Saturday Town Halls for Our Lives: Menendez, Payne, Pascrell. Plus: Who are the ‘Empty Chair’ congressmen?

This Saturday is the Town Hall Project, a follow-up to the March for Our Lives initiative and a chance for constituents to talk to their members of Congress about gun violence. The Find an event function on the website’s a little funky, in that it will deliver planned events only by zip code and not by state as promised. Here are the ones I found.

Senator Bob Menendez and Rep. Bill Pascrell are scheduled together for tomorrow in Ridgewood. Rep. Josh Gottheimer is invited to the one at noon in  Ridgewood where Pascrell and Menendez will be, but that’s listed as an Empty Chair event on Gottheimer. Meanwhile, Gottheimer is listed as being  at a restaurant in Fair Lawn tomorrow morning for his Cup of Joe with Josh thing, a regularly scheduled event., maybe not so much a town hall on gun violence. Rep. Don Payne Jr.’s town hall is in Newark tomorrow night. Empty Chair events are listed for the 2nd & 11th congressional districts, both of whose incumbents have already announced they’re out after this year. Expect candidates now running for those empty seats. Below, the details I have:

Town Hall for Our Lives – Ridgewood – U.S. Senate & NJ09
Who: Scheduled: Sen. Bob Menendez & Rep. Bill Pascrell. Invited: Rep. Josh Gottheimer
When: Saturday, April 7 – 12 pm
Where: Unitarian Society of Ridgewood (113 Cottage Place, Ridgewood)
Hosts: BCSDA (Bergen County Students Demand Action) and Student Organizers- Direct Action
Link for this event

Town Hall for Our Lives – Newark- NJ10
Who: Rep. Donald Payne
When: Saturday, April 7 – 5:00pm
Where: Essex County Community College, Smith Hall Room 2131 (303 University Ave, Newark)
Info: Hundreds of thousands of us marched across the country on March 24. But that’s only the beginning. To take this message directly to lawmakers, we need them to hear us directly–and soon. Every single member of Congress is back in their district on District Work Period–better known as “recess”–between March 23 and April 9. So March for Our Lives has raised the call for a congressional Town Hall in every district in America on April 7. SOMA Action Student Leadership Committee has asked NJ-10 elected leaders along with Congressman Donald Payne Jr. to participate in Town Hall For Our Lives – a community congressional town hall about sensible gun control and ending violence in our schools and communities. This event is organized by student leaders and supported by SOMA Action, MOMS Demand Action, and Essex Co. Community College.
Link for this event

Cup of Joe with Josh – previously scheduled regular event
Who: Rep. Josh Gottheimer
When: Saturday, April 7 – 8:30am
Where: Land & Sea Restaurant (20-12 Fair Lawn Ave, Fair Lawn)

Empty Chair Events in New Jersey:

Mullica Hill – NJ02
Who: Rep. Frank LoBiondo is invited (but not confirmed). NJ02 Democratic candidates Tanzie Youngblood and Will Cunningham are confirmed
When: Saturday, April 7 – 2:30pm
Where: Mullica Hill Library (389 Wolfert Station Rd, Mullica Hill
Hosts: Indivisible West Jersey
Link for this event

Morristown – NJ11
Who: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, absent as usual
When: Saturday, April 7 – 4:00pm
Where: Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (101 James Street, Morristown)
Info: The student organizers of the Morristown March For Our Lives are organizing a Town Hall for Our Lives featuring both Republican and Democratic candidates running for the open seat in Congressional district 11. A student panel will ask candidates a variety of questions related to gun safety and keeping kids safe at school. We would like to give student first priority in ordering their FREE ticket on Eventbrite. Seating is very limited. Remember to bring your ticket to the event.
Link for this event
Facebook link for more info



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