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Rep. Kind begins annual listening tour in La Crosse

Attendee shares thoughts on ending gerrymandering with Rep. Ron Kind.
Attendee shares thoughts on ending gerrymandering with Rep. Ron Kind.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – A packed crowd filled the room at Western Technical College where U.S. Rep. Ron Kind held his first listening event of the year.

Kind holds the tours every year going to each of the counties in his district to get feedback from residents as he prepares legislation and discussion in Washington.

One topic asked by residents was on the National Emergency for the border wall. Kind said the declaration is not how the Constitution is set up.

Kind believes that’s why a number of Republican lawmakers voted for the house bill blocking the national

Attendees listen to discussions at Rep. Ron Kind's listening tour.
Attendees listen to discussions at Rep. Ron Kind’s listening tour.

emergency. Despite that, there is not enough votes in Congress to override President Trump’s veto. So he says they must now must rely in the court system.

He says if it goes through though, it could have lasting effects.

“It sets a very bad precedent for future presidents to be able to declare an emergency that they want for them to be able to grab money and spend it for anything that they want,” Kind said. “I don’t think our founding fathers envisioned that type of system of government.”

Kind says there is more the government can do to secure the southern border and feels that can be done with bipartisanship.

Other residents brought up a need to end gerrymandering and efforts to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint.

Kind also touched on a proposal from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. called “Green New Deal.” It’s a set of goals for drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the nation while also looking to create jobs in green energy.

Kind says Congress and the nation are long overdue to take the threat of global warming seriously.

“We ought to be emphasizing the quicker development and deployment of alternative and renewable sources. Those sources are more sustainable in the future. There’s a lot more that we can be doing. At a minimum, we ought to be deploying all of the already existing technology for energy efficiency,” Kind added.

He says if the nation can do the latter, it would reduce the carbon footprint of the U.S. by one-third.

Rep. Kind has two other listening sessions this week-one in Monroe County on Tuesday, and another in Vernon County on Thursday.

Jeremy Culver

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