Attend a Town Hall Meeting

TOP TEN TIPS FOR TOWN HALL MEETINGS

  1. Most members announce their town hall schedule via mailings or e-mails to the district and often through the media. Take the opportunity to call your members of Congress and ask to be notified about upcoming town hall meetings.
  2. Upon arriving at the town hall meeting, check to see whether there is an established procedure for the meeting. Often there is a sign-up sheet for individuals who would like to ask questions.
  3. Be prepared with your specific question. It is best avoid long drawn out questions, jargon, acronyms or abbreviations that people may not know.
  4. Clearly identify yourself and your affiliation with the National Eczema Association. Let them know who you are representing. Consider your introduction to be an integral part of your question.
  5. Be polite and professional. Keep in mind that the media is probably attending and may well be another potential ally in your efforts.
  6. Ask for a response to your question. Do not to embarrass the member of Congress if they cannot answer, but do engage him/her and be reasonable.
  7. Use your judgment. The dynamics of town hall meetings can be shaped by factors beyond your control. If the audience is riled up over an issue it might be best to stay silent or take a pass when given the opportunity to ask a question.
  8. Depending on the setting and the number of people attending, make an effort to say hello and introduce yourself to the member and the staffer before or after the meeting.
  9. Report back to NEA on the result of the town hall meeting. Your feedback allows Foundation staff to follow-up on the message you delivered. Let us know.
  10. Follow-up. Send an email or fax to the member and staff person. Remind them that you were at the reiterate the issue you discussed. Even if you did not get to ask a question publicly, send a follow-up letter about your presence at the meeting. Use this letter template to get started.