Joni Ernst: Meeting with Iowans across the state is a top priority

As Published In: The Des Moines Register

Iowans are well-known for a number of things, but to name a few: our Midwest hospitality — or, as we say, being “Iowa nice” — our hard work ethic and our unmatched engagement in our country’s political and democratic process. Probably more than most, we expect to have access to our elected officials. And we should expect that.

Meeting with and hearing from my fellow Iowans is one, if not the most, important part of being in elected office. Our elected officials should always be out there listening to the folks we work for. It’s our job, and it really does make us more effective lawmakers.

That’s why every year I complete what I call my 99 County Tour, where I visit folks in every single one of our state’s beautiful counties. Iowans are my top priority; being accessible to you is my obligation.

From public town hall meetings, to visits and discussions with local small businesses, farmers, manufacturers, and more, these 99 County Tour stops give me an invaluable opportunity to hear directly from Iowans about the issues impacting their everyday lives.

In fact, by the end of my first term, I will have held a public event, such as a town hall meeting, in every single one of Iowa’s 99 counties as your United States senator.

Just this past week, I held town halls in Appanoose and Butler counties, as well as our most populated county, Polk County. It was a productive discussion and I heard from Iowans from all ends of the political spectrum, touching on the extremely important issues our state and our country are facing. That’s exactly why I hold these town halls across the state and why they’re vital to my duties.

At my town halls, including just the last few this week, Iowans consistently tell me about the importance of keeping our economy moving in the right direction and continuing to stay strong with record low unemployment. I hear from folks constantly on the need to get good trade deals finalized, specifically the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement.  And we discuss the critical bipartisan work that’s getting done to help lower health care costs, particularly when it comes to prescription drug prices.

Since Iowans elected me to the Senate, I’ve held town halls across the state in some of our largest cities, from Des Moines, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids, to some of our smallest towns, like Clarion, Waverly or my hometown of Red Oak. There is no better way to truly hear from folks across the state and to get a firsthand understanding of what is on their minds.

Iowans know what’s best for Iowa.  As I continue on my 99 County Tour for 2019, crisscrossing the state, visiting and talking with folks, and hosting town halls, I remain focused on hearing from Iowans and bringing those ideas to Washington.

Click here to read the senator’s op-ed in the Des Moines Register.