Last Saturday, more than 600 residents of the 6th District of Illinois filled the pews of the First United Methodist Church of Glen Ellyn for the Town Hall for Our Lives — but one anticipated guest was missing in action. Our congressman, Peter Roskam, declined to meet with his constituents face to face, to hear their concerns about the plague of gun violence roiling this country and to offer possible solutions.

SEND LETTERS TO: letters@suntimes.com. Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

I’m one of Roskam’s constituents, and I’ve grown increasingly frustrated by his unwillingness over the last 10 years to meet with constituents in anything but carefully choreographed and controlled circumstances. In declining the invitation of the west suburban teenagers who organized the Town Hall for Our Lives, Roskam’s office held out the possibility of another meeting in a private setting where Roskam’s responses would be shielded from public scrutiny.

I’ve voted for Roskam in the past, but I’ve come to realize that a representative who fails to meet with constituents in a free and open exchange is a representative who is failing his first duty to those who elected him. Fortunately, Roskam’s Democratic challenger, Sean Casten, not only showed up to the students’ town hall, but listened thoughtfully and answered every question posed by the audience. It turns out Roskam’s failure is Casten’s opportunity, and after seeing the respect, intelligence and good humor Casten offers the constituents of the 6th District, Roskam is right to be afraid. I predict an upset come November.

Elaine Cook, Downers Grove

Don’t stop at consolidating pension funds 

Madeleine Doubek had an excellent column in the April 10 Sun-Times regarding state pension funds, stating that consolidating Illinois’ state pension funds would make them more financially sound. Now, if we could just apply that ‘business model’ to our state government. We currently have nearly 7,000 local government agencies, the most in the country. The next closest state is Texas, with about 5,500. Does anyone else, besides me, see the insanity of the cost of bloated government in Illinois?

Mike Rice, Jefferson Park

Loyola instructors deserve pay raise

The Bible says something about the workers being worthy of their wages.  In today’s world, any sizeable company that is not borderline insolvent gives workers at least a token annual pay raise.  The non-tenured instructors at Loyola have had no increase in 10 years!

The priests at Loyola are to be praised for their vow of poverty, albeit they are well cared for. But their daily prayers should include a plea for forgiveness and the insight to do the right thing by their workers.

Dan McGuire, Bensenville

Deerfield’s gun ban restricts rights

Deerfield recently passed regulations banning AR-15 rifles and high-capacity magazines along with other things.   Did they think this through? How do they expect to attract people to settle or relocate in their town if they restrict and/or penalize lawful gun owners and enthusiasts? The residents of Deerfield pay property taxes and support local businesses.  I wonder how many people are considering moving rather than giving up their constitutional rights? Deerfield might very well end up being a very safe place to live because there will be no one living there.

Daniel M. Filipek, Mount Prospect