Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019 saw the Robert Frost Auditorium fill close to capacity for a morning town hall to discuss the upcoming Presidential impeachment and other matters with Congresswoman Karen Bass.
The venue, which seats 1200, continued to fill with voters as the program began until there were only small side sections left unpopulated when, after an introduction by Culver City Unified School District School Board Vice President Summer McBride, the congresswoman took the podium.
Bass, known by her constituents as an approachable, direct and articulate representative, stood on her reputation effortlessly. She acknowledged the loss of Representative Elijah Cummings as “a real blow; we were just devastated. Many of us knew he was ill, that he had been in and out of the hospital, but he was such a force … no one expected that he was at the end.”
A power point presentation on the more than 300 bills that have been passed in the House of Representatives and the work that the congresswoman has done in her committee went quickly by as she took on the topic of the impeachment inquiry.
One slide showed the length of time that previous impeachments had taken – Nixon 167 days, Clinton 124 days – and noted that Trump had only been in the formal inquiry process for 24 days. “But this is going to proceed quickly, know that this whole process is going at a brisk pace.”
When the microphones were set up for people to ask her questions, she did her often used technique of rapid fire drill, allowing people to ask their questions, one after the other, and then responding to multiple inquires at once.
Questions were all over the map – people asked for help with personal issues on veterans services, student loans and public housing. Many made statements rather than ask questions, and spoke to topics as broad as sewage in Madagascar and access to abortion in states where the restrictions are coming down hard.
Bass listened closely, responded succinctly, and offered her thoughts and support as asked.
The representative closed the meeting just after 11 am, and headed to the airport as promised, back to Washington D.C. to begin the next week’s business.