Rowdy crowd at Trott’s first town hall in two years

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Novi — Decorum and civility flew out the window Saturday as constituents of U.S. Rep. David Trott yelled and screamed at him during his first town hall meeting in two years.

Hundreds waited outside the building in the snow as only a few are allowed in the conference room at a time as organizers fill the room to capacity.

“Vote him out!” “Vote him out!” they shouted while he was trying to answer questions.

“Hey hey, ho ho, David Trott has got to go, “ Hey, hey, ho ho, David Trott has got to go,” they chanted.

There were so many people who showed up at the Suburban Collection Showplace for the early morning town hall, the doors had to be locked and hundreds were left grumbling outside.

At the end of the town hall, after being shouted down so loudly it was difficult to hear him, Trott, R-Birmingham, said. “I appreciate your coming out today...”

U.S. Rep. David Trott finally gets a chance to answer a question without being interrupted by yelling constituents.

But before he could finish, a chorus rang out, “No you don’t!,” “No you don’t!”

Trott’s office must have expected a largely antagonistic crowd because on the press release it specifically says, “Signs and banners will not be permitted inside the venue.”

Constituents demanding Trott meeting turned away

Marie Carriere of West Bloomfield was among those left out in the cold carrying her protest signs. One sign read, “USA Patriotism is equality for all.”

“I am very disappointed that there was not enough room for all these 500 people who had to stand outside, but I thank the Novi police for being here,” she said. “He is resisting giving us decent health care and it is outrageous. We are the only big power country in the world that does not have universal health care. I want our citizens to have the same health care as Congressmen have.”

Following the town hall, Trott spokeswoman Katie Vincentz said the congressman does believe Congress needs to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“But it’s not about pulling the rug out from under people, but about providing quality affordable health care to all Americans, even those with pre-existing conditions and allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ insurance until they are 26 years old,” she said. “It is a work in progress.”

She confirmed that Trott’s last town hall meeting was in 2015.

The response was so volatile, in part, because constituents feel they have been given the bum’s rush when they request meetings with him.

Late last month, a group of citizens who wanted to meet with Trott were turned away at his district office in Troy by police who said they were trespassing.

Social media video shows a group of 10 from Michigan People’s Campaign in an area outside Trott’s office on Big Beaver Road, along with television and radio reporters. A staffer from Trott’s office comes to the door, listens to a constituent but then closes the door. Two Troy Police officers stand in front of Trott’s door, telling the group they are trespassing. The group left and later rejoined a group of protesters on the sidewalk outside the office.

His apparent missing in action reputation became so bad, the website kept a running clock saying it’s been nearly two years since he held an open town hall meeting.

But on Saturday, there was a different message on the website.

“Found Dave Trott! We'd like to sincerely thank Congressman Dave Trott for holding an in-person town hall today in Novi. It is not easy to step up in front of a room of a few hundred people who want to express their concerns and let their voices be heard. Unfortunately, several hundred others were left outside in the cold and snow. So hopefully his next town hall will accommodate more. Until then, we have reset the count up clock and will look forward to the next time we meet again.”

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