WOODBURY, Minn. (KMSP) - Congressman Jason Lewis is fighting back after protesters demonstrated at his Woodbury home on Wednesday. Lewis says he is “appalled” and worried about security. But the protesters counter it's their only way to reach their elected official, who has refused to participate in public town hall meetings.
Organizers claim the demonstration lasted about 15 minutes on the congressman’s front stoop.
The group was made up of approximately 20 protesters brought together by Take Action Minnesota, a grassroots organization fighting for progressive causes.
In front of his home, they spoke out against potential cuts to Medicaid.
“Yesterday’s action was really the last resort,” said Kenza Hadj-Moussa, the communications director of Take Action MN.
She argues that 2nd district constituents are frustrated that Congressman Lewis has declined to host any public town hall meetings. She says some felt their only way to get their message across was to go to his home during the August legislative recess when lawmakers are typically back in their districts.
“When we’re talking about Medicaid, people’s lives are on table,” said Hadj-Moussa. “So when people’s lives are on the table, if someone says we’re taking it too far, look at what we’re talking about.”
Lewis, a former conservative radio talk show host, sees the issue as a dangerous escalation of rhetoric.
“I’m very concerned where this is going,” said Lewis.
He took to social media overnight to decry the protest tactics that he claims violated rules of private property and disrupted his Woodbury neighborhood.
Earlier in the week, a separate group marched right into his Burnsville district office.
Lewis argues he is in constant contact with his constituents through other channels, believing town hall events have become political theater and not a venue for productive conversations.
“They don’t want dialogue or to let other constituents speak, they want to turn them into a spectacle,” said Lewis. “I have responsibility to represent all my constituents. Do not have to hold a spectacle for my partisan political opponents.”
No one was home at the Lewis house on Wednesday during the demonstration.
According to Woodbury police, the city bans targeted picketing in residential neighborhoods. It’s a misdemeanor offense.