During his 1996 special election campaign, Senator Ron Wyden pledged to hold a public town hall meeting in every single one of Oregon's 36 counties every single year.
In part, it was an effort to demonstrate that he was going to be a Senator for all of Oregon, not just for Portland - where he'd served 15 years in Congress. It was one of those pledges made in the heat of an election campaign that not a lot of people took seriously at the time.
But Senator Wyden's stuck to it, and today he's hosting his 600th town hall - in Fossil, the site of his very first town hall meeting back on February 17, 1996.
Consider the math: As of today, Senator Wyden's been a U.S. Senator for 5671 days. With 600 town halls under his belt, that's one public town hall every 9.45 days. For more than 15 years.
Check out the video that the Senator and his team put together. It's kinda cheesy, but the photos tell a great story about all the places - big and small - that he's stopped to talk with Oregonians.
“In 1996, I pledged that if I was chosen Oregon’s first new United States Senator in almost thirty years, I would throw open the doors of government and hold an open-to-all town hall meeting in each of Oregon’s 36 counties, each year,” said Senator Wyden. “While this journey began as a special pledge to Oregonians, 600 town hall meetings later, I realize it has been Oregon’s gift to me.”
Having hit #600, he's not stopping. Tomorrow is #601, in Moro, Oregon.
This post has been corrected. The original version said tomorrow's town hall was in Morrow.