As many representatives return to their home districts to make their usual visits and host town hall meetings this week, Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York’s First Congressional District has not met with his constituents in Suffolk County. On February 21, nearly 100 people gathered outside of the representatives Patchogue office, chanting “Where is Lee?” and “Meet with us! It’s your job!” The rally participants spoke out against a number of policies that Congressman Zeldin supports, including the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the construction of the Border Wall.
Jackie Rooney, a resident present at the rally, told Long Island Wins that she came to the rally to protest the anti-immigrant sentiments of the current administration. “With all the hate and all the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has been going on and presented by this President and supported by our Congressman, we definitely want to make our voice heard,” she said, “Our congressman is ignoring us right now, he doesn’t want to hear from us, he doesn’t want to hold a town hall. We email him, we call him and we really don’t get a response. So we are here to make a statement to him and the community that we will not go away and we will definitely want to eventually meet with him and voice our concerns.”
Protestor Margaret Bell echoed the same sentiment about being ignored by Congressman Zeldin when she told Long Island Wins: “I am both disappointed today in Peter King and Lee Zeldin for not having the guts to stand up to Donald Trump. They are going along with things that many of their constituents do not want and they refuse to listen to them.”
There were ten counter-protesters standing on the other side of the sidewalk, holding up of signs of support, including “We Stand With Lee” and campaign flags for President Donald Trump. There was little interaction between the two groups, save for when both groups came together to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.