Monday, August 10, 2009
WHAT WORKS AND DOES NOT WORK AT TOWN HALL MEETINGS ( FEEDBACK)
( originally posted 8.8.09)
So today I got emails and updates about what has worked and not worked at the Town Hall Meetings this week from around the Country from Boston to the NW to Florida to the Midwest.....So below are Helpful Hints, Advice and Tactics, as well as Talking Points.
WHAT WORKS AND HELPS THE MEETING GO BETTER:THE 10 POINT PLAN....
(1) Prepare for the Meeting, Go Early and make sure to go with a Group, bring Cameras and Cellphone, DO be prepared to take photos. Do take a pad and pen and look like you are going to a meeting, and you are going to get educated and be informed. Do take Fact Sheets With you that have helpful information to help educate those around you. I will put Sample Fact Sheet below, but you can also make your own.
(2)WHAT YOU WEAR AND WHERE YOU SIT OR STAND MAY HELP
Do Wear Your Obama shirt, he is Our President, and it will also help others there know that you are serious about Health Care Reform. It helps you to align with people in the room and create cohesion. Others made shirts that said "Healthcare for All", and pointed out it did not have any Political stance on it, but let others know where they were on the issue. Do sit or stand near people that you align yourself. Another Friend made a Tshirt that said " MEDICARE WORKS" and on the back had written facts about people uninsured and people dying without care etc. At Another Meeting friends wore their Scrubs and Stethoscopes, feeling that as Doctors and Nurses that might help bring their perspective.
**** DO let the Yellers stand alone, do not give them attention or sit or stand anywhere near them, if they yell, do not turn around. They have been told to disrupt, but not to dialogue.*****
(3) If you are disabled or use a cane- do not be shy about having your cane or feel threatened because you are disabled, and do ask when you get there for Disability seating for your own safety.
(4) Before going practice having Someone or People yell at you, so that you can cope and feel calmer. Friends of mine did this in their Garage this weekend for a practice run and they said it really helped them cope with the stress. ( although it did confuse the hell out of their neighbors). Practice deep breathing and self calming techniques.
(5) Do Contact other people or groups that you think would be supportive and ask for them to come , Quaker- Friends, Unitarian Churchs, etc. Explain that they may not understand all the Healthcare Issues, but you would like to attend a meeting to learn and feel supported.Even ask your minister if he would come to support you or others. One person this weekend pointed out that some of these Angry Protesters are Christian and they visually do respond to having other Christians there, it de-escalates a bad situation ( and yes, confuses them). Another said she wore her Obama shirt and a huge Cross and she felt like the fact that she was a Christian and an Obama Supporter did confuse them, but also brought some calm to the situation.
(6) Do call local Police and ask that there be enough Police on duty for the Meeting in the Meeting space, atleast 1 cop per 100 people, and also enough for the halls and the parking lot. Also since many of these meetings have older people do request older cops, as maybe they can be more helpful talking some of these older people down.
(7) Do call and ask Local Media to be there, but you are Citizen Reporters too, so do film and take photos and do take Cameras. The More Cameras the better. Cameras also have great power in truly documenting the Truth of the moment.
(8) As a Nurse yes I will be taking a First Aid Kit to the meeting, if you know any other medical people and are worried ( if you know your area and suspect trouble) ask them to also bring such a kit.
(9) Mostly stay Calm and be strong and focused, do not get drawn into their tactics or their drama. Remember you are there because More than 52 Million Americans do not have Healthcare, and 14,000 More a day join THAT number, and that means by the end of this Month- there will be 400,000 More Without Care. And 30,000 a year die without care.
(10) When discussing a TALKING POINT THAT WORKS::: Many of those protesting we have all noticed are well over 60 and maybe indeed be ON MEDICARE, do not be shy about pointing THAT out. Ask if Medicare is working for them and is GOVERNMENT MANAGED AND OWNED , WHY should it not be expanded ? WHY ? Another point is asking them to tell you which of their neighbors or Children do not Deserve Care ? These Two talking points are capable of rendering Beckerheads speechless.
Blueberry Posted this Video earlier today From the Austin Doggett Town Hall Today DO WATCH:: VERY INSPIRING...Instead of the Beckerheads shouting their NO to Healthcare- this crowd shouted : " HEALTHCARE NOW , HEALTHCARE NOW"....Wonderful....and go to her blog Texas Oasis and read about the Rally Today in Austin....
Robert Wexler has posted a FACT SHEET, check it out and copy to take to Meetings and hand out, Really Handy Fact Sheet For Town Hall Meetings.....