“Do I Matter Now?” August Town Hall Toolkit
Goal: Attend Town Hall events arranged by members of Congress during August recess to let our representatives know that the American people have had enough with the dysfunction and corruption. There's a democracy crisis in this country and we are determined to deal with it. Tell them that there is a nonpartisan grassroots movement underway to remind all politicians that the power is with the people. Money from lobbyists, corporations and the wealthy will not take away the voice of all Americans. Let's spread the message by sharing photos and videos on Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter.
Let’s always remember the Civility Pledge: As a member or supporter of the Coffee Party, I pledge to conduct myself in a way that is civil, honest, and respectful toward people with whom I disagree. I value people from different cultures, I value people with different ideas, and I value and cherish the democratic process.
If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Enough Is Enough! Hotline 301-259-1135. One of our Local Action Coaches will get back to you.
We have two training calls for Town Hall Actions on Saturday, August 13 and Sunday, August 14. To register for the calls:
Guidelines for Organizing a Town Hall Meeting Event
1. Locate your Congress members and check their voting records using www.opencongress.org/. Search for Town Hall schedules on their websites. If none are listed, contact the office for date and times of events.
If they're not having town halls or you can't make it to one:
1) Make an appointment with the member or staffer. 2) Find out if they are attending any public events. Bring your sign and some extra signs to hand out and demonstrate at the event. Please document your action with video or photos.
2. Call the office to determine event rules such as registration requirements.
3. Promote your event to organize/recruit fellow volunteers
Use this tool to create an event on the Coffee Party website so others in your area can sign-up for it.
4. Create signs for yourself and extra ones that you can hand out at the town hall to other volunteers or like-minded attendees (at least a dozen). The extra signs can be given to anyone attending the Town Hall and is interested in participating.
Bring Coffee Party hand-outs to the event in case people want to learn about the Coffee Party.
Ideas for signs:
“Do I Matter Now?”
“Enough Is Enough!"
"I do not consent to being governed by corporations and billionaires."
“We have a democracy crisis.”
“One Voice. One Vote.”
"Can you hear me now?"
5. Notify the media (television, radio, newspapers, community bulletin board). Don’t forget to include public broadcasting and campus stations.
Call and ask who covers politics or government.
Ask for their phone number and email address.
Draft a media advisory / press release. Click here to download an editable template.
Complete the template and insert a quote stating your goals in two or three sentences.
If you have an estimate of the number of people attending the town hall, include that number. Don’t forget to mention there will be photo opportunities.
Send your media advisory / press release to the local media contacts you identified above one or two days ahead of the meeting. Make sure to email or FAX the advisory / release and follow up with a phone call. Voice mail is OK. Be prepared to talk to the reporters about why you are attending the town hall and what you want your representatives to know.
7. Create an event page on Facebook. This link will tell you how to do that.
8. Announce the event on your Twitter account. Use #enoughisenough hashtag.
9. Contact your fellow volunteers regularly to engage them and ensure a successful turnout. Confirm attendance.
10. Before attending any event, please review the Civility Pledge with all the volunteers. It is very important that however angry and passionate we may be, part of what we must do is to incite civility and reason. We don't want to become part of the politics of division, hate and anger that keeps the people of the United States divided, unable to make sufficient progress because there is no demonstration of unity.
11. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspapers. Whether or not a reporter cover your participation at the town hall, write a letter to the editor explaining your concerns and what you asked your representative(s). Include a mention of the Coffee Party and invite your fellow citizens to join the nonpartisan movement to reclaim our democracy.
12. Make sure you document your Town Hall meeting with photos and videos. Be sure to share your photos on the Coffee Party Facebook Page and Enough is Enough March page. If you can add to the Coffee Party Flickr group, and tag #doimatternow, #coffeeparty, and #enoughisenough. Please share your photos, videos and reports by emailing email@example.com.
13. For additional media attention, send out a press release after the fact describing your event, including how many attended, examples of the signs that attendees displayed and other points of interest. Include a photo that gives a good visual representation of your event.
Democracy is what we make of it - Remember to have fun!
Enough Is Enough! Hotline 301-259-1135