Residents of the Rogue Valley and Representative Greg Walden’s Second Congressional District will share in a number of historical moments surrounding the visit of Pope Francis in September, 2015.
In addition to addressing the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, the Pope will address the UN General Assembly and the joint meeting of Congress in Washington, DC. It will be a first visit to the US for Pope Francis, and a first papal address to Congress.
When Pope Francis addresses Congress on September 24th, thousands of lucky people will have the opportunity to watch via closed circuit television from the West Lawn of the Capitol. Each House member and Senator receives one ticket to attend the address, but they also each received a number of tickets for the West lawn viewing that could be distributed to their constituents. Greg Walden, District Two Oregon representative, is making these tickets available to his District residents.
Wikipedia says, “Oregon’s 2nd congressional district is the largest of Oregon’s five districts, and is the seventh largest district in the nation. The district covers roughly two-thirds of the state, east of the Willamette Valley. It includes all of Baker, Crook, Deschutes, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Wheeler counties, and part of eastern Josephine county, including some of the Grants Pass area.”
Ticketholders are responsible for their own transportation to and from the Nation’s Capital, lodging, and other trip expenses. Tickets may not be sold or given away, and they will only be given to residents of Oregon’s Second District. Oregonians with questions can call Greg Walden at 202-225-6730.
According to Andrew Malcolm, Communications Director for Representative Greg Walden, the deadline for submission is Tuesday, September 8, at 5:00 pm Pacific Time, and those receiving tickets will be contacted for further details. All of the tickets are standing room only, although there will be a limited seating area for those with disabilities. While a clear line-of-sight cannot be guaranteed for all attending the broadcast, the space provides an opportunity for guests to be part of the visit.
The Pope has expressed an interest in making an appearance at the West Lawn area after his remarks.
With the size of the District Two geography and the limited number of tickets, very few Rogue Valley residents will have the opportunity to see the pope, but it is good of Representative Walden to at least make it a possibility!