The following article by Colby Itkowitz was posted on the Washington Post website February 17, 2017:
Nathan Williams is no novice to the political process. But suddenly there’s a crop of people newly engaged and eager to participate, and since the November election, he’s been looking for ways to help those people channel their desired activism.
He just didn’t know one idea would turn into a full-time endeavor.
The 36-year-old freelance filmmaker, who has worked on political campaigns off and on since Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential run, was talking to a friend, Jimmy Dahman, another campaign veteran, about the lack of easily accessible information for people who want to meet their members of Congress. So, with a handful of other volunteers, they started compiling schedules of congressional town halls, both in-person meetings and over the phone, and shared it through a Google document in late January, updating the spreadsheet with new information as they got it.
But Williams couldn’t have imagined the overwhelming demand for such a simple database. He said he thought he and a few others would spend several hours a week on their Town Hall Project. Instead it has morphed into a full-time job, with an army of 100 volunteers fanned out across the country each assigned to monitor the goings-on in several congressional districts.
Reminiscent of the 2009 town halls where the newly formed tea party flooded meetings over the impending health-care bill, this year’s congressional town halls — particularly Republican ones — are already seeing similar levels of furor over what is happening in Washington under President Trump. By early February, Williams’s Google document was being shared all over social media, including from celebrities like Lin-Manuel Miranda: