Bob Goodlatte (R-VA, 6th District)
Email: Click here for his email form.
What and Where is VA 6th?
VA 6th covers much of west-central Virginia, including most of the Shenandoah Valley and 12 counties. Cities in this district include Roanoke, Lynchburg, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Buena Vista, and of course Staunton and Waynesboro. While this area contains several traditionally conservative counties, redistricting has given VA 6th its extensive coverage of these areas.
Demographics and Voting Habits of VA 6th
The 6th district is about 86% White, 11% African American, 2% Hispanic, and less than 2% other racial and ethnic groups, including Asian American and Native American.
A Republican stronghold, it is considered a “safe” district. Consequently, Goodlatte knows he can avoid his constituents without fear of losing re-election. He has not held a public, in-person town hall meeting here since 2013. Goodlatte ran on the issue of term limits in 1993 and has been the reigning incumbent ever since.
Three main goals regarding Goodlatte:
- Get Goodlatte to commit to an in-person, public town hall meeting.
- Keep showing up to his Open Door meetings, which are held by his staff every 3rd Tuesday of the month from 11:30 A.M. – 1:00 P.M. at the Waynesboro Public Library (600 S. Wayne Ave).
- Run someone against Goodlatte and unseat him.
Why is Goodlatte so important?
Goodlatte is Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which is broadly in charge of oversight and issues related to justice within federal courts and agencies. All told, the HJC has a wide breadth of responsibilities on issues including:
- Immigration law
- Health care
- Gun reform
- Abortion and contraception access and funding
- Ethics and oversight
Calls to impeach Trump have been raised across all political parties at this point, but the House Judiciary Committee would have to move to start that process. Even if impeached, conviction would have to pass House. This means the impeachment process would be largely in the hands of Goodlatte — who has staunchly backed Trump.
Actions as Chairman
Bob Goodlatte is in a powerful position. He believes that his secure, gerrymandered district gives him a mandate to act without listening to his constituents. Just in 2017, he and/or his staff have:
- Proposed dismantling independent oversight. This was so poorly received across America that even Pres. Trump came out in opposition to the measure.
- Helped to draft Pres. Trump’s infamous “Muslim ban” executive order.
- Gone to Dubai during the Congressional recess — a time when he ought to have been meeting with us, his constituents — to smooth over fears about the Trump administration’s new draconian immigration restrictions.
- Buried Rep. Nadler’s Resolution of Inquiry regarding disclosure of documents related to alleged ties between the Trump administration and Russia.
Goodlatte also sits on the House Committee on Agriculture. The decisions made there affect the environment as well as the livelihoods of many in the rural parts of VA 6th.
We have no access to one of the most influential members of Congress. Goodlatte hides behind phone town halls, where he can control the conversation in his favor. In these “meetings,” thousands of people call in from across the district — meaning that only a few get to speak to him. He will speak privately to private groups, but seems afraid to face us directly. This is a far cry from the engaged, concerned Republican Virginia elected in 1993.
If you would like to take action regarding Goodlatte:
- Check out our Facebook page in the sidebar for many Action Opportunities targeting Goodlatte. Keep flooding his offices with calls, emails, and faxes.
- Post or tweet about our absent Congressman with the hashtag #WhereIsBob?
- Write Letters to the Editor of your local paper(s) asking why Goodlatte is so out of touch.
- Show up at his Open Door Meetings at Waynesboro Public Library (600 S. Wayne Ave.) every 3rd Tuesday from 11:30 – 1:00 to talk to his staff.
- Join Indivisible and other action groups in rallies, office visits, and more.