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Letter: Town hall meetings would help constituents

To the editor:

Recent letters to the editor have discussed whether elected officials such as U.S. Rep. Jason Lewis should meet personally with their constituents at town hall meetings. One writer suggested that such meetings are unneeded and that serious concerns can be adequately communicated through the representative's official website. I have found that method ineffective and have no confidence that Lewis devotes sufficient attention to understand questions submitted to his website.

In February, I contacted Lewis about the administration's delay of federal funding for important environmental studies conducted by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Lewis responded that he would carefully consider my concerns about a House bill that would "terminate the Environmental Protection Agency." I sent him a second email explaining that he had not answered my question and that I would like him to address my original concern. Lewis has not yet responded.

In March, I contacted Lewis about the administration's proposal to drastically cut funding for the U.S. Coast Guard, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. Lewis responded that he supports "auditing the Department of Defense." I sent him a second email explaining that he had not answered my question and that I would like him to address my original concern. Lewis has not yet responded.

If Lewis were to conduct frequent town hall meetings, I believe that his constituents might have a better opportunity to express their concerns and hear his responses.

Verlin Reiter

Cottage Grove

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