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Letter: Collins doesn’t represent the people in his district

Collins doesn’t represent the people in his district

I am a 110-pound glasses-wearing fourth-grade “room mom” and Rep. Chris Collins is afraid of me. In fact, Collins is afraid of every hard-working mom and dad fighting to make ends meet, every young adult struggling with college debt and every senior citizen terrified of changes to Social Security and Medicare. What makes my friends and neighbors in the 27th District so frightening to a multimillionaire congressman? The answer is simple: Collins knows that he does not represent our interests.

Collins lives in an echo chamber of the ultra-wealthy and he is never forced to listen to, learn about or address the needs of those of us in the 99 percent. We are the heart of our communities; the real people working and living and dying in an economy defined by massive wealth inequality that benefits men like Collins while leaving the rest of us behind.

In four years, Collins has never once held a public town hall forum to answer our questions. He does not return phone calls to his office and he never engages in meaningful debate on the issues that matter to his district. The only public appearances Collins bothers to make are at $500-a-plate GOP fundraisers, in whiskey-filled Republican back rooms, or at photo ops carefully orchestrated to provide the illusion that Collins actually works for the people.

Gross gerrymandering has allowed Collins to serve as congressman in name only, collecting a huge government check while ignoring the needs and concerns of the people in his district. He is afraid to answer our questions, so he simply hides in his mansion and ignores us. Congressional representatives are charged with representing all of their constituents, but Collins has made it clear that he represents only one: himself.

Andrea Nikischer

Hamburg

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