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We invited U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) to tour B’nai B’rith Apartments in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., to meet with residents and discuss the critical importance of housing for adults with limited means.

The Times Leader has coverage of the tour and Rep. Cartwright’s “Coffee with a Congressman.” Scroll down to read the story or click to read it on

WILKES-BARRE — Everything from health care and the economy to voter fraud and potential election interference by Russia came up during a “Coffee with your Congressman” event Tuesday hosted by U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright.

For Linda Troia of Exeter, the relationship between President Donald Trump and the Russian leadership has her more than concerned.

“It’s very scary to me,” Troia said. “There are several issues there. What’s not to be concerned about? We have to rein the Orange Man in.”

The “Orange Man,” of course, was a reference to Trump and his skin tone.

Troia said she has respect for the office of the presidency, but she can’t believe the stories that come out every day about Trump, his family, the administration and, again, the Russians.

‘The American people have to be unified,” Troia said. “This current situation is frightening.”

Cartwright, D-Moosic, told a group gathered in the community room at B’nai B’rith Apartments that hearing from them “is my job.”

“This is why the Founding Fathers established the House of Representatives, mandating that its members run for re-election every two years. They wanted us to be close with the people. That’s why it’s called the People’s House,” said Cartwright.

Noting he serves on the House Appropriations Committee, the lawmaker also heard about providing federal dollars to boost the local economy.

“This is all information well worth hearing,” he said. “This tells me what’s important to the people and my job is to work hard in Congress to get things done to help my constituents.”

Martha Hart, who lives in the B’nai B’rith Apartments, said Medicaid is her number one concern. She intended to tell Cartwright to do all he can to save the program. Hart also is concerned about the possibility of losing her housing assistance. She wants Cartwright to bring her concerns to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“If I lose my help with housing and Medicare, I’m done,” Hart said.

Bob Fox of West Pittston was there to talk about funding for health care services that are designed to keep people out of nursing homes. He said if federal dollars are taken away, many more people will have to leave their homes to go into nursing facilities.

“Believe me, I will fight for every federal dollar I can get my hands on for all these programs,” Cartwright said. “Especially economic development. People are desperate for new, better-paying jobs.”

Peter Gagliardi of Wilkes-Barre wants to see what can be done to tone down all the political rhetoric that permeates the news every day.

“President Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Tip O’Neill did it in the eighties, why can’t it be done now?” Gagliardi asked.

John Gyory of Exeter wanted to talk to Cartwright about climate solutions.

“The Republicans don’t seem to believe in global warming,” Gyory said. “We have to get the conversation going again. We can’t walk away from it while the rest of the world gets more and more concerned.”

$1.5M grant

While in Wilkes-Barre, Cartwright announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded $1,537,154 to the Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern PA.

Health Center Program grants support a variety of community-based and public and private nonprofits that serve medically under-served and vulnerable populations.

“This funding will continue to provide families and individuals with the preventive care and treatment they need to live healthy lives,” Cartwright said. “Community health centers remain a crucial part of our system to provide everyone with access to affordable, quality care.”