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Alan Lowenthal uses town hall stage to repeat one message: ‘Vote in November’

For two hours, the democratic congressman met multiple questions with answers and appeals to vote Democrats into Congress during the 2018 midterm elections.

Rep. Alan Lowenthal began his town hall by telling about 600 constituents that he is for a

Rep. Alan Lowenthal began his town hall by telling about 600 constituents that he is for a "compassionate" and "inclusionary" government.

Carlos Villicana | Daily 49er

Carlos Villicana | Daily 49er

Rep. Alan Lowenthal began his town hall by telling about 600 constituents that he is for a "compassionate" and "inclusionary" government.

Carlos Villicana, City Editor

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If you ask Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, the only way that concerned voters can counter the policies of President Donald Trump is to vote Democrats into Congress this November.

For two hours Monday night, about 600 people of all ages gathered in the Millikan High School auditorium  to ask the congressman questions about a variety of topics including immigration policies, environmental regulations, social security and healthcare.

“I think elected officials always say this, but we’re really at a critical junction in our nation’s history,” Lowenthal said. “The soul of our nation is being tested.”

The congressman then said that he wants a government to protect its natural resources and social security, ensure that everyone has healthcare and to have “rational” immigration policies.

“If you don’t vote and you don’t tell people that you know and everybody [else] to vote, if you don’t understand that half of my district is Orange County and people are not involved in changing the House of Representatives… this nightmare will continue,” Lowenthal said.

Throughout the event, Lowenthal told his constituents that the key to combating Trump’s actions  is to get a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress through voting. He repeated this sentiment when asked about what he could do to support Planned Parenthood, protect social security from privatization, help reunite separated immigrant families and stop the Supreme Court’s shift to the right.

Although he did not offer much other than to vote blue, Lowenthal did share his opinions on issues such as giving tax breaks to alternative energy providers instead of oil and gas providers.

One resident, Carol McKelvy, asked the representative to specify which laws he thought were discriminating based on ethnicity and giving preferential treatment to white Americans.

“In [the Trump administration’s] statements in terms of changing immigration laws to, rather than family and reunification, [that] people should only be coming to the United States only if they engage in certain kinds of skills,” he responded. “A vast majority of us came from families that had none of those skills, they were fleeing oppression by coming to this country.”

Lowenthal also pointed to Trump’s travel bans, which target Muslim-majority countries, as an example of discriminatory immigration policies.

A question about what Lowenthal can do to create more bipartisan legislation drew laughs from many in the audience. The congressman answered by speaking about how hard it is accomplish this, reasoning that Republicans are scared of not voting as the president would like, even when numerous congressional Republicans agree with Lowenthal and other Democrats.

“I am now convinced that we need to create a climate where we work together… a lot of these issues do not have to be partisan issues,” Lowenthal said in reference to topics such as environmental protections, healthcare, immigration and social security. “So I think the best way that we can deal with that is to win back [Congress] in 2018 and then start back negotiations.”

Lowenthal said that moderate Republicans are an endangered group as they have congressional seats which they could lose. He thinks that this, and Republican leadership advising against doing so, is why they are not working with Democrats.

The congressman also called for a carbon tax to provide incentives for alternative energy production, a ban on bump stocks and assault weapons, required background checks when purchasing firearms and ending financial contributions which influence how elected officials vote.

“In this country, sometimes people will be okay [with you] if you stand for something and they disagree with you,” Lowenthal said. “When you walk away from things, when you don’t stand up and people see you without a spine, without a backbone… that’s what people are watching that is going on now in the Congress.”

The midterm elections which Lowenthal referenced will occur on Nov. 6. The deadline to register to vote in this election is Oct. 22.

A video of the event can be found here.

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