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Area group aims to hold government accountable

Area group aims to hold government accountable

July 30th, 2017 by Michelle Brooks in Local News

Jefferson City resident Lhakpa Tsering and other Mid-Missourians gathered Saturday, July 29, 2017 outside the office of Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer to protest health care reform. Some of those present were part of Jefferson City Area Indivisible and Capital Area Missouri NOW.

Photo by Emil Lippe /News Tribune.

Local residents put their beliefs into action Saturday as they gathered on the Missouri Boulevard sidewalk in front of Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer's office with signs in-hand.

The "Fight for our Lives" rally, organized by the Jefferson City Area Indivisible, was initially scheduled in response to the American Health Care Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives with the local representative's support.

The urgency of that particular issue may have subsided with the U.S. Senate's defeat of the legislation last week. However, the matter of "humane and thoughtful health care reform," is ongoing, the group's leader Sara Mangan said.

Indivisible organized earlier this year, with social media presence and monthly meetings at the Missouri River Regional Library at 1 p.m. the third Sunday of the month. Saturday's rally was the fifth organized by the group.

Earlier this week, it hosted an informative health care forum at Lincoln University. And in September, they will host a movie screening.

With more than 100 members, they have focused primarily on health care and environmental issues so far, Mangan said.

Most of the Indivisible members, however, are not new to activism and voicing their political views.

"Many have been at this a long time; we've just coalesced," Mangan said.

To maintain a patriotic and vibrant country, she said, residents must hold government accountable.

"We need to remind them constantly, that we are paying attention," she said.

For Janet Wright, Saturday's rally was imperative.

"I'm excited about this; I wish every parking lot was full," she said.

In the last year, Wright said she has changed into someone who not only keeps up with political matters but actively participates.

"I'm so appalled that this is where our country is at. I can't stay quiet," Wright said. "I will come to every (rally) I know about."

Wright said she believes such public statements have an influence.

"The Congressman will hear about the people who were outside his office," she said. "This is what we have to do as Americans to tell them how we feel."

Wright also has been sending letters to her elected officials almost daily on issues important to her, she said.

"I'm all in."

Newcomers to the Capital City, Alan and Nancy Ames, had been active in women's rights, health issues and political campains, while living in Portland, Oregon, where she was a nurse.

Saturday was a chance for them to meet like-minded people in their new home town. She also was at the Capitol for the rally Monday in support of women's reproductive health.

"We feel we need to speak out more about the kind of America we want," Nancy Ames said.