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What To Expect At A Town Hall Meeting
First Time Attending A Town Hall Meeting? Let's Set Expectations. Plus: Another Midwest Town Dealing With A Toxic Business.
I’m on the ground in East Palestine today, talking to residents, hearing their concerns, and learning more about the current situation. You can read here about what’s happening and get some answers to q’s here.
No one asks for pollution in their water—or in their air or land for that matter.
When you find out your tap is tainted or live near the site of an environmental tragedy, it’s natural to have questions and concerns.
Part of why I’ve hosted hundreds of town hall meetings throughout the country is to offer facts and information to the people.
Usually, my presence in a small town drums up interest and media will cover the issue. I show up so that people can become informed and educated about how to come together and take action.
I’m also there to LISTEN. When people get together and realize everyone on the same block is experiencing similar symptoms, it’s validating. It helps move people from anger into action.
What’s A Town Hall, Anyway?
A town hall meeting is typically held to present information to residents of the area and to offer a forum to discuss their concerns, questions, and opinions.
I’ve had the honor to help organize and speak at countless town hall meetings held at universities, public libraries, and American Legion rooms in towns throughout the country. The goal is to help communities better understand what’s going on with their water (or in their environment) and work together to create a safe environment for everyone.
People think when I speak to a community that I’m coming in with an agenda, but my only role is to empower the people.
Politics and party affiliation don’t matter when it comes to our environment.
Change happens when people are willing to speak up and put pressure on their politicians, government agencies, and polluting corporations who typically don’t respond until they hear from people in the community.
A Few Do’s & Don’ts
Do your homework. Come in with questions ready to go, even better if you’ve done a little research ahead of time. If you’re coming to East Palestine this week, check out these FAQs. We’ll be talking specifics about some of the chemicals and what the future holds for clean-up.
Do introduce yourself to others at the meeting. Yes, you are there to get questions answered but it’s also an opportunity to meet more people in your community and get connected. You might be able to hear more about other people’s symptoms, how they are helping protect their family in the short term, or just make a new friend in your town. In a country that seems to be more and more divided on the issues we face today, we need to remember how our humanness unites us.
Can’t attend? Don’t worry. Maybe you have little ones at home, have to work, can’t drive, or whatever reason you might have. Reach out to a neighbor or friend and ask if they can take notes for you or ask your questions. A town hall is the perfect time to engage with your community. Maybe you can watch the neighbors’ kids or organize dinner, so that someone else can go to the meeting. Part of being engaged is helping where you can.
Don’t get discouraged. A town hall is the beginning of the conversation. It’s not the final word. Now is not the time to fight against one another; it’s a time to come together for a greater good. Sharing information and working together is the only hope. The solution lies with people in their communities.
We don’t need to wait for anyone else to come save us. We can start small, start in our neighborhoods, and work to make significant changes that will impact generations to come.
Once you have the facts and information and feel empowered to stand together, you can use your collective voice to ask the necessary questions and garner more attention for these critical issues.
That’s the power of the people!
Join Me at the Town Hall Meeting in East Palestine
Friday, February 24th
6 PM EST
East Palestine High (Auditorium)
360 W Grant St
East Palestine, OH
Get more details here.
A Toxic Wasteland In Michigan
While so many eyes are on Ohio, there are so many other communities dealing with these issues. They stink! Literally. But they are also making people sick.
Hear from Brandi Joy Crawford, a Kalamazoo resident, talking about her polluting neighbor and what’s behind this health emergency being ignored in her neighborhood. We covered her story in 2021 and there’s still so much cover up happening.
Add your voice to the conversation below! Want to host a town hall in your town? Let’s hear about it.