Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Chesco's Dinniman hosts first telephone town hall meeting

WEST CHESTER State Sen. Andrew Dinniman (D., Chester) hosted his first telephone town-hall meeting Monday night, drawing a total of 2,500 households during his hour-long discussion of education issues, specifically his plan to eliminate the Keystone exams as a requirement for graduation from high school.

"I've never been to a town-hall meeting where 2,500 people showed up in a physical space," Dinniman said.

The state Senate Democrats are catching up technologically to their colleagues. About a dozen Republican senators have hosted meetings over the phone since last June. For years, the state House has used the technology that calls constituents en masse and invites them to participate in a phone conversation with their representatives.

State Sen. Matt Smith (D., Allegheny) hosted the first telephone town hall on the Democratic side on June 3. Dinniman followed Monday. Then Sen. Jay Costa (D., Allegheny) had one Tuesday night.

Dinniman said he wanted to host them monthly.

"Some of the commentary saying there's a lessening of civic interest is not true," he said. "We just have to find new ways for people to express that interest." - Michaelle Bond

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