Residents cheered loudly at a City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 28, as answers were demanded from Mayor Wendy Bucknum about the nature of her meeting with California 45th Congressional Representative Mimi Walters last Thursday.
Approximately 75 residents attended the meeting, seven of whom rose to speak during the public comments portion to inquire about what Mayor Bucknum discussed with the ever-elusive congresswoman.
Resident Amy Stevens, who has lived in the city for some 30 years, asked Mayor Bucknum to “intervene on behalf of the residents of Mission Viejo — and in the city’s interest — to implore Ms. Walters to hold an open forum town hall during the next district work week.”
Congresswoman Walters has ignored repeated requests over the past two months to hold a town hall, despite a petition signed by nearly 1,300 constituents from California’s 45th Congressional District. Calls for a town hall meeting reached a fever pitch last week as the Congresswoman traveled home for District Work Week; while Walters found time to meet with lobbyists, media outlets and donors, she did not schedule face-to-face time with constituents in a town hall meeting.
Others who spoke at the City Council meeting expressed fears over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and rhetoric, and pointed out that immigrants in Mission Viejo only make the city’s economy stronger.
“I’m fearful that our representative does not value inclusion, she does not value speaking up for the majority of our district that are appalled by the hatred from the President’s mouth and his actions in these last few weeks,” said resident Kailey Wright.
Other concerns mentioned include the Congresswoman’s support of bills that harm the environment and limit women’s reproductive rights.
Mayor Bucknum did not address her meeting with Congresswoman Walters, despite repeated requests. Councilmember Greg Raths used his time during the council members’ reports of events and activities to express a similar frustration in trying to engage with the Congresswoman, to no avail.
California 45th is a nonpartisan constituent group based in Orange County, Calif. The group is entirely volunteer based, and is made up of residents of the California 45th Congressional District.