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Letter: Collins needs to address his constituents’ concerns

Collins needs to address his constituents’ concerns

Congressman Chris Collins, who serves Western New York’s 27th District, crosses the line when he repeatedly questions the legitimacy of the press and disregards the concerns of his constituents.

He dismisses local and national news, saying that they “attacked [him] for two months on outright lies, fabrications and distortions.” Yet he gives no factual support for such claims. Reporters and editors verify what they print and strive to meet high standards for journalism. Contrary to claims of “fake news” and “fabricated facts,” Western New Yorkers know that hard-hitting, well-sourced reporting is essential for democracy.

Collins’ behavior toward Western New Yorkers is an additional source of concern. From Lockport to Lancaster to Geneseo, our neighbors have publicly demonstrated the need for Collins to meet with voters to discuss health care, the environment and immigration. Instead, the congressman smears town halls, claiming that they are “orchestrated” campaigns of outside “left-wing activists” and are “not a [good] use of time.” We know better. We see these demonstrators at Wegmans, Delta Sonic and Mighty Taco. They’re our neighbors and we share their unaddressed concerns.

The congressman’s use of his congressional seat as a platform for attack is alarming. His priority is punditry, and his preferred stage is cable news, even “orchestrated” television town halls held far from the realities of Western New York.

Collins’ insults and arrogance make support of our neighbors and the free press our civic duty. Therefore, in our own names and as members of Sister District for Western New York, we join in our community’s demands for the congressman’s honesty, plain talk and accountability.

Jane C. Cameron

Margaret Shannon

On behalf of Sister District for WNY

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