Lakewood, Colo. – On Saturday, September 14, 2019, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) held the 100th Government in the Grocery in Lakewood, Colorado. During the event, Perlmutter met with about 15 constituents and discussed issues ranging from immigration and impeachment to environmental concerns and student loan debt.
Perlmutter started the Government in the Grocery program when he first took office in 2007 in order to better hear from constituents and meet them in their local community. The first Government in the Grocery was held on January 27, 2007 in Wheat Ridge. Perlmutter holds these events on a regular basis at different grocery stores in cities across the 7th Congressional District and meets with constituents one-on-one about whatever is on their mind.
“I believe being accessible and engaging often with constituents is essential to the fabric of our democracy,” said Perlmutter. “The Government in the Grocery program is an easy and convenient way for constituents to share their concerns, ideas and questions and, in turn, makes me a better representative.”
While the average attendance ranges from 20 to 30 people, some events have seen upward of 200 people. For example, in 2009 during the Affordable Care Act debate and in 2017 after President Trump first took office. Over the years, Perlmutter has met with hundreds of constituents during these informal meetings on topics ranging from jobs, mortgage issues, the economy, Veteran issues, national budget, national security, Medicare, debt, education, medical research, health care, human rights, animal rights, war and many others. Ideas for legislation, support for legislation, constituent assistance and more have resulted from these meetings.
Below are a few success stories from past Government in the Grocery events:
In July 2019, a constituent attended an event to ask for help expunging dismissed charges from the FBI database. Perlmutter’s office inquired about the matter and worked with the FBI to clear the charges within a matter of weeks, enabling the constituent to continue to pursue his career ambitions.
Visits from the Citizens Climate Lobby over the last few years resulted in Perlmutter’s cosponsorship of H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019.
In 2007/2008, a couple from Bennet, CO recommended a few ideas which were ultimately included in Perlmutter’s G.R.E.E.N. Act and have been incorporated in related legislation that has passed through Congress.
A constituent was having trouble with CHP+ about getting his daughter's health care reinstated. Perlmutter and his staff made calls to CHP+ and health care was reinstated within two days.
Many constituents were indirect victims in the Madoff Ponzi Scheme. Perlmutter personally met with these constituents on a regular basis and worked with other members of Congress to pass legislation to help all indirect victims recoup at least a portion of their losses.
Perlmutter met with small business restaurant owners who needed access to a loan to expand their restaurant and connected them with several financial institutions who were able to make a loan and help the owners open a new restaurant.
As a result of interactions with constituents at a Government in the Grocery, Perlmutter agreed to cosponsor the following legislation:
H.R. 178: Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act which gives spouses of deceased service members their full life insurance payments
H.R. 2239: Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act
H.R. 733: Pancreatic Cancer Research and Education Act
H.R. 639: Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act which levels the playing field against unfair Chinese currency manipulation which hurts US manufacturers
H.R. 835: Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (PUPS Act) which cracks down on puppy mills