OPINION: Andy Kim works for his constituents

A letter to the editor by Kerry Doulgas of Mt. Holly, NJ

I attended an in-home gathering supporting Representative Andy Kim of the NJ 3rd District on Saturday. It was Andy’s seventh event of the day, kicking off with a 10 AM Tom’s River town hall on the opioid crisis.

His detractors claim that these events are all “just photo ops” and he should focus on “doing his job”. They miss the point that these events are in fact a vital part of any Congressperson’s job. This interaction with the constituents, the communication with them about their needs, is the bedrock of any representative’s ability to work for legislation in Congress that will benefit all his constituents. Perhaps people have forgotten this role, after the representative absenteeism of the Tom MacArthur era.

One of the most refreshing characteristics of any Andy Kim event is that they are never about him. He does not hog the spotlight or sing his own praises. In the two-hour event I attended, he spoke for maybe 15 minutes. The rest of the time he listened. He spoke one-on-one with his constituents. He heard their concerns, their needs.

He will take all that back to Washington with him on Monday. Once there, Andy Kim will characteristically eschew the spotlight, putting his head down and getting bills to Congress to address the needs of the people who he represents. He has co-sponsored almost 130 bills already, covering such issues as lowering prescription prices, streamlining help for opioid addiction, avoiding future government shutdowns, increasing support for coastal recovery after storms, improving our schools, ensuring better health care for our veterans, and securing our elections.

Andy Kim is doing exactly what he promised he would—listening to his constituents and then working hard for them in Congress.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this letter are the author’s only.

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