Unite to Fight!

Town Hall Meetings - How to Participate!

Make sure to have your question prepared in advance. Limit yourself to ONE question and try not to let the questions posed before yours influence what you say. 

Raise your hand immediately when the Congressman asks for questions. The longer you wait, the more competition you will have for the microphone.

Avoid yes or no questions or questions requiring a commitment. Remember, if the media is present, Members will be more likely to resist making spontaneous commitments.

If you ask questions about specific legislation, be prepared to quickly explain/summarize what the legislation does. Thousands of bills are introduced each Congress and Members of Congress don’t have them all memorized. In addition, your brief summary will help other citizens at the meeting focus on your question and his/her answer.

A good way to phrase a question is to base it on an action. (“What will you do legislatively to solve X?” or “What have you done to hold President Trump accountable for Y?”) Doing this makes it harder for the Member of Congress to give an answer using only their pre-prepared talking points. Town Hall Meeting

Do your homework! Don’t hesitate to do some extra research on your Member of Congress before the town hall. If you feel they voted incorrectly on a bill or issued a statement in which you disagree, those are great points to bring up when you are given the microphone. (“Could you tell me why you voted against the X bill last week, which would have done Y?”) 

Do you need resources for learning how your Member of Congress has voted?

votesmart.org ** This is one of the most user-friendly, non-partisan sources available. You can even call toll-free to speak with a researcher who will answer your questions about legislators - also free!

www.govtrack.us **EXCELLENT resource for pain-free research!



Be polite!
Your question will be best received if it is phrased respectfully and tactfully. Rude or off-color language will ensure a more guarded response from the Member of Congress and might even turn the audience against you.

Don’t leave early.
Stick around after the meeting. If you aren’t given the chance to ask your question during the meeting, or you have additional questions, hang around afterwards. Most Members of Congress stick around for a few extra minutes to take additional questions one-on-one.

Find a staff member.
If your Member does not stick around after the town hall, or you have trouble accessing him/her, locate the Congressional staff and speak to them instead. They can take your comments, answer questions, and refer you to appropriate staff members. 

Bring business cards, if possible to give to the staff member to help him or her follow up with your question. 

Network with other attendees. If anyone else in the audience asks questions about legislation that are in line with your views, talk to them after the meeting is over. That’s a great opportunity to get them involved in activism.

2017 - Resistance is synonymous with Patriotism!