National group honors Ron for having most town halls of any senator in 2017

Ron accepted the Town Hall Project’s MVP award on Sunday in Portland for holding the most town halls in 2017 of any U.S. senator.

In accepting the honor from the non-profit at his 80th Oregon town hall of 2017, he shared the award with the tens of thousands of Oregonians who attended town halls this year in each of the state’s 36 counties.

“These town halls are more important than ever before: it is clear political change doesn’t start in a government building and trickle down,” he told the crowd in Cleveland High School’s auditorium. Political change starts in meetings like this and bubbles up.”

“These meetings are a chance to do it the way the Founding Fathers wanted us to do it,” he said. “No subjects are off-limits.”

Ron pledged when first elected to the Senate that he would hold at least one annual town hall in every one of Oregon’s 36 counties. Heading into 2018, he has held 861 town halls.

And in 2017, he said, he wanted to ensure Oregonians had unprecedented access to ask him questions, given their unprecedented interest in events back in Washington, DC.

Mission accomplished, said Nathan Williams, managing director of the Town Hall Project – which he describes as dedicated to the belief that American democracy is stronger when citizens and lawmakers have face-to-face conversations about the issues.

“It is refreshing for me to recognize someone who is exemplary in this area,” said Williams, who streamed a FB Live interview with Ron after the 80th town hall. “We may take town halls for granted in Oregon but they’re not the case everywhere in the country.”

Ron held his 79th town hall in Molalla Saturday, just hours after flying back from Washington, DC following his leadership fighting the Republican tax bill into the early morning hours of the same day.  The tax bill was definitely on the minds of those who attended.

That bill was also a frequent topic on the minds of Oregonians asking Ron questions at his 80th town hall in Portland on Sunday.

The tax bill was a primary focus throughout the weekend, including when Ron spoke at the Oregon Business Summit with Sen. Jeff Merkley at the annual Portland event.

“This bill is really a poor fit for Oregon,” he said. “It’s like wearing a tuxedo to the beach.”