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Commentary by Enaya Hanbali
| Thursday, Sep 7, 2017

On Aug. 18, a group of concerned local residents from the Democratic Club of the High Desert came to U.S. Rep. Steve Knight’s office to discuss with him about how they are wanting to hold another town hall meeting  with their congressman on issues they disagree with him on such as healthcare.

The local residents came into Knight’s office and threw an early retirement party with a lot of balloons to let him know they plan to make his upcoming election of 2018 be his last term. They have been extremely disappointed with Knight ever since he have been elected in office due to their lack of satisfaction of his policy decisions and of his failure of representing the 25th District.

In response, one of Knight’s representatives told the local residents in his office not to record her, because “it is a private business.”

There are several things disturbing about that statement. First off, Knight is a public official who should be serving all of his residents by giving them the town hall meeting they deserve to voice their concerns about legislation affecting their community. Everything from how Knight votes to what happens in his office that affects his constituents such as how they treat them is a right for all local residents to know about in his district.

For Knight’s representative to get upset about being on video is unacceptable, because it is obvious that Knight’s representative knows that Knight does not want to hold the town hall meeting and does not want to be recorded on camera saying that. In the video, the local resident says she told Knight before that they want to keep their health care reform and told his local residents in the previous town hall meeting that he would, when he really didn’t. There is an obvious lack of accountability to prove whether what she said is true, or proof that Knight has been true to his word or not.

Local residents have the right to record what Knight and his representatives say to them because he is a public representative. He makes decisions that make a huge impact in his local community whether the social issues are poverty, health care, terrorism, national security, immigration rights, etc. Knight gets recorded all the time on CSPAN along with other congressional leaders, and he shouldn’t be treated any differently when it comes to him being recorded in his own local community on local issues or scheduling a town hall meeting.

There are many other congressional districts that record their congressional offices to hold their representatives accountable for the things they say along with the legislation they pass. Local residents should not be recording stuff like what happens in the restroom or what happens inside Knight’s house as well as his representatives, but local residents have the right to record things that they say to members of the 25th District and any of his town hall meetings and legislation decisions.

Our society has been shifting the past several years into a more technological environment as the rapid and fast pace use of technology affects many of us when it comes to our work and private lives with the use of social media. Hypothetically, even if Knight’s office was really a “private business,” there are several private companies such as retail and the banking industry that  record their “customers.” Using the term “private business” is in reference that Knight and his representatives have failed to represent many members of the 25th District since Knight only serves few members of the community. It is hypocritical and not clear at all as to why local constituents can’t even record what their own congressional leader is up to who passes legislation that affects them and is supposed to provide representation that benefits all members of the community unless he has something to hide that hurts residents in the 25th District.

 

Enaya Hanbali is a native Southern Californian of Arab American descent. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and master’s degree in public policy and administration from California State University, Long Beach. She works at a hospital in the 25th Congressional District.

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1 Comment

  1. dennis says:

    I agree 100 % finally a group of people who cares.Its time to hold these people accountable!!#

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