Time to hear from Rep. Katko on a number of issues

To the Editor:

The president’s trade war has damaged the livelihood of local farmers, probably permanently, by forgetting that China could buy soybeans elsewhere. But I’ve never seen a public discussion of its effects between Rep. John Katko and his constituents.

Three of four counties in the district have Native American names — and people to go with them. The President’s constant disparagement of indigenous Americans is offensive. Has Mr. Katko ever asked an indigenous person how she would like our representative to respond. I suspect he has also not asked a person of color or a person with a physical or intellectual disability any of those questions.

In a limp response to mass shootings, Mr. Katko offered a poorly imagined “red flag” bill, which would take away a gun only after a due process hearing with notice and opportunity to be heard. But one of his constituents just pointed out the danger of that proposal. Had he sought out that letter writer first, he might have understood the inherent danger in it.

We know that conditions in immigrant detention centers are terrible. Children die. A DHS Inspector General report warned of health and safety issues for immigrants and staff. Now we learn that teenage women are allowed only one sanitary pad per day for their menstrual periods. They are left in discomfort all day, without clean clothes, a shower or another pad. Now the Department of Homeland Security (on whose committee he sits) blocked the House Oversight Committee from inspecting the centers. Has Mr. Katko asked a constituent whether he has an opinion about any of that? Has he ever asked his wife?

Instead, he invited Steve Scalise for a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser aimed at shopkeepers and small business owners. But just after that, the President blamed a possible recession on those same “big” donors. Will Mr. Katko ask those people how to respond? Or will they ask for their money back?

Let’s have a Town Hall!



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