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He Takes His Town Hall Online

A Congressman from the Hudson Valley streamed a town-hall forum Wednesday evening, on Facebook. It was his first town hall via social media, and it’s a trend that one political onlooker says is on the rise.

Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney held a town hall on his congressional Facebook page, via video streaming service Ustream. Constituents posed their questions on Facebook, Twitter, and by e-mail. He began by saying he would hold more town halls, both in person, and electronically. He then read and answered constituent questions for about 30 minutes, responding to questions ranging from gun violence to immigration reform to health care, along with updates about repairs to infrastructure damaged by major storms.

And after talking about the bridge some more, he says:

He hopes to help direct some of the federal Superstorm Sandy relief funding to that project, along with the following.

Shane D’Aprile is the Editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. He says Maloney is not the only Congressman, or elected official, to stream a town hall, but more were taking advantage of the medium on the campaign trail.

He says increasing numbers of elected officials are turning to social media to hold town-hall style forums.

He says he has heard of other congressional representatives in other parts of the country streaming town halls, though he says it is more common for an elected official to stream a tele-town hall through a web site or social network.  Whether live streaming or tweeting, D’Aprile advises that officials turn to at least some form of social media.

And here’s Maloney closing out his live stream.

But it will be the first times for other elected officials, says D’Aprile, as he says he is hearing that more of them are looking to interact with constituents this way.

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