I was surprised to read the criticism made by Mr. Kevin Drahos in Sunday’s Gazette, that I am not meeting with “constituents & students.” Kevin, my wife Karen, and I met in person on April 23rd in Cedar Rapids to discuss ways of stopping school violence. Kevin is an impressive young man, is involved in many causes, and spoke quite intelligently on the subject.
We found common ground when discussing the STOP School Violence Act (HR4909), a bill I co-sponsored to provide schools with funding to create anonymous reporting systems for threats, develop student, teacher and law enforcement training to prevent shootings, and form FBI school threat assessment teams. This legislation passed the House by a bipartisan majority of 407-10 on March 14.
This term I have met an estimated 10,000 constituents through visits to organizations, businesses, schools, colleges, elderly homes, public safety departments, coffees, town halls, and more. My favorite experiences have been working alongside many of you at your jobs; waiting tables, planting corn, delivering meals, working at a bank, bagging groceries, shadowing medical professionals, and delivering mail.
Recently, I also held small group meetings with the local chapter of Indivisible, the self-described “movement to RESIST.” Even in this political climate, I was happy to find we agreed on many issues like term limits for Congress, ending partisan gerrymandering, and limiting our involvement in foreign conflicts unrelated to national security.
I am proud of how hard my staff and I work to represent the people of this district.
U.S. Rep. Rod Blum