Legislative coffee gives public a chance to voice opinions

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Over 100 people showed up to Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls Saturday, where they grabbed a cup of coffee and a question sheet. Then, they got to ask a question to state legislators about what’s going on in Pierre.

Two Senators and five Representatives from Districts 6,11, and 15 took the mic Saturday morning to answers questions from the public.

An event that many believe is beneficial for everyone involved.

Mark Willadsen, District 11 Representative said, “These are very important both for the public and the legislators.”

Marrine Kaun of Sioux Falls added, “I think it’s very important that legislators know that the community wants to be involved and is going to be involved and will show up.”

Sioux Falls resident Sam Jensen said, “I think the importance of an event like this is to make sure your concerns about various topics that are brought up are heard. That they are being represented truthfully and honestly.”

Topics such as commercial surrogacy, vaccinations, transgender treatment, and education funding were discussed.

Representative Mark Willadsen says legislative coffees provide a platform for him to explain his position on topics.

“I want people to know how I stand on bills and if people have a difference of opinion, I'd want them to be able to express to me, ‘hey I think you’re wrong and here’s why,’” Willadsen said.

Whether you agree or disagree with the legislators, this event let’s your voice be heard.

Kaun said, “I really, really, really do believe if they know your opinion and they know that you stand, or fall for a certain issue, that they will follow that.”

Jensen added, “I think that moving forward it’s something that our younger generation, we need to get out and speak what we believe to be true, for or against whatever you believe in. If you don’t, then you’re doing yourself, your fellow citizens, your friends, your family a disservice.”

If you missed today’s legislative coffee there is still time for your voice to be heard. There’s two more in the month of February, one on February 22nd and the other one is on February 29th.