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  • Piedmont Rising

Health Care Concerns Aired at Raleigh Town Hall, Tillis A No-Show

Updated: Mar 2, 2020

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Piedmont Rising, and coalition partners invited Senator Tillis to the public town hall: He didn’t show up

RALEIGH, N.C. – Triangle-area community members at a town hall held by Planned Parenthood South Atlantic (PPSAT), Piedmont Rising, and coalition partners on Thursday were eager to hear how Senator Thom Tillis would defend access to safe and affordable healthcare in light of the recent failure to expand Medicaid in North Carolina and efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Organizers of the event invited Senator Thom Tillis to speak about issues that matter most to the Triangle, but the Senator did not respond to the invitation.

(January 30, 2020) Activists and community organizers from El Pueblo Inc., NC State Generation Action, Fight 4 Her, The Yellow Hammer Fund/Triangle Abortion Access Coalition, NARAL Pro-Choice, and Muslim Women For shared harrowing stories to lend a face to concerns surrounding reproductive justice, access to health care, immigrant and voting rights, and LGBT issues.

(January 30, 2020) El Pueblo Inc., an organization based in Raleigh, N.C., specializing in leadership development for both youth and adults among Wake County’s growing Latinx community shared that increased anti-immigrant rhetoric and deportation raids targeting N.C. immigrants — regardless of whether or not they have a criminal record — have contributed to a culture of fear that keeps people from getting the health care they need.

Senator Tillis has long promised to create a dialogue with constituents by holding town halls. But he has consistently fallen short on this promise and his constituents are noticing. When he does appear in front of constituents, the appearances are kept behind closed doors and are anything but public.   

Constituents and organizations like PPSAT have long requested statements from Senator Tillis on how he intends to protect access to healthcare and on a variety of other issues. His continued silence on the issues and his refusal to offer time to engage with constituents are building frustration among North Carolinians.

 “We want our voices and our views to be heard by our elected officials, in fact, it is critical to the democratic process. It’s clear to me that Senator Tillis does not find it important to address the issues or even show up to meet with his constituents. I am disappointed that Senator Tillis is unwilling to keep his word and listen to the voices of the constituents he represents.” - Dani Hoffpouir, Field Organizer for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic and one of the organizers of the event. 

“Thom Tillis has repeatedly voted to rob millions of Americans of their health insurance -- including 500,000 North Carolinians. We need our elected officials to stop working against us and start protecting our health care.” - Casey Wilkinson, Executive Director, Piedmont Rising. 

As the NC House Speaker, Tillis held several town halls in 2011-2012. It’s clear now that he has made a conscious decision to stop participating in them to avoid interaction with his constituents.


Jessica Coscia


About Piedmont Rising

Piedmont Rising is an issue advocacy organization built by and for North Carolinians to advocate for lower insurance premiums and prescription drug costs and to ensure that more people have access to safe and affordable health care. Through grassroots organizing, education, and engagement, we are amplifying our health care stories and holding our elected officials accountable to the people, and issues, they were elected to represent.

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