A movement of civic engagement is sweeping the nation uniting regular people against the callousness of the current political class when it comes to everyday issues like health care.
According to many national groups, we are seeing a “‘dam-bursting level’ of grass-roots activism that has bubbled up from street protests and the small groups that have swelled into crowds outside local congressional offices.”
Videos have been surfacing on social media for weeks of Republican members of Congress floundering at local town hall meetings in response to simple questions.
Our very own Mo Brooks (R-5) got caught up in the groundswell and attempted to avoid a large crowd and tough questions by canceling a town hall meeting in Madison County and then showing up anyway.
But what we’re seeing is more than a few entertaining videos of politicians running from their constituents. This is a movement of civic engagement with many participants being new to any form of political discourse–hardly the “paid protesters” Republicans keep warning us about.
The movement will likely see new life this week as the 115th Congress takes it’s first official recess (Feb. 18 – 26). This isn’t a vacation–at least it’s not supposed to be–but a time for members of Congress to spend time in their districts talking to constituents. Traditionally that means hosting public town hall meetings, though some members are opting for the controlled environment of the virtual town hall.
Representative Gary Palmer (R-6) will hold one in Hoover on February 25th. Mo Brooks–if he shows–is scheduled to meet with a small group in Decatur on February 22nd. Additional supporters are encouraged to participate in a rally outside the meeting location.
The public town hall is one of the most effective ways to make your concerns heard by a member of Congress or local representative as this video explains.
Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive database of town hall meetings. So what can you do?
- Click the links to find out who your federal and state representatives are. For city council members, visit your city’s website for information about districts and who represents each one.
- Visit your members’ websites to see what public events are listed and sign up for updates.
- Follow your members on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with what they’re doing and their positions on issues.
- Once you find a meeting–or you can even request one–get a group of friends together to attend and ask questions.
Be sure to check out resources like the Indivisible Guide for tips on how to interact with your representatives.
Our representatives may not like it, but we’re their constituents too and they have a responsibility to hear our concerns. And we’ll keep showing up until they do or vote them out of office if they don’t.