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First Ever Telephone Town Hall Attracts Nearly 3,500 Participants from Western Wisconsin

January 23, 2008
Press Release

Technology Vital in Rep. Kind’s Outreach; New Website Named One of Best in Congress

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Rep. Ron Kind’s first-ever LIVE Telephone Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday attracted nearly 3,500 participants from across the district. The call was part of a year-long effort to expand the use of technology to reach out to constituents in the Third Congressional District, including a new E-Newsletter and expanded website, which recently was ranked in the top 10 percent of Congressional websites (40 out of 438) by Congressional Management Foundation (CMF).

“I am pleased that so many people took some time to participate in the Telephone Town Hall last night,” Rep. Kind said. “With the sub-zero temperatures outside and busy work and family lives – I know that making it out to a conventional Town Hall can be difficult. I will continue to hold face-to-face Town Hall Meetings across western Wisconsin, but this also proved a great way to reach out to my constituents in a way that’s convenient for them.”

New teleconferencing technology allowed Rep. Kind to set up a large-scale conference call involving nearly 3,500 Third Congressional District constituents. At the start of the call, a random selection of households in the 3rd CD received a call from Rep. Kind, inviting them to participate. Constituents then had the option of staying on the line to hear a few comments by Rep. Kind followed by a question and answer session. Questions for Rep. Kind during the hour-long call surrounded the issues of the war in Iraq, health care, energy policy, the economy, agriculture reform, special interest groups, toy safety, and gas prices.

Rep. Kind was also able to use the technology to take several live polls of the audience. According to 61 percent of the call participants, any tax rebate given as part of the economic stimulus package should include people who are just paying FICA taxes, compared to 39 percent who indicated a tax rebate should only be targeted only to those paying federal income taxes. Listeners also weighed in on Brett Favre’s future, with 71 percent indicating the Green Bay quarterback should return next season, compared with 29 percent saying he should retire.

“The call was a lot of fun, and something I will do again,” Rep. Kind said. “In the meantime, I encourage people in western Wisconsin to contact me by phone, in person, or through my website. It is through the continued feedback from my constituents that I best represent this district.”

Individuals who were unable to participate in the call may contact Rep. Kind by calling toll free, 1-888-442-8040, writing to Rep. Kind at 205 Fifth Avenue, South, Suite 400, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601, or sending an email through the website www.house.gov/kind.