ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Hundreds of protesters met outside Rep. Dave Reichert’s office Thursday in Issaquah, closing a street and calling on the Republican representative to support immigrant rights, Obamacare and participate in town hall meetings.
Demonstrators blocked SE 56th Street near East Lake Sammamish around 12:20 p.m.
The protest was organized by the progressive activist organization Fuse Washington. The group called on protesters to “demand protection for all families” outside of Reichert’s office, opposing his effort to “appeal the Affordable Care Act, de-fund Planned Parenthood and institute a Muslim ban that tears families apart.”
Reichert has faced growing criticism in recent days over his policy of not holding public town halls, saying he decided to stop them for safety concerns and because he found them to be counter productive.
“Come on out, Dave,” protesters chanted. “We won’t hurt you.”
Reichert told Q13 News he quit holding town halls after Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot in Arizona. Giffords released a statement Thursday, encouraging representatives to hold the meetings.
"To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this: Have some courage," Giffords said.
Reichert has said he and his staff have experienced stalking, threats and even assault.
"Those things aren't gonna happen," Reichert said in moving away from town halls. "I would be irresponsible in allowing that sort of an atmosphere to exist."
Reichert has served as Washington's 8th Congressional District representative since 2005. He is up for reelection in 2018.