Twitter: Cardboard Cory

Senator Cory Gardner Hasn't Held a Town Hall in Over a Year, so His Constituents Have Been Taking a Cardboard Cutout of Him to Events

August recess is supposed to be the time when members of Congress return home to their states and districts to meet with their constituents, but many are nowhere to be found. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) last participated in a solo, public townhall in March 2016, so his constituents are highlighting his absence by bringing a cardboard cutout of the senator to public events across the state of Colorado. Indivisible groups have organized to bring "Cardboard Cory," as he's called, to events so constituents can ask him questions.

"This project came about because we...noticed that for every recess this year, Senator Gardner conspicuously posts pictures of places and people he's met with around the state, but none of those meetings were open to the public. It was clear to us that the purpose was to make himself appear is if he's really listening to Coloradans, but he wasn't actually making himself accessible to the majority of the state," said Katie Farnan, one of the organizers of Cardboard Cory.

"We figured that if [the Colorado Indivisible groups] combined our efforts... we could create an August recess calendar that would be appropriate for a sitting senator of a purple state, so we made outreach to groups across the state to host "[C]ardboard Cory" events in nearly every major city, which is what we felt our own senator should at least attempt to do."

Cardboard Cory seems to have made an impact on Senator Gardner. "Since we launched our monthlong campaign, Senator Gardner participated in one joint town hall forum in Durango with 3 other Colorado officials, giving less than 36 hours' notice of the event," said Farnan. "We praised him for his participation in that single event, but we also note that Cardboard Cory has 36+ events scheduled for the month, all across the state, with notice given well in advance at ."

Farnan says that the reception has been "overwhelmingly positive," and that constituents are eager to ask Cardboard Cory their questions.

"The best story is that when we went to pick up the cutouts... from the print shop, we were stopped by people clapping, and got two videos of people asking questions right there in front of the store. That's because people are really...concerned about the way Senator Gardner is legislating on behalf of Colorado," states Farnan.

Cardboard Cory's calendar of events is online at You can get involved by creating your own cutout of an absentee elected official, connecting with a local Indivisible group, and calling your elected officials often. You can visit Indivisible's August in Action resource guide for more tools and ideas