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Congressman Cliff Bentz speaks to Jackson County residents at town hall

Congressman Cliff Bentz held a town hall at the Jackson County Expo on Tuesday, addressing everything from climate change to gun rights to inflation.

Posted: Nov 9, 2021 5:56 PM
Updated: Nov 9, 2021 6:08 PM

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — US Representative Cliff Bentz returned to Jackson County on Tuesday for a town hall with constitutents, less than a month after visiting with local leaders for a briefing on the proliferation of illegal marijuana grows in southern Oregon.

This time Rep. Bentz came to the Padgham Pavilion at the Expo, marking his 12th town hall this year for the 20 counties in Oregon's massive 2nd Congressional District.

After a brief introduction, Bentz opened up the microphone to the more than one hundred constituents in attendance, allowing them to address their biggest questions and concerns.

Throughout the town hall, multiple topics surfaced — including vaccine mandates across several industries. Bentz voiced his support for the National Defense Authorization Act which he believes must be passed to counter potential threats such as China. He also spoke about his approval of former president Trump, citing his policies.

One topic that emerged repeatedly was climate change and its growing impacts locally.

"What we have to do is what I did in the National Resource Committee in Washington, DC," Bentz said. "When we had the Secretary of the Interior appearing before us. And I said, madame Secretary, you look out the window ... that's Oregon going over our heads here in Washington, DC — because the smoke from the fires and Oregon was going right over, over the Capitol. For real, if you went outside ... you could, you could smell the trees that used to be here in Oregon. And that's the way you do it. You bring it to the attention of the nation and you say, we've got to do something."

Bentz added that the issue has become incredibly large-scale and it needs to proper national recognition.

Despite the urgency of the Congressman's last visit to Jackson County and his recent letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, the issue of illegal marijuana did not come up during the town hall meeting proper. NewsWatch 12 asked him about it following the meeting.

"I would hope that between now and next year, we would have found some additional people to help your local law enforcement teams to address this issue," Rep. Bentz said. "This is a bad situation ... too many people being threatened and intimidated and scared. That's not good for your community. It's bad. And too many folks, that are being taken advantage of working inside those grows. So something needs to be done."

The Congressman said that in addition to the AG, he has reached out to the FBI and the DEA to consider bringing more federal law enforcement resources to the problem next season.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 549942

Reported Deaths: 5908
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah91246935
Washington66239461
Marion53184568
Clackamas48202458
Lane42140396
Deschutes36193225
Jackson33315409
Linn19533221
Umatilla18893190
Douglas15964322
Yamhill13371168
Josephine12835290
Polk11462112
Klamath10887178
Benton1076146
Coos8224128
Malheur672895
Columbia569066
Jefferson554070
Lincoln502762
Crook451662
Union402765
Wasco378250
Clatsop353937
Tillamook284354
Hood River277138
Baker267940
Curry253640
Morrow247526
Grant130917
Harney130034
Lake115323
Wallowa95913
Sherman2303
Gilliam2244
Wheeler1652
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 7326549

Reported Deaths: 78101
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles234382128181
San Diego6411724547
Riverside5167235599
San Bernardino4991406258
Orange4871995941
Santa Clara2456731986
Sacramento2350502598
Alameda2030591566
Fresno1932342425
Kern1917411974
Contra Costa1547751085
Ventura1494071245
San Joaquin1413831957
Stanislaus1122251512
San Francisco103373694
Tulare1025111196
San Mateo94920644
Santa Barbara69671581
Monterey65883650
Sonoma64933429
Solano64606391
Placer55976510
Merced54745718
Imperial50370819
San Luis Obispo43050381
Kings41890392
Santa Cruz33640237
Madera31559336
Butte31274347
Yolo30735270
Shasta29382508
Marin28360251
El Dorado23973175
Napa20209109
Sutter17892198
Humboldt14600128
Yuba13555101
Nevada13121111
Tehama11815142
Mendocino11152109
San Benito1082990
Tuolumne970091
Lassen899459
Lake8245117
Amador682073
Unassigned61533
Calaveras581494
Siskiyou549762
Glenn524439
Del Norte431443
Colusa373021
Inyo372749
Mono27294
Plumas231512
Mariposa227218
Trinity113019
Modoc8526
Sierra2690
Alpine1180
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