Beto O’Rourke: Cabinet secretaries would hold monthly town halls

Beto O’Rourke said Monday he would require his Cabinet to hold monthly town hall meetings if he is elected president in 2020.

The former Texas congressman said he would sign an executive order on his first day in office requiring the town halls “to listen to you and to be accountable to you so that we deliver for you.”

“Not a handpicked audience. Not a theatrical production. But a real, live, town hall meeting — not just to answer questions, but to be held accountable,” O’Rourke told progressive activists at the We the People Summit in Washington.

The approach would match O’Rourke’s own history. He held at least one town hall meeting per month during his six years in Congress, and, during a failed 2018 Senate bid, visited all 254 counties in Texas. He launched his presidential campaign last month with nearly two weeks filled with question-and-answer sessions in early-voting states.

The commitment to monthly town halls by Cabinet members came as part of a planned rollout from O’Rourke’s campaign, which immediately following his comment at the summit with a news release, in which O’Rourke said that “we must ensure that the people of this country can hold their government to account for the decisions it makes in their name.”

The Democratic presidential candidate also said at the summit he would choose a Cabinet that “reflects the diversity, the ingenuity, the genius of a country of 330 million people.”

“We will not have people who have corporate interests serving this country in those positions of public trust. There’ll only be people who have the public interest in those positions of public trust,” he said.