By Laurence D. Schiller
Our 10th District Congressman, Brad Schneider, is not afraid to open the doors wide and answer the tough questions. On Saturday, February 18th, Brad hosted a crowd of more than 400 people who filled the auditorium, hallways, and an overflow meeting room at the Northbrook Public Library.
During the 90-minute town hall, people expressed their concerns about everything ranging from health insurance and the Affordable Care Act, to immigration, to the prospect of impeachment of President Trump. Described by the Chicago Tribune as a “high octane crowd,” attendees began by giving their Congressman a standing ovation when he entered the auditorium for this Congress on Your Corner event. During the ensuing 90 minutes, Brad answered question upon question, many shouted out before a raised hand could be acknowledged.
“I will tell you the last four weeks have been the longest year of my life,” Schneider said. “We have to brace ourselves for a very long struggle, a long resistance, a long battle.”
During the House’s February recess, Brad has been out and about the 10th District, meeting with constituent groups in forums large and small. Earlier on the Saturday of the town hall he met with DREAMers and representatives of the immigrant community at the Waukegan office of HACES, the Hispanic American Community and Education Services. Responding to their concerns, Schneider has introduced an amendment in the House Judiciary Committee to require the committee to investigate deportations of anyone eligible for DACA (Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals), the Obama administration program that offered legal status to certain immigrants who entered the United States without documentation when they were under 15 years of age.
Two days later, on February 20, Brad met in Glenview with local leaders of organizations working to reduce gun violence. “Across our country, senseless gun violence is an epidemic that is threatening our communities and claiming the lives of far too many,” he said. “It is long past time for Congress to directly address this issue as the critical public health crisis that it is, and begin to work in a bipartisan way toward commonsense gun safety measures. I am committed to partnering with anyone serious about confronting gun violence to find common ground to make our communities safer,” Brad declared.
Congressman Schneider’s Congress on Your Corner initiative, pure democracy in action, contrasts sharply with how some of Brad’s Republican House colleagues have spent their time during the February recess. Take, for example, Peter Roskam, representing the Illinois 6th District here in Lake County. Roskam has refused multiple requests to meet with his constituents in open town hall meetings, and he even turned down a request by the Illinois League of Women Voters for a public forum.
At a time when Republicans are abandoning democratic norms, hiding from, and in some cases literally running away from, their constituents, we are fortunate to be represented by Democrat Brad Schneider, who stands with the people of the 10th District.