Home » Blog » Call to Action: Attend Town Hall Meetings and Other Meet-the-Candidate Events!

Call to Action: Attend Town Hall Meetings and Other Meet-the-Candidate Events!

As we move closer to the November election cycle, candidates ordinarily hold a Town Hall Meeting or an opportunity to meet voters. These are excellent opportunities to ask candidates about their commitment to environmentally sound decision-making and impress upon them the importance of this matter to the Providence Community.

To prepare for such opportunities, the Political Engagement Team of the Climate Change Task Force would like to share the following suggestions gleaned from the Interfaith Power and Light website:

To find a schedule of town hall meetings nearest you, click here and then enter your zip code.

Before Arriving

  • Get in touch with your state Interfaith Power and Light affiliate (to identify your state IPL affiliate, click here {https://www.interfaithpowerandlight.org/about/state/}. They have a wealth of information on the environmental issues in your area,
  • Research your members of Congress. How have they voted in the past on climate and environmental legislation? Are they persons of faith? Who funds your members? Do these organizations share your values?
  • Be informed on the issues. We believe we are called by faith to be good stewards of Creation and to protect the Earth for future generations, but what exactly does this look like? It is helpful to focus on one or two issues; in advance, prepare talking points on these issues.

Prepare questions in advance

  • Do not ask yes or no questions,
  • Do speak from your experience and let them know you are a person of faith,
  • Do ask questions about a specific piece of legislation. If you ask about a piece of legislation, be prepared to quickly explain what it is. Members of Congress read thousands of bills,
  • Do ask a question about a political action. For example, “What have you done and what will you do to support solutions to the climate crisis? To strengthen environmental regulations?” Such questions can help you get a specific and unscripted answer from your member.

During the Town Hall Meeting

  • Invite others to attend the meeting with you,
  • Make sure you sign in,
  • Be Seen! Carry a poster,
  • Sit up close or near the microphone,
  • Briefly introduce yourself to others: Give your name, where you live, and that you are a Sister of Providence, Providence Associate, or Providence Partner,
  • Ask your question and be polite.

Once the Meeting is Over

  • Stick around! Talk to your member one-on-one. Talk with one of the staffers and leave a business card for follow-up,
  • Network with other attendees,
  • Share what was said by the candidate. Write a letter for the local newspaper or post it on social media,
  • Do not make it your last meeting! If you show up at other meetings, the presenter will be more likely to listen if they see your persistence and passion.

A helpful resource is Ballotpedia, which provides links to Elections, State Politics, Sample Ballot Lookup, Ballot Measures Overview, U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate, Legislative Branch, Ballot Measures, and Federal Politics. Some of the material will need to be updated for the 2020 election cycle.

Another helpful resource to check on your current legislator’s record can be accessed here. This website shows not only how certain organizations rate legislators, it also shows bills they co-sponsored as well as their voting record.

Many cities and towns across the country will begin town hall – or crackerbarrel – sessions with politicians very soon. Here in Vigo County, one has already been scheduled for Saturday, January 11, at the Vigo County Public Library. Click here for more information.

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Sisters of Providence Political Engagement Team

The Sisters of Providence Political Engagement Team is an arm of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Climate Change Task Force. Members of the team are Sister Marilyn Kofler, Sister Barbara Battista and community friend Cynthia Sartor.

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1 Comment

  1. Ann Clark on January 24, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Protecting the world and its environment is important for all, but protecting unborn children is just as important. Do you have a task force for that? I would be interested if you do.

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