State Rep. Matthew Hill to host 4th annual 'Community Day'

Zach Vance • Aug 18, 2017 at 9:33 PM

A local legislator will make his first public appearance since the Charlottesville, Virginia, protests while hosting an annual social event Saturday. 

For the fourth year in a row, Jonesborough state Rep. Matthew Hill is inviting the public to attend his “Community Day” event at the Telford Diner, 109 Mill St., Telford, from 3-7 p.m.

Hill invites “the hardworking families who live in House District 7 to join him for free food, music and fellowship,” a press release from his office stated. No invitation or reservation is required to attend. 

“This is one of my favorite events every year because it gives me an opportunity to visit with the residents who live in our community in a more informal setting,” Hill was quoted in the press release. “We always have a great turnout, and I believe that will continue again this year.” 

Hill was unavailable for comment Friday.

Last year’s event drew approximately 400 people, and the heightened interest in politics as a result of the 2016 presidential election, will likely result in a similar crowd. 

Hill remained silent this week instead of commenting on this weekend’s violent clash between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville over a Confederate monument’s removal, but his name did make headlines due to legislation he proposed last session. 

In February, Hill proposed a bill that would grant civil immunity to drivers who, while exercising due care, may injure protesters blocking public roadways.

The bill didn’t survive a committee vote, but discussion surrounding the topic was revived this week when 32-year-old Heather Heyer died and 19 others were injured after a car rammed through a group of Charlottesville protesters. 

The renewed debate surrounding Confederate monuments resulted in dozens being legally or illegally removed all across the United States. 

Hill’s colleague, state Rep. Micah Van Huss, took an overt approach and posted a passionate proclamation in support of Confederate monuments on his Facebook page. 

“I rarely post political statements on my personal Facebook page. After listening to our President last night, I feel the need to let my constituents know where I stand,” Van Huss wrote above a photo of Stonewall Jackson. 

“Black Lives Matter, the KKK, and Neo-Nazis are racist hate groups and I condemn them. Some of those groups have taken a banner that is dear to my heart and made it one of their symbols. For me, Robert E. Lee’s battle flag is a symbol of freedom. Stonewall Jackson was my father’s hero.

“I’ve supported Ted Cruz for many years. After last night’s truth session, I now support President Trump.”

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