Rep. Johnson holds drive thru town hall event for constituents

Published: Oct. 5, 2020 at 7:22 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Aberdeen residents had the chance to stop in at the Fairfield Inn parking lot Monday, and have a chat with Representative Dusty Johnson in a drive thru town hall event.

Sitting right off of 6th avenue, Johnson and members of his staff held signs and waved to oncoming traffic, hoping to flag down anyone with a minute to chat.

“For the last 15 minutes there’s been somebody to talk to the whole time. And to me that’s the way I like it.” Johnson says.

To make up for their usual slate of town hall meetings, Johnson and his staff are holding drive thru events like these to give South Dakotans a chance to ask questions or comment on policy issues. Johnson says these drive thru town halls are a great way to still meet with people and answer questions, while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

“Obviously in the era of COVID, we weren’t going to do 22 indoor town hall meetings that go on for 90 minutes again. This is a great substitute to make sure in a socially distanced, outdoor, safer manner, I can continue to listen to my bosses.”

And those that came to see Johnson agree. Erik Roseland, one of those who came to meet with Johnson, says even without the ongoing pandemic, drive thru events are a convenient way to meet with officials.

“I think it’s fantastic. I’m not even worried about COVID so much. I think it’s just fantastic to have access to our elected officials. I wish Mike Rounds and John Thune would do it.” Roseland says.

Johnson says he hopes to hold similar events across the state in the coming weeks and months, even after the upcoming elections.

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