10th District residents plan to protest restrictions on Perry's town hall

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township

Some residents of Pennsylvania's 10th Congressional District say they will gather outside of Rep. Scott Perry's town hall on Tuesday to protest restrictions on the gathering.

The Carroll Township Republican came under fire last week after announcing the 6 p.m. town hall at the Hummelstown Fire Department in Dauphin County would require a government-issued ID proving attendees live in the 10th District.

Those who wished to attend had to RSVP at https://perry.house.gov/town-hall/ and provide their ZIP code to prove they're in the district, although there was a waiting list almost immediately after the event was announced Wednesday, July 24.

But organizers of the Tuesday protest say they are focusing on the size of the venue, which they say is too small.

“We have waited more than two years for Perry to hold another town hall meeting,” wrote Marlene Kanuck, chairwoman of the Hershey Indivisible Team. “More than 500 people attended his last one in March 2017 so we expected he would offer a larger venue, like a school auditorium. Using the Hummelstown Fire Co., which can hold only 200, seems like an effort to limit the voices of constituents.” 

The lack of space will prevent constituents from asking important policy questions related to health insurance, Russian interference in U.S. elections and a minimum wage increase, said Marta Peck, co-founder of Indivisible York. 

Perry's office didn't immediately respond to a message asking how many attendees are expected.

The 10th District includes northern York County, part of Cumberland County and all of Dauphin County.

The decision to conduct the town hall this way is because of advice from the U.S. Capitol Police and House sergeant at arms to ensure the safety of those present, said Perry spokeswoman Brandy Brown.

But it's also a way to prevent "political theater," she added.

"We hope this environment may also facilitate a more constructive dialogue with our constituents, as, sadly, many groups around our nation have looked at these forums as an opportunity to conduct political theater and shut down discourse," Brown said. "This is not the first nor the last town hall, as the congressman will continue to meet and interact with thousands of his constituents through a wide variety of forums."

More:EDITORIAL: The artful dodger in the 10th

More:IDs required to attend Rep. Perry's town hall

The protesters announced they'd begin protesting outside the venue, located at 249 E. Main St., in Hummelstown, at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.