects that create a disturbance" will be allowed.
Thursday, April 13, 7-8:30 p.m. Doors open 6:00 p.m.
Mesa Convention Center, Building C
201 N. Center Street
Mesa, AZ 85201
No pre-registration is required, but the official "code of conduct" is posted here.
So far, we're not aware of any events planned for Friday.
• April 15 is traditionally Tax Day (although since it falls on a Saturday this year, you have until April 18 to file your return), and Arizonans will join people around the country in taking to the streets to protest the fact that Donald Trump still hasn't released his tax returns.
Upward of 2,000 people have RSVPed to the event on Facebook, so this should be an interesting one.
Saturday, April 15, 10 a.m.
Arizona House of Representatives
1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix
Know of an event that's not included here? Please let us know using the contact form below. We'll continue to update this post through the week.
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