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Advocacy Toolkit: Attend a Town Hall

A purple logo of the Minnesota State Capitol building.

ATTENDING A TOWN HALL


TELLING YOUR STORY

Town hall forums provide an opportunity to tell your story in a different way. Although your message is for your legislator, you’ll have a wider audience to speak to. In addition to being a public forum, town halls are an opportunity to meet other people who share your concerns.

PREPARING YOUR MESSAGE

While much of your message will be the same, you need a different script for a town hall. Unlike meetings and calls, at a town hall forum you want to frame your message within
a question.

  1. Introduce yourself as a constituent.
    “Hi, my name is and I live in .”
  2. Ask a question.
    Have your question prepared in advance. Avoid yes or no questions and questions requiring a commitment. If you ask a question about specific legislation, be prepared to briefly explain what the legislation does. Ask a question based on an action.
    “What will you do legislatively to solve [ISSUE]?”
  3. Be flexible.
    If you aren’t able to ask a question during the meeting, stick around after the meeting. You may have an opportunity to ask questions or have an informal conversation with the legislator or one of their staff.
  4. Take a picture.
    Bring your camera or smartphone. If you have the opportunity to ask a question, have someone in the audience take a photo of you asking the question — hopefully with the legislator in the frame. Post your picture on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to let others know that you attended the town hall and brought your issue forward.
  5. Follow up.
    Send your legislator a note thanking them for holding the town hall. This is an opportunity to remind them of your issue and to recap your