Opinion: Only way to meet Rep. Stefanik is through paid visits, says Canton resident
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 7:26 am

To the Editor:

Rep. Elise Stefanik: We're so glad you could make it to Saint Lawrence County this district week! Hope you enjoy our beautiful part of New York's 21st district. We're disappointed though that the only way for us to meet you is to pay for the honor: $25 to attend the St. Lawrence County Republican Committee Meeting in Gouverneur.

We understand it's your duty to attend such party functions. But it is also your duty to listen to and represent your entire district. And we already pay you for that honor.

Your constituents have been begging for a free, public, and on-the record event from you for almost a year now--a year in which you have threatened to call the police on us for calling your offices, a year in which you called peaceful protestors reprehensible, a year in which you lied to constituents after voting to strip away healthcare from thousands of residents right here in Saint Lawrence County. (Among other lies, you said the AHCA would not hurt people with preexisting conditions, even though it did not actually provide any protections for them.)

You have said you prefer to meet in small groups, and we understand why. Small groups allow you pleasant, smiling photo opportunities and an absence of the press.

Large groups of people worried about bankruptcy or poor health or paying for the next meal might not be smiling and quiet or easy to use for your own PR.

But here's the thing: Saint Lawrence County, and the rest of your district, is full of these people, and though we might not be rich like your Wall Street donors, we are creative and resilient and will continue to make our voices heard. You have plenty of competitors who are willing to listen.

Sara Schaff

Canton