Attending a Town Hall Meeting

A large and well-informed turnout at a town hall meeting or community forum is an extremely effective way of sending a strong message to your elected official AND to the media (and, hence, the general public). If your lawmaker is supportive of your issue, a show of support helps to solidify his or her position.

Sometimes lawmakers participate in events that are by invitation only. If you know of an event that you would like to attend, but it is not open to the public, call the legislator’s office and ask if you can attend.

In general, when attending and speaking at town meetings, conduct yourself as you would when testifying at a hearing and/or meeting with your elected officials.

Before the Town Meeting

Find out your elected official’s schedule. Newspapers often publish these dates, or sometimes the lawmaker will send out a schedule to voters in his or her district. The most reliable way to find the schedule is to call and ask them.

Try to recruit several other friends, neighbors, or community leaders to attend the meeting with you. Be sure to inform them of the date, time, address, and nature of the meeting. If you have the time and resources, it is helpful to produce a flyer with all the pertinent information, a map to the site, and talking points/sample questions.

Think about how the legislator is likely to respond to your questions and prepare in advance what follow-up questions should be asked.

At the Town Meeting

Keep your comments brief, clear, and to the point.