Dozens disappointed after local legislators a no-show at meeting in Johnson City


Dozens of people are disappointed after local legislators didn't show up to a meeting focused on their constituents' concerns.

The group calls themselves 'Indivisible Tri-Cities' and they've been protesting around the region against both national and local policies. Last week they rallied outside of local state representative Matthew Hill's radio station over a bill he's sponsoring during this general session.

His bill would protect drivers from civil liability if a protestor is hit in the public right of way, and only if the driver is using due care, but protesters see this bill as an attack on free speech.

"I heard his comments that said well these would only be violent protestors, and due care," said one of the group leaders, Lori Love. "Well how do you prove due care, I don't know how you would do that if someone got hit by a car while protesting."

On Sunday evening the group held a meeting in Johnson City and they invited several legislators from the region to attend including state representatives Matthew Hill and Bud Hulsey.

They were hoping for a town hall style meeting where they could ask questions, but none of the leaders turned up to the meeting.

"They represent all of these people," said group member, Judy Garland. "I don't know, I don't understand."

Nearly 100 people gathered for the meeting at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Johnson City. The group said state representative Hulsey initially said he would attend, but then canceled last minute.

News Five called both Hulsey and Hill to ask why they didn't attend, but have not heard back from either of them.

"It affects so many people and they should care about those people," said Garland.

Since they didn't get the town hall they wanted, the group switched gears and discussed several issues amongst themselves including healthcare and climate change. Despite the no-show, the group says they're not giving up.

"Until we can ask the questions we want to ask, then we need to keep pressuring them," said Love.

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