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News 12: LIers voice concerns on country's direction at Rice town hall

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Mineola, NY, March 4, 2017 | comments

MINEOLA - Hundreds of Long Islanders expressed concerns and asked questions about U.S. policies at a town hall meeting hosted Saturday by Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice.

About 400 residents gathered at the Mineola event, where many voiced serious concerns and questions about the current direction of the country.

"I'm worried about the environment," said Charlene Hoey, of Wantagh. "I'm worried about social justice. I'm worried about health care."

"We are all frustrated with the gridlock in Washington. The politicians are doing their 'politicianing,' and that's why we have a large turnout here," said Oceanside resident Chuck Shalk.

Dozens of hands went up when the crowd was asked for a show of hands of how many in the auditorium have benefits through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The meeting came on the heels of several rowdy town halls across the country. Republican senators and members of Congress have been confronted by angry constituents expressing outrage over the Trump administration's policies.

Republican Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin has held a telephone town hall event. Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi held a traditional town hall event last month.

Rice says being in the minority in Congress means she may not have many answers for residents, but she feels it's important for everyone to be able to speak out.

"I think it's incredibly important for people to have a voice, to feel like they have a forum to talk about issues," she says. "There is a lot of conflict in the country right now."
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