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Hundreds pack Carbajal town hall to voice concerns

Tess Whittlesey
Rep. Salud Carbajal addresses concerns raised by a packed crowd of constituents in Arroyo Grande Wednessday evening.

Central Coast congressman Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) held a town hall meeting in Arroyo Grande Wednesday evening, attracting hundreds of people. KCBX asked Carbajal his reaction to the meeting and the most prevalent concerns voiced there.

“The most pressing concerns I heard last night were the concerns of repealing the Affordable Care Act, especially the attempts to repeal it without replacing it,” Carbajal said.

Carbajal said three other major issues of concern for Central Coast voters are national security and the role Russia played in the 2016 elections; President Trump’s immigration orders and the deportation taking place; and the rollback of environmental protections under the EPA’s new leader, Scott Pruitt.

“Who does not share the valued that have long stood by the Environmental Protection Agency,” Carbajal said.

The congressman says the most striking thing was the number of people who turned out. Carbajal represents the 24th District, which includes San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and northern Ventura counties. In Arroyo Grande, Carbajal appeared on a panel with Cal Poly’s Dr. Priya Verma, San Luis Obispo County Health Officer Penny Borenstein and the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens’ Joyce Ellen.

“There were over 400 members of the community presen...that was amazing,” Carbajal said. “And to hear everybody so passionate, energized and sharing with me their concerns was really energizing for me and giving me the mandate to go back and fight hard and be effective in representing the Central Coast.”

Carbajal says his priority for the next few weeks is doing what he can to block efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and working on environmental and civil rights issues.

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