Walz held plenty of town halls, open to all

To the editor:

A recent letter in this newspaper talked about Representative Jim Hagedorn’s town halls and meetings with constituents and suggested these were in “huge contrast to his predecessor, Tim Walz, who didn’t have a single town hall meeting his last six years as congressman.”

I’d like to set the record straight on that claim. Congressman Walz had five town halls in 2018. Throughout his 12 years as our U.S. Representative, Tim and his district staff routinely criss-crossed southern Minnesota talking to constituents — through town halls, listening sessions and a 21-county tour to seek feedback which was then used to write a bill aimed toward helping our rural areas and small communities.

Congressman Walz also did many “Congress on Your Corner” events at grocery stores across southern Minnesota. These were publicized ahead of time and constituents could simply show up and talk with him one-on-one about their concerns and questions. Unlike a recent town hall with Congressman Hagedorn, attendees of Walz events did not have to show identification cards and they did not have to submit questions in writing ahead of time. I never saw Congressman Walz shy away from taking questions of those who didn’t agree with him. In fact, congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn even attended one of those Walz “Congress on Your Corner” events to ask questions and was treated with the same respect Tim gave to all of his constituents. Walz was willing to talk to each and every one of his constituents, including Hagedorn. This is in stark contrast to Representative Hagedorn’s approach, in which he outright bans constituents with whom he does not agree.

Lori Sellner

Sleepy Eye