Davis Protesters Ask 'Where's Rodney?'

Feb 7, 2017

Sporting a life-size photograph that asked "Where's Rodney?" about a hundred demonstrators gathered outside Republican Rep. Rodney Davis' district office in Normal to urge the congressman to speak out against much of the Trump administration's agenda.

The demonstration was called by Illinois People's Action, a social justice group.

Jen Carillo, a longtime IPA leader, criticized Davis for failing to speak out against Trump administration plans to weaken clean air and water regulations, repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, ban refugees and step up deportation of thousands of undocumented residents who have family living legally in the U.S.

"We are hoping to get a clear message to Representative Davis that silence is complicity and he needs to represent the people in his district, and the people in his district are here making it clear they don't support the actions the president has taken," Carillo said.

"This is just the beginning of what will hopefully swell into a nationwide resistance," said William Rau, a retired Illinois State University professor and environmental activist.

Rau complained that Davis "has had a staunchly anti environmental agenda."

He challenged Davis to "decide if he represents his constituents who see Trump as a constitutional threat, a threat to our constitutional governance, or be branded a Trump loyalist."

A spokeswoman for Davis called the demonstration a "political protest" and referred requests for comment to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Maddie Anderson, a spokeswoman for the NRCC issued a statement that said, "If protesters across the country spent as much time trying to actually work with members of Congress like Rodney Davis -- who has always been an independent voice for his district -- as they do protesting, they would be surprised at what they could accomplish."

Anderson also complained that protesters had left "vulgar" messages taped to Davis' office window.

Dawn Dannenbring of IPA called the protest "respectful" and said "I did not see any messages that had anything vulgar on it." She said she had tried as recently as last week to set up a meeting with Davis to express the concerns she says she has heard from McLean County residents.

Several of the protesters predicted there will be a backlash against Davis if he seeks reelection. Carillo said the demonstrations at his district office would continue every Tuesday at noon.