I was dismayed to read Representative Kevin Yoder’s response to the protests outside his office. I would have expected someone trying so hard to sound moderate and compassionate to be more … well, moderate and compassionate. The incidents he describes, if they happened at all, were isolated and not representative of the crowd as a whole. The event I attended was peaceful and yes, passionate, but an open and welcoming passion. This was a crowd that scrupulously stayed out of the office parking lot, because we had “been asked to.” This was a crowd that, when a small group arrived in masks and flags unconnected to our cause, refused to engage so that our message would not be derailed. But why should I be surprised or dismayed by Yoder’s response? Kevin Yoder has continuously dismissed every effort we’ve made to connect with him as political stunt. He has continuously dismissed anyone who disagrees with him as mere “activists,” -- a different class of citizens than “constituents,” apparently. Citizen engagement, according to our Congressman, should only be done on his terms. If Congressman Yoder were less inclined to be dismissive, he might have seen the protesters for what we are: a group of deeply concerned citizens trying desperately to reach our elected official the only way we believe we can. Much of our anger and fear was directed at Yoder, yes, but this was not about him. It was and is about the children at the border, still separated from their families. It’s about their parents, who only want what all parents want: a chance to see their children thrive. It’s about welcoming our immigrant friends and neighbors. Congressman Yoder’s response, like his voting record, betrays him. I will be proudly knocking doors for his opposition.