Congressional District 1 constituents have waited all year for their congressional representative to hold a public town hall meeting. This week he suddenly announced three, though the first was merely a highly-controlled radio interview with vetted questions. In yesterday’s Standard Examiner article, “Now’s your chance to question Utah Rep. Rob Bishop. Don’t blow it,” the editorial board aptly warned:
“Shout him down in Brigham City and Layton, and you’ll never get him to explain his vote for the American Health Care Act, his position on Trump’s travel bans, or the president’s defense of white supremacists in Charlottesville.
For that matter, you’ll also miss your chance to question him about his role in Ogden’s bungled attempt to rezone the Ogden Nature Center.
You cannot afford to turn either of his town halls into an episode of “The Jerry Springer Show,” because if you do, Bishop can portray himself as a martyr. He’ll never do another town hall.
But perhaps even more important, you’ll miss the opportunity to engage him in a public conversation about his views.
This is your chance. Don’t blow it.”
We couldn’t agree more. At Action Utah, we believe in the power of civil discourse at town hall meetings — yes, even for constituents who feel angry about the policies and/or actions of their representatives — because it leads to greater short and long term success at impacting the policies and decision making of elected officials.
CALL TO ACTION
- Constituents of District 1: Attend the Town Hall with Rob Bishop TONIGHT at 7:00p, Layton Christian Academy, 2352 E Utah 193 in Layton. Be sure to arrive very early. Come prepared with 1-3 well-informed questions if you would like to converse with Rep. Bishop. Check our 12 Tips for Town Halls for more guidance on how to have the most productive experience you can at the event.
- Constituents who want to highlight an issue: take the time to meet with Rep. Bishop’s staff during the event and start building a relationship with them. Follow up with communications next week to see if you can set up a meeting with the congressman or his head staff. Chat with members of the press about personal stories that inform your opinions on Rep. Bishop’s policy decisions.