Senator also hosted events, answered questions in Madras, Prineville
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., held the first of three Central Oregon town halls Saturday morning at Ridgeview High School in Redmond, answering questions on a variety of topics.
Merkley began his remarks by recognizing the Latino Community Association, giving the organization an American flag that was flown over the capitol.
Merkley then answered questions from the crowd. Among the topics covered were climate change, mental health, the dangers of social media and the current situation in Iran, following President Trump's order to assassinate an Iranian commander, a move to which he strongly objected.
“What happened in Iran would be the equivalent of Iran assassinating our secretary of defense," Merkley said. "We need to work incredibly hard to emphasize that the president does not have the constitutional right to take us to war.”
As for climate change, Merkley asked everyone in the audience to "take a deep breath and hold it for three seconds."
"That air you just had in your lungs, and I had in my lungs is very different from the air when I was born," he said. "It has 33 percent more carbon."
When the talk turned to social media, the senator pointed out the tradeoffs: that technology can connect us as never before, but social media also can spread fake news, even prompt violence.
Merkley also held town halls Saturday in Madras and Prineville. He will host two more Sunday, in Gilliam and Grant counties.