Dozens protest while Senator Cory Gardner holds closed meeting in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Sen. Cory Gardner was in Colorado Springs Wednesday answering questions from constituents.

He fielded written questions from members of the Chamber of Commerce over a 45-minute period.

“I’ve been around the state listening to businesspeople and chambers,” Gardner said.

The meeting was not open to the public, and that has some concerned their voices aren’t being heard.

“I want to talk to my senator,” Betty Field said as she protested outside the Cheyenne Mountain Resort with about two dozen others. “I looked into joining the Chamber of Commerce so I could meet him, but I’m not going to pay the $400 fee to have coffee with Cory Gardner. He should be available to all of us and talk to us face-to-face in a town hall meeting.”

Gardner defended the move, saying he has the ability to listen to more constituents through tele-town halls.

“We talked to nearly 44,000 people over the last few weeks,” Gardner said.

There was also a group of Mariachis at the meeting. They paid the Chamber fee so they could get in to talk to the senator. They tried to serenade the senator with a special song: “Donde Esta Cory.” It translates to “Where is Cory.” The band was stopped immediately.

“We still weren’t permitted to get a question in,” Protegete Program director Hilda Nucete said. “Latinos are an important part of the Colorado landscape and have concerns that are not getting addressed.”

Ron Eby was also outside protesting.

“I’m not a paid protester,” Eby said. “I’ve always been active politically, but since losing my job as an engineer, I’m out four times a week. I want our senator to talk to us, face to face.”

When asked if he would have a face to face town hall,  Gardner said there are other ways to be heard.

“We’ll continue to do everything we can to be in Colorado Springs. My staff has met with many of the same people who were out in front today,” he said. “If they weren’t, I hope they’ll sit down and have a conversation with our office.”

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