Video: Full video of Jackie Speier’s health care town hall

Posted by on Mon, August 24, 2009

Darin Boville’s full-length video of Jackie Speier’s health care town hall is now online.

U.S. House Representative Jackie Speier held a "town hall" meeting outdoors at the Farallone View Elementary School in Montara this past Sunday. The event was originally scheduled for the 150-person Cypress Meadows and then moved to the larger auditorium at Farallone View before finally being positioned on the large playground area at the school. About 800 people attended.

Although it was reported that conservative radio shows were encouraging agitators to attend and disrupt the meeting, apparently only a few showed up, and those tended to cluster at the rear of the crowd. The crowd, overwhelmingly in support of some form of major health care reform (judging by the stickers worm, sign displayed, and questions asked) was respectful but intensely engaged.

The video of the meeting is a little over and hour and a half long offers and excellent overview of the proposed reforms


I just watched Darin Boville’s entire video of Rep. Speier’s townhall meeting. I think he deserves a Public Service award for creating it and making it so quickly available online for those of us who could not be present yesterday.

Rep. Speier’s statements and responses to questions were well-informed, respectful and insightful. Lots of clear explanations were given, lots of misinformation and myths dispelled. The questions and statements from the audience were respectful, sincere, and in some cases, heart-rending.

Regardless of political stripe, everyone who has any questions about this bill could benefit by watching this video, either on or later when it is broadcast on CSPAN.

I felt very proud that our Coastside community did not exhibit the kind of rude bluster and confrontation occasionally shown in townhall meetings elsewhere in the country. Those who disagreed with the bill were reasonably composed and polite, as were those who supported it. I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be in the USA!

Judging by the people interviewed before and after the event and from the folks who were parked up and down Third Street the very large majority of attendees were not from the Coastside, most were from over the hill. And judging by the pro-reform organizer who was standing in our driveway on Third Street directing “her” people on where to park together for safety,  the reports of right-wing activists attempting to flood the meeting resulted in pro-reform activists doing precisely the same thing. So all we really had were activists on both sides of the issue talking at each other and at Ms. Speiers. It’s too bad, really, it would have been nice to hear from the Community.

Jackie Speier is only doing a handful of these meetings during the recess, and it’s reasonable that any resident of her district would be welcome to the event.

I saw plenty of Coastsiders there, and judging from the cheering when Sue Digre was introduced, there was a sizable crowd from Pacifica.

It was also clear that the unions had brought a big crowd to the event, but not clear whether they were district residents or not. I would have liked to hear more hard questions about implementation details, such as the value of co-ops. But I’m not sure these kinds of events are really wired for that kind of exchange.