More than 200 people joined a citizen town hall Thursday night in Henrico County to talk about health care and education in the face of potentially dramatic changes in Washington.
The forum at L. Douglas Wilder Middle School was organized by politically progressive groups Indivisible Richmond and Together We Will RVA. The meeting was organized out of concern that — at that time — Rep. Dave Brat, R-7th, who represents the area, was not holding a town hall in his district.
Both groups were formed as a result of the election of Donald Trump as president. They want to hold more forums.
After the event was scheduled, Brat decided to hold a town hall, which happened Tuesday in the Nottoway County town of Blackstone.
Like other members of Congress nationally, Brat is facing vocal challenges from voters who did not support Trump in the November election and want to talk to their representative about concerns about the Affordable Care Act potentially being repealed, a stated goal of the new president and GOP leadership.
Thursday, the citizens heard from panels of experts on education and health care. Panelists included Peter Cunningham, professor of health behavior and policy at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Kimberly J. Robinson, a law professor at the University of Richmond, an expert on federal education policy.
Maureen Hains of Chesterfield County, who started a Facebook page called 7th District Town Hall Meeting and boosted the page with an ad that cost $2 a day, said she wasn’t politically active until about a month ago and became so out of concern that the Affordable Care Act would be repealed.
“This is what democracy looks like. Am I right?” she asked the audience Thursday.