Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA 8) addressed about 50 demonstrators in his Washington DC office after they traveled to the nation's capitol as part of a protest organized by Working Washington.
Among those who traveled was Jamel Moxey, a and who raised concerns on behalf of all students struggling to find job prospects and burdened by hefty student loans.
Though the group showed up at Reichert's office without an appointment, Reichert surprised them by coming in through the elevator behind them and talking with them.
"I got to give him credit. He took time out of his day to talk to us," said Moxey, who is studying for an associate degree in communications and hopes to eventually get a business management degree.
The group of about 50 demonstrators in Reichert's office were part of a reported 3,500 to 4,000 demonstrators nationwide who came to the nation's capitol to talk to legislators about concerns such as Social Security, job creation, funding education, and extending unemployment insurance benefits, according to Working Washington, a group that organizes for progressive causes.
The week-long demonstration, organized by Working Washington and other progressive organizations nationwide, is called "Take Back the Capitol."
The demonstrators also went to see other Washington state legislators, including Republican Congresswomen Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R -WA 5) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R - WA 3), said spokesman Nathan Jackson.
Patch has not received a call back from Reichert's office seeking a response and a characterization of the meeting, but Reichert's Twitter account reported:
Met with #99inDC outside my office today. We had a productive discussion about unemployment and the economy.
While giving Reichert credit for talking to the group, Jackson said they still don't feel that Reichert and the group see eye-to-eye on key issues such as shipping jobs overseas, and Reichert's endorsement of what Working Washington characterized as an expansion of free trade agreements.
"Reichert said that someone is going to get hurt, and we got the impression that someone is going to be us, not the corporations," Jackson said.
Moxey, 18, said that the demonstrations show that politicians need to pay attention to the concerns of college-aged Americans.
"I am from where the next generation will be coming from, the next leaders, the people who will hold clout in the future," he said.
stretches from Reichert's home city of Auburn, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Duvall, down to Eatonville and Mount Rainier National Park.