By Brooke Hebb, DCD Political Consultant Intern
Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-8), who serves Michigan’s Congressional District 8, hosted a Community Conversation at Oakland University on Monday, November 16 to discuss pressing topics as she finishes up her first year in Congress. The event was hosted by Oakland University’s Center for Civic Engagement, in a large auditorium in the new addition to the university’s Oakland Center. Over four hundred residents of the eighth district attended, and were met with various anti-impeachment and Trump 2020 protests. This event took place just after Slotkin released an op-ed column announcing her support for impeachment in the Detroit Free Press. Read the article here.
The conversation started with a warm welcome from Dr. Dave Dulio, an Oakland University professor and director of the Center for Civic Engagement. Dulio explained the Center’s main tenants, which include acting as a neutral “convener of conversations” on a variety of political issues and topics.
The room was then filled with boos and cheers as the congresswoman’s deputy chief of staff introduced her to the stage. After the crowd quieted, Slotkin reassured the audience that although impeachment is the main topic of conversation, she wanted to touch on other important issues confronting Congress. She began by discussing prescription drug costs, and the bipartisan action she has been a part of to address this issue faced by many Americans. House Resolution 3 (H.R.3), which she was a major player in, addresses the increasing costs of drugs, Medicare coverage for regular dental, vision, and hearing check-ups, and federal investments in the National Institute of Health.
In addition to her work on drug prices, Representative Slotkin also touched on the United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement (USMCA), also known as NAFTA 2.0, and the benefits the agreement could have on Michigan farmers and auto parts suppliers. The Congresswoman also described her role in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and how she was able to help Gold Star Families obtain nearly $12,000 more per year by repealing the infamous Widow’s Tax, in addition to limitations on PFAS chemicals in military training exercises.
As for the hot topic of conversation — impeachment — protests erupted as Slotkin addressed her position on supporting the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump. The Congresswoman explained that she had originally preferred to rely on the upcoming 2020 election to let the American people decide on President Trump’s fate; however, after the President’s conversation with a foreign power regarding political opponent Joe Biden, Slotkin supported an inquiry into the President’s supposed wrongdoings.
Representative Slotkin explained that she came to her decision to support impeachment after a diligent process of reading and reviewing transcripts, testimonies, and even referring back to the articles of impeachment for President’s Nixon and Clinton, United States Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. Slotkin claims that her decision was made out of principle: the President’s behaviors in consulting with a foreign entity for personal political gain should not become a norm, and that “this is bigger than politics.” Her decision is monumental, as it may determine the fate of her political career in the 2020 election in which she is running for re-election.
Congresswoman Slotkin is set to vote “yes” on both articles of impeachment this week. The first,
Obstruction of Congress, which accuses the President of defying the impeachment inquiry; and the
second, Abuse of Power, which accuses the President of soliciting the interference of a foreign
government in the 2020 election for personal political gain. Her decision was met with a mixture of backlash and support.
I was proud to represent the firm at Representative Slotkin’s Community Conversation. As always, do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have.