US Congressman Lynch Confronted by Advocates at Neighborhood Meeting [Video]

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A community meeting with U.S. Congressman Stephen Lynch became heated when political advocates stood up as a group to confront the 8th District representative on pressing national issues. The discussion was initiated by North End resident, Lisa Green, (58:35 in video) who said that she and over a hundred constituents have recently visited the Congressman’s office, but have not received a response to their questions, specifically:

  • What is your position on current US policy on family detention in border camps?
  • Do you believe that it is the constitutional responsibility of Congress, specifically the oversight committee, to investigate possible grounds for impeachment (of President Donald Trump) through public hearings?
  • Will you hold a Town Hall in our district during the August recess?

Members of the activist squad said, “these are not issues for small rooms” referring to the North End’s Nazzaro Community Center where the congressman was invited to speak on August 8th by the North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association (NEWRA). The group that spoke up was a mix of North End and other district constituents.

A woman who identified herself as Tanya spoke of unsuccessful efforts to schedule a face to face meeting with the congressman to discuss these issues. Further, she has reserved space in Quincy for a Town Hall type gathering but has not received a response from the congressman’s staff.

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Rep. Lynch said he was in Washington D.C. on the days when the advocates visited his office. He countered the accusations by saying, “I’ve been to 20+ meetings in the district over the past two years,” noting they varied from small groups to several hundred attendees. “I have 22 towns and 3 cities that I represent … and I will do Town Hall meetings,” noting one coming up this month in Braintree.

The congressman said he just returned from the Mexican border at El Paso (1:05:40 in video). “They changed the US policy where they are no longer holding people in the processing areas, the so-called camps,” he said. “Now most of the refugees and asylum seekers are at shelters on the Mexican side of the border.” Lynch also visited the ICE detention facilities and met with several immigrant and advocacy groups.

“This is my 16th visit to detention facilities and camps around the world during my term,” said Lynch. Referring to other visits to Darfur, Syria, Iraq, Afganistan, Gaza, and Guatamala. He added, “I probably have been to more immigrant detention camps than any other member of Congress.”

As the exchange ensued, past NEWRA President Ford Cavallari took exception to the group’s behavior in the meeting saying, “I feel like this is a mob.” The group has recently staged several protest efforts at Lynch’s office.

Regarding impeachment hearings, Rep. Lynch believes that would backfire into getting Trump reelected. “If we proceed on impeachment proceedings, the Senate will acquit him and you will set him up to be reelected,” said the congressman. “He (Trump) is begging you to try and impeach him because he has the Republican votes in the Senate to be acquited,” he added. “I will everything in my power to make sure he does not get four more years, that’s my position,” Lynch said noting he is working with other colleagues in Congress on two investigations that may reveal new evidence. Green said they were asking about impeachment inquiries, not Congressional hearings, and that other Democrats disagree with the congressman’s view.

Before the discussion of national issues, the majority of Lynch’s presentation at the NEWRA meeting addressed the local climate change challenges and plans to protect Boston’s neighborhoods (2:40 in video). Rep. Lynch said he was recently briefed by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh regarding the Climate Ready Downtown and the North End Project and gave an update on their plans to protect the neighborhood from flooding due to rising sea levels. Major infrastructure will be required, according to Lynch, including berms and raised barriers along the waterfront. In terms of funding, he noted a two trillion dollar funding goal to increase the transportation budget, primarily funded by a new federal gas tax.

Rep. Lynch addressed the federal loophole that prevents cities from enforcing ordinances against AirBnb, short-term rental companies and transportation entities like Uber and Lyft. (35:20 in video)

Asked about gun control (50:20 in video), the congressman noted background check legislation already passed by the House. After the recent shootings in other cities, he is optimistic that the Senate and President are further considering this type of regulation.

The congressman was also asked about regulating tech companies, such as Facebook, Google and Amazon (1:17:30 in video). Lynch is the Chair of the taskforce on financial technology, noting that these companies “know everything about you.” He is preparing legislation so that terms of service would provide more options to preserve privacy.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Wish I knew he’d be in my neighborhood. This man has been my rep my entire life. Maybe the district will finally vote for a transparent Democrat in 2020. This is was infuriating to watch, how is this man still in office?

  2. I have lived not more than 3 blocks from the Nazzaro for decades, I have called and emailed Congressman Lynch’s Office dozens of times since we got stuck with him a couple years ago. Because he thinks he has a safe seat, he’s never taking any action on important issues. Like this group I NEVER heard a thing back.

    I left my contact info EVERY time and specifically asked the girl from his office to put me on the list to be notified when there would an opportunity to see him in Boston this summer. And NOTHING! I am OUTRAGED that voters weren’t notified about this event. Why is this guy hiding from his constituents? Say what you will about Capuano, but he kept us informed & somebody always answered inquiries.

    Stephen Lynch needs to go! Is someone going to challenge him in next primary? Matt, can you tell us how to get in touch with the group that spoke up at meeting? Good for them!

    • Capuano made a fool of himself during a banking inquiry where he mistook Morgan Stanley for a retail bank. His come back was even more stupid, when he stated that his constituents didn’t save at banks, rather they robbed banks. As bad as the House of Representatives is, he was voted the village idiot. With him gone it looks like they have unleashed a competition for his replacement. Lynch is just an old Union guy. Pro blue collar.l

  3. Send the refugees to the Nazarro Center and let them into City Hall. Portland, ME got the answer to their requests and were actually floored when they responded by sending only a couple hundred. They dumped them in a gymnasium somewhere and are now on the verge of kicking them out. NIMBY!!!!!

  4. As a follow up, Congressman Lynch has announced a Town Hall. Here are the details:

    Thursday, August 22nd, 2019
    6PM-8PM
    Braintree Town Hall
    Horace T. Cahill Auditorium
    1 JFK Memorial Drive
    Braintree, MA 02184

    Topics include (but not limited to):

    Impeachment
    Climate Change/Green New Deal
    Gun Control
    Immigration
    Weymouth Compressor Station
    Transportation/MBTA
    Quiet Skies Caucus/FAA
    White Nationalism

    Please Note: Signs and posters will not be permitted inside the venue.

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