Cantwell Schedules Town Hall of Her Own at Gonzaga University

By:  Kip Hill
Source: The Spokesman Review

Sen. Maria Cantwell will hold a rare public town hall in Spokane in the same spot as her Republican colleague in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Washington’s junior senator will take the stage in the Globe Room of Cataldo Hall on the campus of Gonzaga University on Aug. 15 at 6 p.m. The event is scheduled to last 90 minutes, and those interested will need to preregister for a free ticket through the Eventbrite online service.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers will appear at her own town hall Thursday in the Globe Room. That event starts at 5 p.m. It also will require preregistration, available Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Cantwell hadn’t held a public town hall since 2009 before appearing three times in King County over the Fourth of July weekend to discuss health care and net neutrality, according to Seattle TV news station KING-TV, quoting a spokesman.

Spokesman Bryan Watt said Cantwell last held a town hall meeting in Spokane in 2008 with then Sen. Hillary Clinton. She also held Spokane town halls in 2001 and 2002, he said.

The King County town halls each had a theme, but the meeting in Spokane will be open to whatever constituents want to talk about, Watt said. Cantwell’s team is working on staging the lobby area of the Globe Room to accommodate a spill-over crowd, Watt said.

“We’re going to get as many people in there as possible,” he said.

Cantwell and Sen. Patty Murray have not escaped the call for holding more town hall meetings in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Both senators have been critical of several aspects of President Donald Trump’s agenda, including a push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, his announcement the military wouldn’t accept transgender service members and his rejection of the Paris Climate Accords.

Large bags, backpacks, posters and signs will not be allowed inside the room for the event. Check-in will begin at 5 p.m., with the event starting at 6 and scheduled to conclude at 7:30. A map of Gonzaga’s campus is available at www.gonzaga.edu/About/CampusMap/GU-Campus-Map.pdf. Cataldo Hall is south of the intersection of Sharp Avenue and Addison Street, across a pedestrian mall from St. Aloysius Church.

Cantwell’s Spokane appearance will be her fifth town hall of the summer, following the three held in King County and one in Wenatchee scheduled for Saturday morning.