On Feb. 12, The Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company (VCDC) held a Legislative Cracker Barrel at City Hall. This included South Dakota State Senate District 17 representative Sen. Arthur Rusch, and House of Representatives Sydney Davis and Richard Vasgaard. USD’s professor in political science Michael Card served as the question reader.
Card said the VCDC held the event as a way for people in the community to find out what their legislators think and give them a chance to say what they believe or ask questions about bills and share their concerns.
“We have these Legislative Cracker Barrels so that the public can find out what their legislators think. And to give them a chance to say, ‘here’s what I think and here’s some of the concerns that I have’ about bills to introduce or bills that are pending in front of the legislatures,” Card said. “We elect our representatives every two years and it’s just difficult to find out once you elect them, are they doing what you want? And this is a chance to find out and see what they think.”
Rusch said he was impressed Vermillion had been respectful at the Legislative Cracker Barrel events. Rusch also said he is thankful the VCDC makes an effort to organize these events.
“I talked to other legislators who have held Legislative Cracker Barrels and the people are very argumentative but what I’ve noticed is that Vermilion has always been very respectful,” Rusch said. “We’ve always had really decent discussions and you know, even the people who oppose the way I voted have come up and talked to me afterwards. I just have always been impressed with the people here.”
The VCDC will also be holding another Legislative Cracker Barrel on Feb. 26 from 9-11 a.m. at the Vermillion City Hall. The legislative Cracker Barrel is also Live Streamed on the VCDC’s Facebook page.