Letter: Lack of response frustrates constituent

To the editor:

Congressman Erik Paulsen is my congressman. I frequently call his offices. I have both his Washington, D.C., and Eden Prairie numbers on speed dial. I call because the November 2016 election had a profound effect on me, and now I call my congressman.

I have called Paulsen’s offices about Obamacare, Planned Parenthood and releasing President Donald Trump’s tax returns. The people who answer Paulsen’s phones are usually polite, but our conversations are hollow and unsatisfying.

My last calls to Paulsen’s offices were to encourage him to attend the June 5 town hall in Eden Prairie at Immanuel Lutheran Church. I wanted him to attend, because he did not attend the Feb. 23 town hall in Plymouth. I was there, along with nearly 1,000 other people.

Paulsen had been formally invited to the June 5 town hall, as was Fifth District Congressman Keith Ellison. Paulsen did not show up. Ellison did. About 350 people were there for a lively conversation about health care.

It is unfortunate that Paulsen did not respond to my request for him to attend this latest town hall. I should not be surprised, though. When I call Paulsen’s offices, no one asks for my zip code. They do not ask for my email. When I asked them if Paulsen would attend the town hall in Eden Prairie, Paulsen’s hometown, they did not know.

When I call Paulsen’s offices, I feel like I am calling Sgt. Schultz on the old TV show “Hogan’s Heroes.” The sergeant’s response to all questions was, “I know nothing,” and that is all I get from those who answer Paulsen’s phones. The only thing I can count on is their cheerful farewell, which is always the same. “Have a good day.”

How can I have a good day? My congressman could not care less about me.


Jan Parks