Congressman Cohen hosts Town Hall Meeting at LeMoyne-Owen College with Emanuel Cleaver

October 25, 2007
Press Release

Congressman Cohen said, “The Town Hall meetings are a valuable resource for me and my staff.  Hearing constituents’ concerns and ideas for me to take back to Washington, D.C. is at the very heart of my job as the District 9 representative.  I was honored to have Congressman Cleaver join me for this town hall meeting.  Congressman Cleaver is a distinguished member of Congress who has dedicated his career to economic development and social concerns.  We share many of the same ideas and thoughts for the growth and well being of our respective districts.”


“The town hall meeting was a success,” said Damita Dandridge, Faculty & Service Learning Coordinator at LeMoyne-Owen.  “Constituents came out, they were engaged, they enjoyed the opportunity to ask questions of the Congressmen, and their questions were answered.”


Congressmen Cohen and Clever discussed issues before the 110th Congress including the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which was recently vetoed by President Bush as well as a variety of local concerns.  Many of the attendees posed questions to Congressman Cohen about the war in Iraq, and he reasserted his support for a quick end to the war.  Regarding the mounting debt accumulating as a result of the war, Congressman Cohen later added, “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently released a new report showing the cost of the war could total as much as $2.4 trillion – or $8,000 per person in the country. This is unacceptable, and we are working hard to ensure that the people of Memphis don’t have to pay for the President’s reckless spending.”


The two Congressmen also responded to the recent controversy over their support for the hate crimes legislation which recently passed through both the House and Senate.  An incident between Congressman Cohen and the Memphis Baptist Ministerial Association has received national attention over the past few weeks from the likes of CBS News and National Public Radio, notably for the racially charged attacks aimed at Cohen and the apparent contradictory stance on the hate crimes bill taken by the ministers. “I would never vote for any bill that hindered ministers’ freedom to preach whatever they choose from the pulpit,” said Congressman Cleaver, an ordained Methodist minister who still serves as Senior Pastor at St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City, in response to the claims of the ministers.   

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Marilyn Dillihay, Press Secretary, 202-225-3265/ 202-368-9275 (mobile)

Charlie Gerber, Communications Assistant, 202-225-3265­