Protesters demand meeting with Georgia Senators - CBS46 News

Protesters demand meeting with Georgia Senators

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

Protesters chant in unison, “What do we want? Town hall! When do we want it? Now!” 

That was the scene of a health care protest outside of Senator David Perdue’s office in Buckhead.  It pit a group of Democrats and Independents against a Republican from Cartersville who only wanted to go by the name “James.”

For Caroline Stover, who's become a vocal protester and organizer, she wants Georgia's congressmen, and Senator Perdue, to meet with protesters like her in an in-person town hall meeting.

Caroline Stover explains, “We've met with his staff.  We've stood outside his office.  We made a video to give to him”. 

Senator Perdue has told CBS46 there are many ways he meets with constituents and a town-hall meeting is just one way.

We know his staffers have met with Stover and others, but there's a new issue lawmakers are facing. Stover has heard it given as a reason for no in-person meetings with Senator Perdue, “He said he won't meet with groups because it's dangerous and he's afraid of violence”.

Dr. William Boone, political science professor at Clark Atlanta University says, “Well, certainly those things are valid.  But it's disingenuous.”

Dr. William Boone, political science professor at Clark Atlanta University, says it's disingenuous because before this divisive political climate, many lawmakers did meet in person.

So we contacted all 17 of Georgia’s members of congress. Only democratic congressman Sanford Bishop and republican congressman Earl "Buddy" Carter responded, saying yes, they have had in-person town hall meetings this year.

And while James, the Republican we spoke with earlier, does not agree with the protesters regarding Obamacare, he agrees with them on lawmakers making themselves available to constituents.

James said, “I think they should. They should be doing in-person town halls.”

Republican Senator Johnny Isakson had a telephone town hall Tuesday. While Stover says it's a step in the right direction, she says it's still dodging a bit.

Stover said, “We are constituents.  We are mothers, brothers, sisters.” 

And both sides say they want to be heard.

Senator Perdue’s spokeswoman did get back to us and said, in part, “He appreciates feedback from anyone who contacts our offices to voice their concerns.”

She goes on to say, “our team meets and talks with hundreds of Georgians every day to discuss issues important to them and their families.”

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