Congresswoman Ashley Hinson just held her first in-person town hall meetings. These were open to the public and well attended. At the town hall I attended in Vinton, she took questions straight from the crowd, unscreened and unfiltered. She called on people regardless of whether they would agree with her, heard them out, and calmly explained her position thoughtfully and knowledgeably.

Ashly covered a broad range of subjects, including infrastructure, immigration, broadband access, government spending, veterans’ issues, and international politics. She took the time to discuss her own personal thoughts on matters and gave an inside look at how she’s supporting bills based on what she is hearing at home.

Sadly, we had many liberal activists come with the sole intention of throwing the Congresswoman off and asking “gotcha” questions. Ashley was compassionate, calm, and addressed their concerns directly, showing far more grace than she received.

I appreciated the detail into which she went about the ridiculous spending plans we’re seeing from the Democrats in Congress and what Republicans are doing to counter. These multiple trillion-dollar plans disguised as “COVID relief” or “infrastructure” have a significant amount of funding for hidden liberal wish list items, and Congresswoman Hinson put a spotlight on their misleading power grabs and how she’s fighting to protect our money and not leave the next generation with our debt.

She also called attention to the horrific immigration crisis of President Biden’s making. Not only did Congresswoman Hinson go to the border and explain to us what she saw there, she is putting forward solutions that will hold the current Administration accountable for letting the situation at the border spin out of control. It was refreshing to hear a politician not just talk about the big issue of the day, but explain what she’s doing to solve it.

The contrast between Congresswoman Hinson’s first few months in Congress so far and our former representative couldn’t be clearer. We’re only five months into Hinson’s time in Congress, and she’s already completed three in-person town halls, multiple town halls over the phone, and conducts a weekly press call for reporters to ask any question they want. Former Congresswoman Finkenauer, on the other hand, conducted effectively invite-only town halls, shielded from the public and difficult questions. Representative Hinson has followed through on her promise to be transparent, accessible, and explain where she stands.

In a time of such political division, I am encouraged that Congresswoman Hinson brought together Iowans from all walks of life and opinions for a discussion. I would like to personally thank Congresswoman Hinson for taking the time to conduct these town halls and take real questions from the public without ducking the tough issues, especially in our small town of Vinton. Ashley promised to be a voice for Iowans in Washington, DC, and these meetings showed that she wants to hear our personal stories and concerns so that she can have a positive impact in Congress.

Colman Sibernagel of Vinton